Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ovarian Cancer Walk and Good Deed Doing

Well, I meant to write about this before now, but lately Life prevents me from writing as often as I wish.
Last Saturday morning, the boys and I went downtown to participate in the Ovarian Cancer Walk. They changed it up a bit this year. A. We could register the kids. So we did. They weren't supposed to get T-shirts, just bibs, but they gave us a couple anyway, and so of course, we put Chris's on him. (It got covered in cocoa during the course of the race.) And since they gave us the same size shirt (kids Small) for Sam that already was swimming on Chris, we opted not to let Sam wear his. But just set it in his bucket. That made him just happy as a clam, since he could just Chew on it. So he did for about half the Walk, then he conked out.


We didn't do a proper "Team" this year, because they wouldn't let us unless we had 8 people. But if we would have, we would've been Team Willman. Here's my Mother-in-law wrangling both boys before the start of the race. She brought Teal Bandanas for us girls to wear, but Chris wanted to wear it, and I must say, he was pretty stinky adorable wearing it.

We did the Walk. I had been really nervous that all my recent back pain would have impeded my ability to Finish. But it didn't! Woo hoo! I was actually able to do the whole 3.1 miles, in about an hour. Hard to tell for sure what my time was, since they only timed the runners, and I wasn't paying attention to the clock when we crossed the start line. By about 2 miles I was feeling it, so I passed the stroller off to Mom. I felt like we had been going uphill (and with 80 pounds of children and stroller I was over that); turns out we WERE going uphill. Good, I wasn't crazy. My feet started hurting about 1/4 mile from the finish, but I didn't have any bad after effects.
So after the race, Mom and I were talking. You know, "what'chyu wanna do?"
I don't know, what'chyu wanna do? That sort of thing. Then she mentioned that Kohl's was doing this mass Bone Marrow Registering fest, hosting people to come register to help a kid with leukemia (amongst others) for Free. Sounded good. I'm all about the Free, and all our other possible schemes cost money, and I liked this one best because it was a way for me to Help.
I've been blessed to have my health (mostly), compared to other less fortunate people, and I want to use the things I've been gifted with, and share them. That's why I'm signing up to donate to the Milk Bank, have given to Locks of Love. This Bone Marrow Registry thing sounded like right up my alley.
Except for the pain.
But Mom said they were doing it with Cheek swabs, not blood. I love Scientific breakthroughs, they can get my DNA from cheek cells and match me. That was Super!
Apparently, that was just a rumor. It doesn't hurt. Even if I match with someone, they'll be Knocking me out for that, so I'll just be a bit achy afterwards, not that I haven't dealt with that. I actually find myself HOPING that some kid can use some of my bone marrow.
So, we go, and we're sitting in the Kohl's parking lot, filling out paperwork, juggling kids, when I get tapped on the shoulder. It was a gal from our local news station. And she wanted to interview me.
Yeah. I was on TV! WISH TV ran the story, check it out. The back of Chris's head in his Turquoise Ovarian Cancer shirt on my lap is visible in the first scene where a guy in a blue shirt is demonstrating proper swab technique. Then I sound like an idiot. They asked me Why was I here today? In my head, all I could think of was well, we were out and about and decided to go Good Deed Doing. But THAT sounded stupid. And in my mind, as long as I didn't say Good Deed Doing, I was OK. Naaaa. I sounded even stupider.
However, the point was made. We were out, and it was Easy to register to be a blood marrow donor. What made the whole process great was that it was painless. I'm kind of wussy when it comes to needles. And that was definitely my favorite part.
It was only After she'd left I looked up and realized that this thing was also helping Riley Kids, as well as the young boy with Leukemia. Heck! Riley Kids! I could've gone on all day about Riley...and NOT sounded like an idiot.

Oh well.

