Sunday, December 30, 2007


I keep telling myself I'm not scared, but as surgery looms I find myself more and more nervous. It's nerve wracking more than anything. I've gotten everything in order in anticipation of coming home, got my spare room cleaned up, stocked up on magazines and made sure I have all of the comforts I'll want and not have to seek out. I packed a bag just in case I have to spend the night in the hospital; if I prepare to have to stay overnight I'll get to go home that day. I got my prescriptions; Percocet so at least I'll have good drugs when I come home. I took my new wedding ring in to get sized on Friday-I hate being without it, but I can't wear it to the hospital anyway and I'll be happy to have it back next week. It's a little something to look forward to.

I can't have solid food after 6am today-I got up at 5:30 this morning to eat so I didn't go 36 hours without food. My sweet mom made me jello, which counts as a clear liquid and I can have coffee with no cream. After midnight I'm not allowed to have anything by mouth, except for a Valium which I will be taking before heading to the hospital. I'll get up at 5 tomorrow to be at the hospital by 6.

Our TV in the spare room broke the other night, so we have the little 19 inch we kept in the kids' room to watch video's which seems SO SMALL! That wasn't exactly the greatest timing-we can't afford to buy a new one, especially one that Allen wants to have. Allen took it over to the repair shop and paid $45 bucks to determine whether it's worth fixing. At least I got the spare TV to work, it would have been brutal to have to convalesce without a TV (yeah, I'm spoiled!)

At the moment I'm watching the Seahawks try to piss away their last regular season game-yelling at the tiny TV screen is great distraction!

I got all of my thank you cards ready to send out; I am really impressed with how they turned out. I made collage photos of the gifts the kids received, as well as a few family pictures. They turned out so well. It seems so rare that you have an idea of how something is going to turn out and it exceeds your expectations! You crafty girls will know what I'm talking about.
Not only did it turn out how I had hoped, it was as easy as I hoped, which NEVER seems to happen! Maybe the Gods thought it was my turn after having so much shitty luck lately : )
I sent collage cards to others too, mostly people that had sent holiday cards and I never reciprocated. At least I got something out by New Year's, right?

Wish me luck everyone, we'll see how long it takes for me to feel like updating my post, but my goal is to let everyone know how it went a day or two after I get home. The doc seems to think that I should only have a few days of recovery, that although I'll have some pain from the stitches, my major pain should be over with the removal of the cysts. The only variable is if they get in there and have to do more than expected. If that's the case I'll get even better drugs anyway so I'm not too worried about that!

Happy New Year everyone-here's to no surgeries in 2008!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Highlights & Pictures

Peppermint Bark

We had a very nice Christmas Eve; very chaotic but most of us enjoy the chaos. All of the family were there and as you will see by the photos-TONS of gifts!
Christmas Day we actually had some snow and it was the first "white Christmas" I've ever had! It didn't stick to much but the grass, but it sure was pretty while it lasted.

My quote of the week is from Austin-when I was preparing milk and cookies for Santa he said, "mom, I think Santa would prefer to have chocolate milk instead" It was SO cute!

I had great gifts; Allen bought me a new wedding ring, I got Bose earplugs in my stocking and a trip to Mexico!

My parents got the 6 of us a trip to Mexico this spring. We were planning on going to Hawaii for spring break, but they got a great deal to Mexico so they've paid for the 4 of
us to go too!

Below are presents the boys got-the big stack of cards is just one of two stacks of Pokemon cards-the boys have discovered them and "Santa" brought them tons! Austin got an Aquaraiders set; Jacob got a big Exoforce set; Austin got a Harry Potter cloak, glasses and wand; Jacob and Austin both got a talking, moving R2D2; one of their teachers, Jordan brought over gifts for them, the photo is of Jacob with a package of Pokemon cards and the bow on his forehead!

This is Rick and Lauren, they look so sweet together! Also below is a picture of me which I think is actually decent and of Max of Max & Ruby who is wearing a button blanket that Austin made at school.

