Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Happy Leap Day!

We had a gorgeous weather day. High 70s, no one needed coats, bathing seemed a good idea for all, since we're feeling a bit better. So Parent of the Year let the kids play outside for a few minutes afterschool, rather than do homework.

Good day for it.

A really crappy day


I had a really nasty day yesterday. The kind that makes you want to just go home and go to bed. I was not really fit for people. I have been fighting a sore throat for the last 5 days. Yesterday I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep, but wasn't really coherent enough to think to make productive use of that time. Sam woke up crying at 6, when I went in, he told me to sleep with him. So I curled up with him, but I couldn't sleep. I just watched him. He likes to be touched but not held, close but not too close. He's funny like that. But we snuggled. Then Chris got up and snuggled with me. I didn't want to get ready and go through the day, it was very mechanical. That should have been my clue. If I'm not looking forward to running and chilling at Starbucks while kids are in school I must be sick. I didn't want anything to do with swallowing, or food. It didn't taste good. It hurt like hell to swallow, and it wasn't on the schedule to be sick. We're pretty set in our routines now. Granted we have flexibility in things like what's for lunch, but squeezing in an impromptu doctor visit just doesn't work unless it's Thursday, maybe Monday. But that's about it. See? Too busy. Too crazy. Anyway, they squeezed me in 4. But in the mean time, I kept getting stupider and stupider. Another sign. I was driving, and I almost drove past the Costco gas station I wanted to hit before the gas rose again. I did catch it for $3.63, when everywhere else is at 3.85. (What is up with that, that $3.63 is cheap?!) Anyway, by 2 p.m. I had tried unsuccessfully for an hour to nap, and was practically in tears. Eric had kindly agreed to come home and watch the kids so I could see the doctor without them, Bless Him. But he had a sore throat. I asked if he could skip bell choir (he directs) so I could just come home and go to bed. I was So Tired. All I wanted to do was sleep, and couldn't get comfortable. My head hurt so fierce any pillow pressure was not good. Don't get me started on the nasal drainage, or trying to swallow. Swallowing would wake me up, it hurt so bad.

So it was no surprise when Dr. C took a peek in my throat and said, That's Disgusting! I know, that's why I was there. My throat did not look like the little model in the picture. See this pic, the little sideways mouth? Not what mine looked like.

I had a fever too. He did a strep test, turns out I'm positive. So yeah, Strep. So I swing through and picked up our drugs. And I felt like ass. And when Eric came home, his sore throat started yesterday too, but I was way to mean and intolerant, I didn't want to hear it. I was so over all the suffering. We were a couple of hot messes. I heated up soup for dinner, that no one ate.

But I got a phone call in the parking lot of the doctor's, that had kind of changed things. Fina's vet called with the results of her biopsy. And it is cancer.

It's a Mast Cell Tumor, and it has spread. She had that tumor removed from her tail stub in December, and we thought we got it. But at the same time she was having a weird rash on her feet. We thought it was allergies, so we started her on antihistamines. Outdoor allergens didn't totally die out this winter, so we thought it was that. But it wasn't. So we put her on antibiotics too. And tried changing her diet, she was on an all salmon expensive dog food diet. But it just got worse. Now they are big, smelly, raw, bleeding, and all over every foot. So we took her to a doggie dermatologist has confirmed cancer. And it's not a cancer that responds well to chemo. So put her on prednisone, and a new antibiotic, and a narcotic for Comfort.
Until she cues us that she's ready to Go, which he says should be a matter of weeks, 4 months at the absolute maximum. Since we're having some smell, it's pretty bad off already. In the mean time, she's pretty happy today, she's feeling a bit better, the new drug cocktail seems to take the edge off. She even ran around enough to pant. And she's sleeping better. And oh, to be getting the boys leftover waffle bits! I don't care if she's sharking around the breakfast table. So this morning, Fina got Sam's leftover bit of waffles. And I asked her, if she'd like syrup with that?

Why yes, yes she would.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Nice Day


We had sunshine. All day long. By noon, I was itching to go enjoy the outdoors. But we had a boy to lunch and nap, another boy at school, homework, a flush. I am available about 6. And so, at 6, Eric came home and commenced grilling dinner. Some scrumptious Kabobs from our Freezer Cooking group.

Oh my.

In the mean time, the boys and I broke the purple car out.

We took a walk around the block as the sun down.

A lovely day.

Writing Curtsy


On the way home from our Financial Peace class last night, I swear Christopher told us, "Mommy I know how to write Curtsy." I said, no boys don't curtsy, they bow.