At least we did some 'double did our day', and some Good Deed Doing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A connoisseur

Sometimes it pays to be a connoisseur, a collector of things. Me, I'm a collector of All Things. I have collections, piles, some would call it clutter.
Today, it was handy that I save everything. A saver of 'useless crap'.
Sam slept in until 8! Well, you can imagine when I got up at 7, I was feeling a little full, I'd last fed him at midnight. He'd been up a couple times, but I hadn't had to feed him, just give him loves and his music and he was good to go back to sleep.
Chris was all kinds of excited to help me get the pump set up, and I thought I was good to go. Nope.
Some Snafu, and the flap wasn't working, and a backflow problem led to milk in one of the tubes. No real way to get it out.

Here's where Super Saver saves the day!

I had all kinds of leftover pump supplies from when I pumped Chris, and you guessed it, a whole nother pump and tubing set.
How happy! Job done.
And super saver is a little less motivated to declutter. Which I had lofty goals of doing while Eric was goneb this week.
Oh well.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Moving Targets

Yeah, they don't hold still much, but BOY are they sweet when they do.

Sounding like an idiot

Ha! I was on the news last night.
Yesterday we did the Ovarian Cancer walk, my mother in law and I.   She and I walked for Aunt Debbie and my Grandma before. It's a 5K, which is a goodly distance for us.

 This year, Grandma got shirts for the kids.  
Sam's didn't quite fit him, but it made a fine decoration for the stroller. 

Chris and Chris.
We found Grandma in the parking lot, and Chris had to tackle her.  

Grandma had a great time playing with the boys.  
Chris had fun playing and checking out all the sites.  
Sam loved the balloons best.  

We did ok on the 5K, much better than last year, when I was pregnant and sick, and had to pause frequently.  This time I made it all the way through.  While we were walking, my mother in law mentioned that she'd heard about a Bone Marrow Donation Registry for free that was going on at Kohl's.  So we looked it up, and found it was going on at the Southport Kohls down by my Dad. It made sense in my head since we were walking for Ovarian Cancer, that we'd continue our Good Deed Doing and try to Give Bone Marrow too.  It felt good to make a difference.  Good Health is a Blessing, and we wanted to share it.   After our run, we went over to the Kohls and registered to become blood donors. There was a local child diagnosed with leukemia who didn't have a match, and maybe some stranger could help. I kind of hope I can.  With my back issues, we weren't sure if I'll be a match.  And even though I hate surgery, I look at my eldest sweetboy, and I think, if he can put up with so much, I can deal with a little inconvenience.  While registering, there were folks there from the local tv station.   I sounded like an idiot. I was half distracted by Christopher, who was being adorable, but when it came to my interview

 Then we met my Dad and Stepmom for pizza at Pizzeria Uno.   We ate well, undoing all the good that we'd done, but the company was good.  I was exhausted, but my heart was full. 

Sam was extra sweet after all the day's adventures. 
He loves to eat my face.  
And I love to eat his. 

Our eyes almost match!  
What a cutie.  
It was a good day.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

By Your Side

I have been feeling so ripped up lately. Tense. I get sleep deprived, pain ridden, and stressed; Chris has been stressing me out, he's pushing my limits and he argues and I yell, and then we're both yelling. It's a vicious cycle. And I want to run away, get away from it all, and then moments later, I miss my boys. I miss them when they are just sleeping across the house. I just want to hold them. But I hate the yelling, the growling and the disobedience. I want to escape, yet I don't.
A couple weeks ago, I got so frazzled, that as soon as Eric as Eric came home, I hopped in the car, and drove to Dairy Queen, to drown my sorrows in a blizzard and all that rot. I got in the car, and this song was on, and as I'm driving down my street, the part came on, "Where will you go child? Tell me, where will you run, where will you run?"
I burst into tears. I don't want to run away. The mere thought of being away from my boys terrifies me. Where was I going to go? I can't get away from God. Nor do I want to. I don't want to run away. In fact the opposite, I want and Need to be closer to Him, but feel like my anger and stress has been pushing him further away. But He's there.

He's By My Side

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chick Fil-A

You all know how much I love Chick Fil-A. They keep coming up with all new reasons for me to love them, but this cracked me up!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Air Force Marathon, Part 3, The Kids had fun too!