This is just a sampling of the plethora of great goodies we had to eat; we had trays of cookies, candies and other baked goods as well as a smoked turkey, we roasted a ham and had our traditional Christmas eve dinner: Clam Chowder and Rolls. We all agreed this was the best batch of chowder my mom has made.

It's over-thank God it's over!

I would have to say the biggest highlight is that it's over! Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the holidays but so much effort goes into just one (or two) days that it's always such a letdown. Tracy over at Simply Blissful wrote on her blog today about the letdown. I totally agree, but mine always happens on Christmas Day. When I was a kid we always went to my dad's family's house which was never fun. Now that I'm an adult with kids, I prefer to spend the day assembling the various toys the boys get and let them hang out and play with their goodies. My mom & stepdad always take the other kids to dinner and a movie-I know we're always welcome too, but it's kind of nice to have the house to ourselves after the chaos of the prior evening. For some reason we always have some sort of argument or frustrating period on Christmas day. Last night we tried to go out to dinner at Shanghai Garden and it was complete chaos. Every table was filled and there must have been 50 people waiting. We obviously waited too long to feed the kids so they were beyond cranky, so I ended up ordering food to go and by the time we got home with the food all four of us were moody shits. Once our bellies were filled we were ok, but I hate it when all four of us get worked into a frenzy like that.
Anyway, I'm glad it's over! I'll use another post to show some holiday pictures. We have some really great pictures I'm eager to share...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Happenings

I was inspired by my friend Tracy at simplyblissful to post some of my own holiday decorations. This is the Christmas Card she sent out this year. It is nothing short of amazing. It's the most beautiful holiday card I've seen and would definitely buy this if I saw it in a store.

This Santa workshop is my hands-down favorite holiday piece-it just speaks to me and makes me happy just looking at it.

The milk and cookie set is my most recent purchase, it is so adorable I couldn't pass it up; having 8 and 6 year old boys we always set out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve and a carrot for the Reindeer. Allen eats half of the cookie, drinks the milk and takes a bite out of the carrot after the boys have gone to bed.

This is Austin's gingerbread house that he made at school. A broken toe couldn't deter him from creating this gem. I think it's absolutely stunning. Note the symmetry with his designs. You can't see it in this photo, but he even made a back door! He is so linear with everything in life and it's interesting how it manifests.

I almost feel guilty for not being as effusive about Jacob's gingerbread house-don't get me wrong, it's great too, but things always come so easy for Jacob it's nice to see Austin shine once in a while.

This is our holiday train-I think it's so cute, we have so many ceramic pieces that came from, unbelievably, the gift shop at Swedish Hospital! They have the best stuff, I swear we must have 50 pieces of various holiday items from there. I always go a few days after each holiday from Valentines all the way to Christmas and rummage through the clearance shelves.

Our little village is set up upstairs with the kids tree. The boys get their own little tree on the 2nd floor landing to decorate with non-breakable toys and color lights. This year the boys "made" snow with Grandma to spread around the village.

I love these cutie pitchers and our reindeer has been with us for about 10 years

Gingerbread Houses

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

He Broke!

This is Austin-broken yet again! It appears that he broke his pinky toe at school today. This kid has been broken so many times I'm losing count. Poor guy...
I like the black and white shot, it conveys his sadness so well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Kid Pics

Here are a few pictures of Austin one of my two cute kids-

Austin is in his grandma's robe, and there's nothing like grandmas fuzzy robe to help you feel better when you have the "throw ups"-
the other is him next to his vast collection of Lego's. I don't think I can count that high to guess how many Lego's they have. All I know is that there are Lego's in every crevice in this house and many of them are strategically placed so the adults step on them in the middle of the night.

Carrot Top

Last night Jacob proudly told his Grandma that he finished all of his carrots at dinner...a few hours later after something fell under the island in the kitchen we discovered that Jacob had hidden his carrot rounds under the island instead of eating them. The picture is of Alex, our girl kitty who discovered one of the carrot rounds and played with it in the kitchen for quite a while!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

buy one-get one free

One would think that 5 surgeries in 3 years would be a lot-but hell, I had a coupon: buy four surgeries and get the fifth one free!