You mean to write cursive? Yes, he did. He said he could write his name with the letters connected. He learned in the nursery, my guess is his two elder cousins, my nieces (ages 10 and 7) showed him. Wow, I have got to check that out.

So when he got home last night, we had him show us.

The finished product:

By gum, he can write curtsy or cursive even! So Proud.


I know that Lent should remind us of the Suffering and all, but I must confess, I'm an really enjoying what Eric and I gave up and took on for Lent. I gave up Fast Food, and cut my Starbucks, adding in some sort of Movement every day. Although most of those days that means I'm just doing the therapy exercises for my neck and shoulder blades homework that my chiropractor gave me, but they are doing a great job of preventing another major shoulder/neck spasm like the one of a week and a half ago. So I eat at home more. Not much wrong with that. Meanwhile, Eric has added the challenge of not 'Breaking the Chain', which is something that Seinfeld came up with, just commit to doing a bit a day. In Eric's case, something for the house every day. He has been getting overwhelmed by the time requirements of house projects, and he still feels like ass. He just doesn't have 8 good hours to fix the garage. But he's begun giving it a bit of time, in 1 week he got all three garage bay doors finally working! Yes, we've been here 8 months, and at any time, anyone could've waltzed right in through the garage. So Garage doors - Check!
This weekend, he took it upon himself to do a little Freezer cooking. He's been enjoying helping me out with my freezer cooking this week, for one big week of cooking, we create enough food to last us a good few weeks. It's Great!

So this month, Eric made his famous Barbecue Chicken Pizza.
It was an experiment to see if they froze. He used boboli crusts, made his famous barbecue hoisin sauce. And added carmelized onions, corn, and chicken, topping with gouda cheese. He hasn't made these in years, siting it's a lot of work for one pizza, but maybe making more of them would make it more worth the while.

Um, Yeah. He made 6 of them, but we decided we needed to see if they froze ok. You know, for Science. They did. They turned out SO GOOD. I've forgotten what a wonderful chef my husband is. Yum. Highlight of my day. It seems we have 2 types of days, Super Busy or Super Lazy. We sat around in our jammies all day on Saturday, while Eric puttered around the kitchen.

Lazy Day.


From my Valentine's bouquet:

Surprisingly, they haven't died. Even though some are starting to fall apart when I touch them, this one just opened up.

Broke out the macro lens. :)

But sometimes I don't need it. I love these flowers, almost as much, if not more than orchids. Just a hint of blue, amidst the purples, and lavenders.

Lavender blue, dilly dilly....

So lovely!

Crazy Clouds


Driving home from picking Christopher from school on Thursday, the sky started getting all crazy. There were some storms to the north of us, but all we got were three flurries, but there for a while it looked like more than that.

Coming over the bridge into town.

Like oceans of clouds. It was weird. Crazy weird.

This was the view above our house.

Very Cool.

Don't Get Sucked In


She's always been Cute. But it's really getting tricky putting up with her, with the Cone. On Monday we bought her a Cone of Shame so she wouldn't chew on her toes. She dislikes it. Greatly. And she's downright Pitiful.
She tries to slither between the table and chairs. And she gets stuck. Eric pulls the chair out, and she takes three steps forward bonking into the steps. She freezes again. It's really kind of sad. When she's coned, she is pitiful. But don't get sucked in. She blams into everything. She opens cabinet doors catching the handles. Her maddest skill is following me Everywhere, and blamming into me with the cone. I get clotheslined as the top of the cone catches me in the back of the knee, and the bottom of the cone gets me in the ankle, clipping the achilles. She can take people down with this Cone! It's kind of making me crazy. But it makes me have less pity on her. Perhaps she's preparing us, you know, for the end.

On the up side, her feet aren't bleeding as much. So it's good. She's still pretty sad though. I hope we get our answer soon. I called the vet on Friday, and they still didn't have the pathology back on her biopsy. The wound looks better, now it's the other foot that's nasty. I would like to get back to letting her eat whatever she wants. We went grain-free suspecting allergies. But if it's cancer, I want to be able to give the poor girl a waffle, and maybe say Fina, would you like syrup with that? Girl deserves a waffle.

I hate waiting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fat Tuesday


How is it we got to the beginning of Lent again? It seems to have snuck up on me. Yesterday I started my fat Tuesday celebrations having my plumbing checked. The good news is I won't need surgery for endometriosis, looks like I ruptured a cyst, the bad news I did not feel like exercising, but wanted to drown my sorrows at Starbucks.