I didn't think I'd get to write about all the things we did this weekend all tonight. But apparently Sam thinks that because he got 2 2-hour naps today, he doesn't need to bother with sleep tonight. Leaving Mommy plenty of time to post her pictures of our trip to Dayton for Daddy's Run in the Air Force Marathon. :)

After we sent Daddy off on his Marathon, we had a little time to kill, so walked back through the planes. I asked Chris what he wanted to do, go see planes or go to the museum. He was so sad, he just wanted to find Daddy, but it was going to be a while. I told him he could Touch the planes if he wanted to, so 'see the planes' won. Actually, when we pulled up to the first one, he was scared, so I said Go Touch the wheel. He did.

Obviously the plane didn't move. Once he realized it was safe and easy, the rest of them got much easier to visit. He liked touching the engine on this one.

And a propeller on another old plane.

Even Sam was interested in a close up view of the planes. It was shortly after this that Sam conked out for a power nap, until rudely awakened by the F-16 Fly Overs.

Both boys parked briefly in the path down which the runners run toward the finish line, the arch at the end of the planes. Then Chris spotted the park. I got my chance before the runners started piling in, by the time we made it up to the park, the first of the 10K runners were coming in.

There was no talking him out of it. He wanted to play at the park, and it was so cute, it was all themed like Air Force things and there were picnic tables and a couple trees for some shade. First there was the rocket he could climb into. It even had 'controls' to play with inside.

And there was a rockin' helicopter. Some of the big kids would stand on the ends and bend it back and forth, Chris thought that was cool.

He enjoyed the Slide. I liked the Air Force Museum hangars in the background and being able to get a good view of the runners from every angle of the park!

But his favorite by far were the swings. At first I had to take care of Sam, and Chris wanted to badly to swing. He went over and pushed an empty swing he wanted to so badly. He talked other parents into pushing him while they were pushing their children. I pushed him a couple times. Even Sam was tickled later when I had to push Chris with one arm while holding Sam in the other. Every time I'd push Chris, Sam would Giggle! Then both of them would be laughing. It was beautiful.

He did get some good Swinging Time in.

But even a sweetboy can't be sweet forever. He finally got Timed Out for trying to escape from me, and running right to the playground, even climbing up the slide. After I told him he was in Time Out. He was only allowed to stay in the stroller on at the picnic table with me for the last 45 minutes. He made friends with a couple kids, coloring with them. This boy can make friends Anywhere! He did a good job trying to be sweet though.

Oh, and Chris got to meet the Nestle Bunny!

The Air Force Marathon, Part 2, Flying Things

So we arrived at 6:30 in the morning for Eric's race. It was still dark out, and the sun rose as we were being bussed (no easy task withe all 4 of us AND the stroller, and a bazillion other people) from one end of Wright Patterson Air Force Base where we parked to the other where the race was.

As we were waiting in line for the restroom, (you know 10,000 people ALL gotta pee at the same time before the race begins), 2 parachuters jumped out of planes. One had a flag with the POW MIA-never forgotten flag, and the other the American Flag. They managed to land right by the Starting Line, applause broke out and it was awesome.

Even hearing the National Anthem performed by a young woman simply singing without fanfare or tiddly-poos and extra frufru was just beautiful.

Someone made the comment, "Even the geese are flying in formation."

There were a couple of old planes flying around, the first the parachuters jumped off of, then this fella went over us a couple times.

But the most powerful were the Fly-Overs. I had to ask someone what they were, they said F-16's. Two of them buzzed over just before the Marathon started. Both boys looked up, not sure if they should be scared or not. It shook everything on the ground, and those bad boys moved so fast they were long gone and didn't even show up on my first camera picture. They flew over again an hour later when the half marathon was starting, and I got to see the orange glow of their burners. . That woke Sam up from his sound sleep morning nap, his eyes pink and his hands shaking. That one scared the snot out of him! They came around a third time, but I don't think they used All the Juice, just Some, because this time I was able to keep it together enough for a picture.

Eric told me that as he was waiting for the run to start when the first Fly Over occurred, as everyone was ooo-ing and ahhh-ing, the guy next to him said, "That's the Sound of Freedom."