I went to my va-jay-jay doctor yesterday and she told me that my cysts are not going away on their own, and considering the amount of pain I am always in and my cancer history she wants to remove the three cysts and my left ovary. Thankfully my right ovary can perform double duty and I will be spared hormone therapy at 33!
On one hand I am bummed out, but on the other hand I don't know how much longer I could have lived with the pain I am in. I'm either hurting, or I'm wacked out on vicodin, which makes me really moody and also makes it difficult to sleep. It's a sign something is wrong with you when your doctor prescribes you 80-yes 80 full strength vicodin (with a refill!).
I think I would have left her office even more upset if she had suggested we keep waiting. At least this way I can look forward to some kind of resolution.
Having had so many surgeries at least I'm not scared. It's a little like flying to me, sure bad things can happen, but how many are performed a day vs how many complications. It's not like I'm worried about my doctor performing surgery on my foot by accident or something like that! She is such a fantastic doctor, and a very accomplished surgeon. Plus there's no point in being scared of dying on the operating table, if I die I'm not going to know it! I worry for my family's sake, but I'm not personally scared of it.
She hopes to go in laparascopically, but said she won't know until she gets in there, and there's the possibility of having open surgery. That would be a bummer because I really do have a nice belly, even with the colon surgery scar. She's optimistic it will be day surgery, but again there are so many variables she can't really say for sure. I figure I'll pack a bag to stay in the hospital and that way I'll go home that day. If I'm not prepared to stay, I'll have to for sure!
Well, I think that's about enough news for now, time to go do the mom thing...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

10 things I love about my boys

1. Morning "snuggles" from Austin
2. Their curiosity ("mom, why do you wear your underwear up your butt?")
3. Their complete surrender to my affection when they're sick
4. The enthusiasm they both have for school each and every morning
5. How excited they get when I bring them home even the slightest trinket for them as a gift.
6. Their willingness to take risks without being swayed by the physical or emotional consequence.
7. When Austin curls up in my lap and whispers in my ear, "you're the best mom ever"
8. Their fantastic sense of humor, and their ability to recognize sarcasm and very subtle humor.
9. Their intense love of family that extends to family friends, who are all Aunties and Uncles to them-and they never question whether those are blood relatives, even though many are different ethnicities.
10. Allen told me to write "that we don't have to change their diapers anymore!". I had to add it, although it's not something about their character, so I guess there have to be 11!
11. Their acceptance of the world as it is at face value. When we explain the reason for something in life, they completely accept the answer.

Which begs for much responsibility on my part, to be truthful about things, and not just give them the easy answer...

Comments on "my list"

I am surprised at how much thought I had to put in to make that list. I thought the things would just flow from my tongue. How could you not immediately think of 10 things about your kids that make you happy? My lesson here is that I need to start enjoying my time with them more, and thinking about the positive things in life, instead of being constantly frustrated, angry and wishing things were different, better, etc. My life really is fulfilling, if only I would allow myself to be happy about what "is" and not what "could be".
Things have been really tough over the last several years, and I feel like my illnesses have somewhat created a wedge between me and my children and me and Allen as well. I feel as if I missed so much of their young, formative years being in the hospital so much, having to lie down all of the time instead of going to the park or playing games. There's almost a disconnect and I feel very sad and guilty about that. It's also put a strain on my marriage, we've both gone through of our share of crap these last few years, and always have come out stronger for it, but I still fear that one of these days Allen is going to tire of dealing with my endless string of problems. When we met I wasn't "damaged goods", and now I feel as if I am a fractured shell of the person he met. Maybe it's more of me being tired of dealing with my problems and if I'm tired of it, how tired of it is he, having to sit on the sidelines and watch my health deteriorate?

I guess I woke up on the "pity" side of the bed this morning...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Pictures

See what hiring non-union workers gets you?

Ford Tough?

Fill 'er up

Yeah, this exit will be fine...

Look at all that beer! (Olympia brewery in background)

For the last time, will you please quit parking your shipping containers on my car?