So we went and cashed in some free drink coupons from Starbucks. (At least I didn't spend money, Dave Ramsey.) Got the biggest wickedest thing I could: Raspberry White Mocha Frappuccino. Nice. Then we snagged the kids from preschool and got Big Macs for lunch. Oh Yeah.
But it made me feel bloaty and gross. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who made hamballs for dinner with rice and peas pilaf. So Good.

I love food.

But food and I don't have the healthiest of relationships. Or rather it's I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm sad. I go out and spend money on food when I'm stressed. I'm stressed because I'm bloaty, fat, and broke. It's a rather vicious cycle.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, we try to give up some vice. I can't give up food. But I need to give up being stupid about it. Sometimes we take something on. I think I'm going to take on exercising again. I've been lax to say the least, i don't feel like it, so I don't. At the very least I could go for a walk, yet I don't. I'm going to. I'm tired of feeling like the Bloat Princess, and I need to get my butt in gear. So I'll be giving up fast food, and taking on daily exercise. Something every day, even if it's just a shoulder rolls and a jog to the mailbox. Maybe that'll help. Wish me luck. Maybe next year I'll celebrat Mardi Gras instead of Fat Tuesday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Cone of Shame


Couldn't believe when I saw this Seraphina page on the MyMemories software by CatDesignz, I had to get it right away this weekend for my Seraphina. Our dog Fina, her full name is Seraphina, and she's been having a rough go the last few weeks. She had some cysts removed back in early December, and one of them was confirmed as a Mast Cell Tumor, it came from her tail stub. We keep saying she's got stub cancer. She's 13 1/2. She's had this rash on her feet. It started with these little lumps, but they got bigger, more red and raw. On bad days, she'll leave bloody footprints all over the floor. With our fabulous vet, we've tried a bunch of things, we tried two different antibiotics, an antihistamine, trying different diet, she's now eating grain-free salmon fancydog food.

But it wasn't working.

So Dr. Dan hooked us up with an even more fancy Doggie Dermatologist. Who knew they even had them? Not me. But boy that guy was expensive. Expensive to walk in the door, and then, he wanted to do some testing too!
So he did a slide of a gooey footprint, and threw it under a microscope. He said he said he didn't see neutrophiles, which he would expect with an infection like this, but he saw leukocytes, which are apparently more common with tumors. He was debating between a biopsy and a needle aspiration for the next step, but when I told him how Dr. Dan had already done that, and hadn't gotten much for his cell culture, he'd to swizzle in the wound with the q-tip, which didn't seem to hurt Fina a lot, but it hurt me just to watch. Fina was calm and simply less than festive.
I was leaning more towards the biopsy. Then he told me how sometimes mast cell tumors, when cut release a lot of hystamine, so he prefers to have them on the table. They were even able to do it same day. That clenched it. So I left Fina there for a little mini-surgery, another sort of Fina spa day. They even trimmed her nails.
There were two sorts of cancers he was leaning towards, 1 the mast cell, 2, I can't remember the name of the second one, lymphocytoma maybe? That can manifest in tumorous lesions. Neither respond very well to chemo. He says we should have the results next week.
She's 13 1/2. It's time for us to theoretically start thinking how far we want to go. I'm not thinking that way.

I am thinking about the about possible cancerous tumors on her feet and their rotting putrescence. She just had the biopsy on Friday, and when she chewed through the bandage this morning while I was at the chiropractor, I had to cut the rest off. She starting bleeding all over the house, I had to run to the nearest vet buy her a Cone of Shame. She hates it. But the feet weren't as nasty when we came home. She gets a very round head, and is afraid to go up or down stairs, or through any doorway. She just has no concept of how big it is. Poor Fina is having a really bad day, but she's her ever wonderful self.

If any dog deserved her own scrappage, it is Fina.

A Lesson Learned


You know how I said that this weekend, we were being super lazy? We were.
Flush free Friday for Chris, enhanced by the Brown Bonanza, his elementary school carnival. The boys went with Daddy for a fabulous evening out, while I had wine and whatnot at a friend's House Hunters House Party. Good Times.

So Saturday, no one felt like doing anything. Well, but sleeping. All of us napped. We had friends for dinner. More good times.

Yesterday morning, Christopher crawled into my bed, "My Tummy Hurts". Oh, yes, well, you need a flush this morning, before church, because we were tremendous slackers and didn't give you one yesterday or Friday. We've pushed the two day limit before, but we can't go much beyond that.

He didn't want a Flush.

He commenced to flipping out, and you can just imagine how well that went over at 8 a.m. We put him on the toilet, where he continued to scream and cry. I could tell by his furrowed brows that he was in pain. But when I offered him drugs, he refused. He cried and cried, and the next thing I know he was puking.