The Air Force Marathon, Part 1, What Daddy Did

Picture it: 5:30 in the morning, Daddy is up and ready to go. His first competitative Marathon run. He did a 'test run' a few weeks ago, ran 26.5 miles in 4 hours and 45 minutes. So he was pretty sure he could do it. Pretty sure.

Eric is getting ready to run! 10,000 people running in a 10K, 13.1 mile, and 26.2 mile races. Lots of folks milling about. Made for 30-40,000 people spread out all over. See the plane behind him, it's the Global Hawk. I guess you could call it the official plane of the U.S. Air Force Marathon Race. It was tiny compared to other planes out there. Tiny and awesome.

Eric and the Boys right before the race. See the plane behind him, it's harder to see the little black thing with all the people. I know some other people that are tiny and awesome!

Chris already misses Daddy. Just before he sets off he grabs Christopher's hand and gives it a squeeze. So sweet. Somebody is his Daddy's boy.

On your Mark, Get Set, GO!

While Eric was running, the boys and I had plans to go to the museum at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, but Chris was content to just check out the planes and play at the park. It was neat to see the uniformed menhelping out. 3 small groups ran the 10K in full gear, boots, giant backpacks and all. I got teary watching one group come in, cheering on 1 of their group, and his backpack was being carried by someone else. There were wheelchair racers too, and those guys were really booking it! Handicapped my a**! These runners, the patriotic group, it was all so inspirational!

3 hours 50 something minutes later. Who could it be? He was hard to spot running with other red shirted runners.

But it's Daddy!

We weren't at the finish line, we opted to be near the playground, where a. Chris could play, an b. I could see him coming, then easily move the boys in for a closer view.

Our Daddy, finishing his First Marathon! Still running! He even saw us, we were easy to spot he said in our bright yellow shirts! He Waved as he blew past, he still had some pretty good speed going for a man that had just run 26.2 miles!

See how he got to run down the path to the finish line with cool planes on either side of him. Pretty awesome! I got tear eyed once again as I watched him finish.

He crossed the Finish Line in 4 hours and 21 seconds. Super awesome!!!

And then he was Done! I was so proud of him. He had to sit down, but he had fun and he was happy. Someone told Eric that the Air Force and Disney mararthons have the prettiest medals. His medal was so pretty! It had a Global Hawk on it, and flags and jets on the ribbons, and it was heavy, but looked so good on him.

And Chris had a surprise for Daddy. A magnet for his car that reads 26.2. Because now Daddy is a Marathon Runner!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Telly Telly Tut

I have my husband to thank for getting that Sesame Street song, Telly Tut, stuck in my head.

Last night, Eric took me out for a date. To the Children's Museum. With no children!

The King Tut exhibit is in town, and they are running this thing, where they keep the museum open late for adults only! They are doing it next month too! Dinner and Cocktails available, it said! It sounded like the perfect date to me. Chris and I went to see the King Tut exhibit when it was in Chicago, but Eric couldn't go. And they didn't let me take the diaper bag or stroller in, in Chicago, so Chris made it through 2/3 before fully melting down, so I missed the grand finale, which was a CT scan of the sarcophagus. I was really hoping to catch it when it's here.

So Eric took me.

As we're pulling out of my friend Melissa's driveway, where we left the boys, he turns to me, "I've had the Telly Tut song stuck in my head all day."

Here's what I learned. When they say it will take an hour and a half, they aren't kidding. They said that it would take long, so Eric and I opted to not Eat or Drink first but to see the exhibit first instead. It was eerily cool being there without being swamped by little ones, without having to push or dodge strollers. So quiet, and peaceful. I couldn't help but giggle like I was doing something sneaky. By the time we got out they were cleaning up the nice buffet, and the staff was eating at the nice black cloth covered tables with tiny oil candles on them, located in that open space by the water clock. (I must confess I was bummed I didn't a chance to sample a Tut-tini.) It wasn't all King Tut either. A good half the exhibit was other pharoahs goodies besides King Tut's. It was neat! The gold jewelry was cool! It was Not the same exhibit that we saw in Chicago. Different stuff, including Tut's Solid Gold Sandals that he was buried in, and that picture that looks like it would be his life size sarcophagus that is all over town. Really it's from a jar the size of my forearm that used to hold his stomach. If you go and you are expecting to see some Mummy, you'll be disappointed. But if you go, and just want to see some cool Ancient Egyptian goodies, you'll enjoy!

