Thursday, July 31, 2008

Now I will reward myself with some of that chocolate

First, I can't think of anything to write about. Then, I'm all over the internet yappin' away.

Today I'm blogging at not one, but two blogs other than my own. First up, I'm over at the New England Mamas talking about my own secret place to get the best homemade chocolates (Mmm, homemade chocolate. Mmm...) and then I'm over at my friend Sarah's blog pinch hitting for her while she's off having an actual vacation. Damn her.

And for all my New England readers, don't forget we're having a contest at the NE Mamas. Share with us your secret spaces or hidden gems and you just might win something. Uh huh. That's right. Spill it.

After I rest up from all this writing business, I'll start working on your questions. You're waiting with baited breath, I can tell.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cancer, Cancer. Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when it comes for you?

I've had this post kicking around for a couple of weeks, but with Lisa's news yesterday this seems like a good time to post this.


When I was pregnant with C.C. I had an appointment with a genetic counselor because, in the prime of my life at age 35, I was classified as a woman of "advanced maternal age" and I hadn't yet decided if I wanted to go through amniocentesis.

There was nothing in my or Mr. C's family history that caused any alarm for our yet unborn baby but while mapping out my family history red flags popped up for me. A bunch of red flags. Big, crimson ones that didn't have any cute welcomes beckoning to me like "Eat Here. Early bird specials, including dessert, starting at just $7.99", "Half price apps. after 7pm", not even my favorite "Half price drink specials Tues. and Weds." or "99 cent draughts". Just scary red flags with the word "Cancer" written on them in big block letters.

My mother died of colon cancer four years ago. My grandmother, my mother's mother, died of ovarian cancer, a related form of disease, last year. And years ago my Gram's half sister died from breast cancer, a cancer related to ovarian. It was like following a daisy chain. Unfortunately, I'm the half hitch and from the looks of things I'm barely hanging on. One tug and the whole thing will let go, metaphorically speaking.

Metaphors make the cancer easier to take, didn't you know? Follow the yellow brick cancer trail! Follow the yellow brick cancer trail! Follow, follow, follow, follow...

I had my own brush with cancer ten years ago. I had an aggressive form of the HPV virus and within a year I went from clean pap smears to Oh my CHRIST. Get thee to a doctor NOW or you'll get THE CANCER.

I was treated. Cells were removed. My feet were in the stirrups more times than I'd like to remember but everything worked out fine. Unfortunately, this diagnosis coincided with my mom finding out her cancer was progressing faster than had hoped and major surgery had just been scheduled for her. It was a dark time in my life.

My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was just 44 years old and since there is a genetic link, doctors told my sister and me that we would have to start being tested when we reached the age of 35, or roughly ten years before the age my mother was diagnosed. Let me tell you, I'm not looking forward to some physician I don't know shoving a camera up my butt to have a look see but I'm going to do it. I have to.

But before then I have another appointment with a genetic counselor in September. We'll chat, maybe talk about the good old days when my mom's insides were being ravaged by cancer and about my grandmother who refused to be tested even though her oldest daughter died a horrible death at a ridiculously young age.

I'm not sure but if you research my last name you may find it's English for "Ostrich who sticks his head in the sand because if you don't know bad things are coming then they'll just go away. LA LA LA LA LA".

After that, who knows? Maybe they'll recommend genetic testing to determine if I'm, in fact, predisposed for the big C. And that, my friends, scares the beejebus out of me.

I'll get tested. I'll go every year if I need to. I'll drink that vile liquid that will clean my insides out better than Roto Router on a clogged toilet (Oh the symbolism!). I'll bitch to my doctor that I will not have any of those other tests that are only good about 10% of the time and just put on the pith helmet already and grab your pick ax because it's time to go SPEELUNKING! I'll fight with insurance companies who probably don't want to pay for this procedure for someone my age. I'll do all of that...

But do I really want to know, really, truly know, that the damn cancer is coming to get me? Would you? How much information is too much? If you were me, would you take a cue from my dear, ostrich-like grandmother and not want to know anything or would you face it head on?