So he stayed home, and he was fair dinkum miserable most of the day. He just wanted to be cuddled, and he was pale. I know he was hurting. And I was hurting because it was all my fault. Eric said, he just didn't eat and drink enough yesterday to keep things moving. But he never eats much, just picks and pokes all day. He told us he didn't want or need a nap, he wanted to lay down in the playroom. 5 minutes later he was asleep. I don't think he slept well the night before. And he was pale, with no appetite for most of the day.

So we did a second flush. Made him angry. But it made him feel better.

He ate dinner. He watched tv. He made us crazy, and got timeouts.

It's a strange thing, how brief the recovery with the MACE. It took us years to realize that every January we ended up in the ER with Chris for constipation. Once we did, we were more diligent in the winter. With the MACE, somehow it didn't occur to me to put Winter as an added factor. Maybe he just doesn't drink enough water in winter or something. But I'm so Thankful that we had a full turnaround in 24 hours. You know how it has been rough, and when he gets knocked down, he's out of commission for a week. So Yes, it was a Lesson Learned. I can't let him go flush free 2 days in the winter. But on the other hand. Going from puking pain to annoying in 12 hours without having to do an enema (the mace flushes are kind of like an enema, but without the rear entry, and I know Chris is very grateful for that technicality)or go to the hospital was worth it.



I'd like to say I'm feeling fabulous, but this weekend was spent pretty much taking it easy. A state of recovery, from the carnage of the week. Nothing Fancy. Because I didn't feel like it. And neither did Eric. And neither Fina. We just wanted to chill.

However, we had planned on having friends come over for dinner on Saturday. I didn't want to cancel. I had been wanting this playdate for the whole family for a while, just hadn't scheduled it forever. And I didn't want to cancel. So I pulled a freezer cooking meal, and had Eric prepare some kid friendly sides. Bless Him, he's so wonderful. The boys and I napped and it was very casual. Except for the China dishes. The grownups ate with the china.

I find it so great to be able to break out our wedding china when we have company. Frankly, it is special enough when we have company to eat on the good dishes. And after having them boxed up for 13 years, it does my heart so much good to let them see the light of day. Of course the kids aren't allowed to eat on them. The kids sat in the kitchen at the kids table. I really adore having a kids table. We actually got to TALK with our friends. Mighty refreshing!

And the kids had a great time playing, and so did we. And I didn't even care that there was strawberry soup everywhere, and Sam had macaroni cheese in his hair.

Nor did I care that they had upended toys and light brites all over our closet.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring Creeps


Pretty eh? It's just a simple tree next to where I park to wait on Christopher after school. Beginning to bloom.


It was gorgeous weather yesterday, no coats necessary, and windows cracked, in the low 50s. This is the February weather I love.

I just wish I felt like enjoying it. After going to my chiropractor for the last two days, I'm still feeling pretty cruddy. I've been taking my anti-vert a couple times a day, naptime and bedtime, which helps with the dizzy queasy and takes the edge off the pain. But I'm still a bit of a hot mess. So is Eric. So is Fina. We all fit well together.

Friday, February 17, 2012



I still feel cruddy, my back still hurts, and my neck and shoulders kill. In fact, it's getting so annoying, that what started out as mildly annoying, is now interfering with complete thoughts. I went to my chiro yesterday, and cried like a baby as he adjusted me. But I felt a bit better. Still pretty dizzy and queasy. I don't want to eat, but am because if I don't, I get the shakes. So I tried out the vertigo drugs, in case that's what's acting up. They helped a bit. The problem is I'm really stiff and sore, and when I move it shoots. But Not Moving isn't good either.

I think this Tweak is going to take a while before it really gets better. In the mean time, enjoy these pretties. I am. Much better to dwell on pretties than on the pain.

I was able to get an additional few better pictures of my Valentine's rose bouquet yesterday.

I love these alstromeria, don't you just love that hint of blue on the pollen?!

But the red velvety roses get me.


Just Beautiful.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Seeing Red


This morning, we had a great start as Eric broke out the new Griddler he got me, with the bonus waffle making plates, and made chocolate chip waffles for us. They were so good! Wickedly sinful and quite filling. But of course all was not perfect, having such a decadent breakfast made us a little late this morning, and while he was cooking, he set off the smoke alarm while Christopher while Christopher was buck naked. Chris freaked out, I freaked out. And my already sore neck went a little crazy, and the pain just didn't leave all day, even with a chiropractic adjustment. Eric and I had a date night, the kids went to the church Valentine's Day party, and we went to Applebee's. Even alcohol didn't take the neck pain away... I just didn't care as much. ;)

Eric got me the most beautiful bouquet for Valentine's Day. Deep red roses and purple alstromeria and some daisy cousins. I've been trying and trying to capture them on film, but just having no luck. Too much yellow coming from the overhead lights, and not enough sun outside. Bleh.