I used to wish that if I could go back in time, I'd go see Mt. St. Helens explode, or to be there when Carter found Tut's tomb. I still really think that would be cool.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trying New Things

So, I'm getting out. I've been feeling puny for so long, and now that we've gotten back into a routine with school and whatnot, it's nice to get back into a groove. Chris is back into both schools, his church preschool started up again last week. And our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups is back in refreshing! Eric and I have ventured out a couple times, a datenight or two. We've tried a couple new restaurants in the area and I've even started reading a new book series, but I'll write about that another time.

Monday I visited a new group, Moms of Miracle Babies, at Connection Pointe church, which is this giant beast of a church here in town. There were half a dozen women there, their kids were in school or went into 'child care'. But I was unprepared to pay for that, so Chris and Sam stayed with me. Chris ran wild, but eventually made friends with the other girl there. I wasn't sure what to expect, and honestly a bit nervous about walking into a room full of women I didn't know. Maybe I thought it would be more of a group of kids that had had a bumpy start, happy ever after stories. Infertility maybe? That's what I think of when I think of My Miracle Kid! I used to be painfully shy, but college and Chris have taught me to be so much more outgoing, and now I've lost all modesty. :) But I think that's a good thing, let's all share what we've been through, so we can learn from each other! And that was what this group was about. Most of our discussions were related to being parents special needs kids, talking doctors, and recommendations for this and that.

Once again, God shows me just how BLESSED I am. Chris has had problems, but boy howdy they could be worse. A lot worse. I don't have to deal with Medicaid, and Chris's problems have more or less all been fixable.

So Blessed.

I got some suggestions from some of the other moms, on dealing with the schools and we gossiped about doctors. It was cool. Unfortunately, they are planning on moving the group to night time, and well, Mommy has become less and less of a social night person. We're not much good after 7. Frankly if it's not centered around a meal, I just won't leave the house in the evening. It's not worth the stress...the boys, or mine.

Then today, I tried another group there, Mom 2 Mom. That was cool. It was more like my MOPS group, but little less focus on being a better Mom, but with more focus on a Bible Study type book they are reading...more being a better Christian (and being a Mom too). It was cool! I'm going back.

I've been frustrated lately that my husband and friends are all doing things, getting out Without Kids, doing stuff for themselves, Why Can't I? I thought that signing up for so many Mom groups, or playdates or being so social was crazy, but I find that doing these things gives me a great opportunity to better myself. So, I'm starting, I'm getting out, and trying new things. And if I'm a better Me, I can be a better Mom.

Friday, September 11, 2009

So where were you?

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was asleep. These were the blissful days after 6 months after we'd moved back home from living in Los Angeles. Eric's company had given him a nice raise to move there, so nice I didn't have to work when we came home. I was trying to get pregnant, not knowing that this was only 6 months into a 4 year struggle.
As I said, I was asleep, when a teacher friend of mine called, it was like 8:40 something, I remember thinking who would call at this hour, Eric's coworkers were all in LA time. I groggily picked up the phone. She asked, "Doesn't you grandfather work in the pentagon?" Yes, I said. (Again, WHO in their right mind would call at this hour to ask that?) "Well, they're bombing it", she said.
That woke me up, didn't even know who 'they' was. Eric, working from home in the other room, got up and we watched as the second tower was hit, and then as they went down.

There was little pentagon coverage, and that's realy what we wanted too see. I had a girlfriend, a student, living across the river at the time, she sent a mass email, to let us know she was safe, she'd been asleep, awakened by an earthquake. We later learned (7 pm that night when phones were going again) that it turned out my 87 y.o grandfather (The Colonel who'd been through 3 wars) was indeed working therethat day. He felt it hit, took a look around, and decided work wasn't getting done any more that day, so he checked in, high tailed it out, on The Last train out of Arlington, before they shut it all down.