Ha! I scoff in the face of cancer! HA HA HA H... *cough* *gag* *whimper*

Would you willingly get a test that would tell you as definitively as possible that if the screenings fail (which they don't usually) you'll end up with this disease? And if you did, what would you do with the information?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I may be a heathen but I know when someone needs my prayers

Whether or not you are familiar with Midwestern Mommy, please go to her blog and leave her a comment or send her an email with your thoughts and prayers. She just found out she has cancer - either colon or lymphoma, she wasn't sure at time of posting - and though she's trying to put on a brave face, joking about the inevitable weight loss, she desperately needs your best wishes.

And please, even if you're not a church goer, say a prayer for her family as well, especially her beloved husband and her adorable little boy (and hell, for her dog too!). They need all the support they can get during this difficult time.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ask me a question and I'll tell you no lies. Unless you want me to.

Oh hey, lookie here. I've got a blog. I should probably write something, eh?


This is the first time in my blogging career (and I use that term VERY loosely) that I've been at a total loss for words. Maybe it's because I missed Blogher this year. Or it might have something to do with that new baby of mine. Or maybe it's all the energy that is required of me to keep watch over my two children. Because you never know when Chicky will try to love C.C. so much that her little head pops right off.

I know this is lame, and I know I've done it before, but I need a small push to keep writing. So ask me anything and I'll be as honest as I possibly can. Any questions you've ever had about me just ask away. I'm an open book. Want to know about me in high school? Anything about my childhood? Musical preferences? Embarrassing stories (be specific please)? Favorite sexual position?

Okay, scratch that last one. I don't want to bore you all to death.

I need ideas or this blog will slip away from me while I'm busy trying not to duct tape Chicky to the wall.

So, what do you want to know about me? Anyone? Bueller?

Ooh, ooh! I've got a question. Can you come over here and wipe my butt?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

She's got the whole world in her hands

With both my mom and my grandmother gone I don't have too many people left to remark on how my kids may look like me or like someone else in my family. It would be nice to have someone who can say with some authority that Chicky has my nose or Caroline has my eyes. My aunts were both pretty young when I was born and my Dad is just not one of those people who remembers those types of things, especially when there are much more important things to remember. Like Frank Zappa lyrics. My mother in law is always quick to compare Chicky or C.C. to people in her family or my father in law's clan but always seems to forget that I did have a part in creating these children and they did not spontaneously appear from a drop of her son's sperm. I'm not looking for an award but a little credit would be nice.

When she was a baby I always thought Chicky looked a great deal like Mr. C. Random people, nice old ladies especially, like to stop me in stores to let me know that she's the spitting image of me but I don't see it. When C.C. was born, though I saw a great deal of my husband in her, I knew immediately that this child was going to take after the women in my family, my sister, mother and grandmother especially. She really reminds me of my mom. So much so, in fact, that while counting her fingers and her toes I took note of her fingernails, her long nail beds and the spindly length of her fingers, and thought, Her hands look exactly like Mom's. I don't need anyone else to agree with me. Others can compare her to a living or dead relative but this is proof at least to me that she did come straight from my vagina.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So, you're headed to Blogher without me.

No I'm not going to Blogher. Yes I'm very sad about this. I'm tired of receiving invitations to parties that I won't be attending. I'm missing the wonderful women I met last year who will either be attending the conference or the BFF get together. Instead I'll be packing up my house because we're moving at the end of August or I'll be sitting on my couch with a newborn attached to my breast. Or maybe I'll be trying my best not to scream at the three year old who pushes me to madness each and every day. Sounds like a good time, doesn't it?

But pouting does not become me. I genuinely want everyone who is going to have a great time, even if I won't be there to share it with you. For you newbies here's a few words of advice: Try not to drink too much because there will be cameras EVERYWHERE (in other words, do as I say not as I do) and drop your guard a little to let in a new friend or 30. Don't forget your swag and your business cards and feel free to pack that extra pair of hot shoes or cute skirt because you won't be alone in your over-packing. And remember that your self perceived awkwardness is just that. You'll be in very good company so smile and shake hands or hug or squeee or do whatever you told your new friends you would in their comments. And fer chrissake, have a good time and have a drink for me.