On the up side, while I was trying fruitlessly trying to capture the brilliant dark red velvet of the roses, Sam says, "Take My Picture!" So I turned, and did.

Best pic of the day. Day redeemed!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's all about the Sweets


Happy Valentine's Day!

Today was a wonderful day. I know there's a lot of folks out there that don't buy into all the hubbub, that say this is a Hallmark Holiday, made up for the spending of money. Sure, that's True.

But it's also a time that forces people, like me, to Stop. To Stop and treasure who or what they love. And I love my boys. And on days like this, we remember to show that, rather than just say it. It means more, it's not just out of reflex or something, it's taking charge of that love, and sharing it.

And in spite of being schnookered into this 'holiday', it makes me feel good to show my love for others, and to get love in return. We've been studying the 5 Love Languages for Children in a bible study that I'm doing. They are: Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Deeds, Physical Touch, and Quality Time. From what I'm able to get out of it, we fill up their Love bucket by dipping into all of the languages, but most especially their strongest languages. If we all have full love buckets (my term not theirs) it's easier to live, to handle relationships, cope in daily life etc. I am a Gifts sort of girl. So holidays that involve giving, well, they make me feel loved, and I tend to go a bit crazy for the people I love. Christopher is a Quality Time and Physical Touch kid. So, for example, we start every morning we start off the day with Snuggles. Technically, we're not supposed to be able to tell until they are 5, but so far Sam seems to go for Words of Affirmation. I can't even tell you how many times, I get "I love you Mommy." or "Mommy I love you." when I'm trying to get Sam to do something. I always respond that I love him too, but he still needs to put his shoes on. Or he'll start the I love you vs. I love you More contest.
It's usually a draw.

Anyway, the boys were on Extra Adorable duty today, as they presented me with their present to me. A Blanket that says, "Snuggling with my Sweetboys." It's a blanket with Chris and Sam's faces, Eric said Chris picked out the picture. And when I put it on the floor to take a picture, Sam jumped on and said This is Me!

The boys loved their slap bracelet watches from us too.

But they were adorable as we sent them off to school for their respective Valentine parties.

Sam's school first, and Chris's school in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Mommy got to play with her bestie, and we hit up the Starbucks for pink drinks. ;) Raspberry White Mocha for me, and Raspberry Cocoa for Kathleen. Yum Yum!

After schools we joined up for a joint V-day celebration, with heart shaped pizza at Monical's, and their cheese bread, which I swear I think they put crack in the crusts.

But it has just been a wonderful day, we got to spend it with our loved ones, and had a great time, and probably had a bit more Red Dye 40 than we should. If anything, this holiday makes it clear, we're all a little sensitive to it. But even with the crazy, our sweeties were still plenty sweet.

Watch out for the Red, especially these little Red Devils. ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bubble Fett


I can't make this stuff up.

I thought this picture would be the sort of thing to get shared around the world because it's just so darn hysterical. And this one is my proof that the boys created Bubble Fett. When I said it, they giggled so madly, that may be his name forever more.



Yesterday, we had a great opportunity. We were having delayed celebration of my brother in law and sister in laws birthdays. I volunteered to bring something sweet. I thought I'd make a cake. But a. I didn't have the mix, and b. a good birthday cake has food coloring in it, and we're off the colors for a while.

I settled on chocolate. In brownie form.

And I had two very happy helpers eager to help me prepare them yesterday morning.

Aren't they just the sweetest?!

They shared the job of making the brownies. And as is tradition, one MUST taste to make sure the batter is good enough to serve.

It was. ;)

The boys went to town as we gave Sam the spatula and Chris the bowl. I guess I can't ever have more kids, how would be split up the cooking utensils?!

My favorite. Sam's like, what you talkin' 'bout Daddy, you Not washing my spatula. I can't even begin to write down what Sam was calling the spatula, but it was toddler-ese. And hysterical.

I cut the brownies into heart shapes when they were cool, and we served them up. But as you can imagine there weren't many left. And the orts made a fine breakfast. ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Classic Sweetness


The boys were in great moods today. Content to stay in their jammies, they played sweetly for most of the day. With hardly any screaming all day, they eagerly hopped in the car to go to Grandma's house so Daddy and I could have a date night. As soon as we arrived, the boys got to spinning in one of Grandma's recliner. They weren't still, but it was pure brotherly love. So I had to take pictures.

I am so Blessed.