I was supposed to be at my Mom's by 12 for the man to come do something, carpets maybe. I was driving to Carmel when the Pennsylvania one hit. He called, wanted to come early, so he did. I wanted him to, also because I wanted to go give blood. But by the time I could go, they were reporting on the local news that those places were overloaded and swamped with wannabe donors, effectively telling me not to go.
I meant to go back later, but got distracted when days later, Eric's company took a nose dive, and I had to get a job Fast, as did so many heavily stock invested tech companies.

I remember being outside later, thinking the sky had never been so quiet and so blue, and so empty.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Guess Which?

Which brother is which?



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I drove today

Back in the day, when I first enrolled in Driver's Ed, I was nervous. Very nervous. My Mom had let me drive all of once, tootling through the Penney's parking lot late one Sunday evening, when it was all but empty. Anyway, I had studied the 'material' for Driver's Ed, and now came my big chance, the Driving Lesson. In a real car. A chevy something boxy. I was terrified. I got in the car, did just fine, drove around 1 square mile in Carmel, for 20 minutes. (It took me 10 just to get out of the parking lot you know) Then went home.

I had to take a nap.

I was EXHAUSTED when my mother came home from work. I hadn't turned any lights on, it was nearly dark, and I was Out Cold on the couch....unusual for me at the time. She was all appalled, "What's a matter with you?"

"I Drove Today."

She burst into hysterical laughter, and has never let me forget it. She thought I was So Funny, because here she was driving everywhere every day, and all I did was drive around town, a block maybe. But I had been such a tremendous bundle of nerves, I was pooped when all was said and done.

Sometimes though, I find that Driving trips can just be exhausting.

Back to the present, I've been pretty out of commission from driving for the last week. With this 'rocks in my ears off' problem I've been having the last week or so, I've been very apprehensive about driving. Actually, I only drove to Bob Evans last week, across town, and I regretted it. So I didn't drive anymore for the rest of the week. We cancelled our trip to go camping this weekend, because a. I could barely stomach a ride across town, I was NOT going to do well going 3 hours. b. If Sam let the trip only take 3 hours, and c. the Uncs had not gotten an electrical campsite, so they were going to do primitive camping....not me or the boys was going to do well with that.
My neck is getting better, back and neck pain I have been quite familiar with, so I am pretty good at coping. Really I forget that I have it until I try to do something like turn to hand something to a child in the back seat.
So, Eric did all the driving this weekend. We made it to the west side of town. We went to Chick Fil-A, and though I had some waves of queasiness, I didn't actually yak. Though that could be the magical properties of the Chick Fil-A peach milkshake also.
Today, I drove Chris to preschool. Daddy came too, but we drove separately, since Chris was going to be coming home, and Daddy was headed to work. We had an early lunch/brunch sort of thing, because it was the first day at St. Andrew's and it was an open house. Then we came home. Daddy didn't make it home in time to get us to Gymnastics, so I Drove to that too. THEN it was Mom's Night Out, a rare but wondrous opportunity to get out with some Mom Friends of mine, sans kids. Well, Eric and I made a deal. I get to go IF I took Sam, and he could take Chris to bell choir practice. Chris loves bell choir practice (or rather they love him). Anyway, I drove all over today. And although I'm not nearly debilitated as I was last week, I still have been having some waves of nausea. I find if I eat or drink upon destination arrival, that can help. It also may make me more nauseous, some things sit better than others...(ie chick fil-a milkshake sat very well).

Anyway, now I'm tired, really tired...because...
I drove today.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes words just can't describe.

But please try.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Have you been having trouble leaving comments on me or the boys' blogs? I have been getting error messages. So I tried plowing through it. I hit the Post comment button. I get an error message. But I push Post Comment AGAIN.
Then I get a spot with more error, asking me to put in the code word. I type it, again with the Post Comment button. And sometimes I have to push the whole thing again, but it works.
So if you having technical difficulties, please push on through.

Boy that sounds deep.