Me? I already told you what I'll be doing. I'll also be thinking about my Gram and mourning the loss of her. I'm not trying to be a downer. Instead I'd like you to really appreciate the opportunity you have before you. Enjoy every minute to the fullest even if you're completely overwhelmed because as soon as you get on that plane to go home you'll be missing the experience that is Blogher.

In the meantime I'll be sitting here patiently waiting to hear who drank too much, whose shoes were the cutest, who was nicer/nastier/goofier than expected, and all the other news you all will be sharing from San Francisco. And there's always next year. Oh yes, there is next year so drink your fill now because in '09 you'll be fighting me for it.

Love to you all.


Monday, July 14, 2008

We interupt this heathen moment...

... to let you know about my latest review of Tiny*Prints personalized cards for the Parent Bloggers Network.

Go there, go there now.

I will now go back to hiding from the inevitable lightning strike.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And instead of casino chips you get The Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Chicky: "Mommy, is that a castle?!"

Me: "No, Hon. That's a church."

Chicky: "A church? What's a church?"

Me: "Uh..."

Mr. C: "Uh..."

Me: "That's where people go to... Uh..."

Mr. C: "Yeah, that's where they go to... Um..."

Me to Mr. C: "Oh God, how do I explain praying to her?"

Chicky: "Do they go there to play games?" Praying/Playing. Whatever.

Mr. C: "Yes! They go there to play games. Lots of fun mind games. And if you play the game correctly you get to go to heaven."

Chicky: "Oh. I don't think I like those kinds of games."

Me: "I won't argue with you there, kid."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Because after a few sleepless nights a woman starts to hear things

Psst. Hey. You wanna break me out of this straight jacket? Put down that camera, will ya? What am I, a burrito? For crying out loud, I'm a baby fer chrissake. Stop laughing! What, am I here to amuse you? Sure, you think this is funny now but wait until you see what I've left for you in my diaper. Let's just say it's not something you'll want to photograph for the ol' baby book. Yeah, who's laughing now?

And don't even get me started on where you can stick that pacifier.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I'm forever blowing bubbles...

... Pretty bubbles in the air.

Chicky takes her bubbles very seriously. And I want to french kiss the person who thought to put soap in a bottle along with a wand to make the most simple - and yet the most addicting - pastime ever. Not just that, but it's something that I can do one handed. Score.

So to recap: Chicky is happy because she's doing something she loves, I'm happy because we're out of the house enjoying the sunshine, and C.C. is happy because she's not left alone in her swing while I try to cease Chicky's whining because she's booo-ooorrred and, Mama, put the baby down, put her down, put her doooo-ooowwnn. It's a win-win for everyone... Except for C.C.'s future therapist who would have been able to pay his kids' way through college solely on the poor girl's need to work out her abandonment issues at the hand of her older sister. Though I would explain to her one day that if there were no bubbles, time with a therapist would be much better than throwing money at a proctologist.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Okay, so maybe, just maybe, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today

To the asshat woman who parked her humongous SUV mere centimeters away from my not quite as humongous so therefore totally socially acceptable SUV in the parking lot of the playground when there were at least 20 other empty spots you could have taken, including the six on the other side of your car, but you chose not to because I was parked in the only shady spot in the parking lot and you thought you could back your gas guzzler next to my only slightly better on gas but not really but I feel superior anyway car, obviously trying to bogart my cool air on this 85 degree day for your brat kid who pushed my angel okay not an angel but as far as you know she's a goddamn cherub child when they both went for the stairs to the slide and your kid was older and bigger and less attractive than mine and should have known better and you didn't even say anything to your devil's spawn little girl about how she should act like less of a little prick more appropriately on the playground, you shithead, and then you gave me a look of death when my baby started screaming and I tried to wheel my carriage out of the playground and maybe drifted into your breathing space and then I couldn't get my older kid or my big postpartum ass but even though I had a baby four weeks ago it's still smaller than yours myself in the car without contorting our bodies into positions that should only be seen in pretzels just to get into our car because your tank car was so damn close to mine and by the time we finally were all packed up I was covered in boob sweat and both kids were screaming so that I swore under my breath at you that I would find out where you lived and would leave weekly flaming bags of dog shit on your front steps,

I opened my door into the side of your car and I left a nice dent in the side of it. And I don't feel even a little bit bad about that. Have a nice day, bitch.