Friday, February 27, 2009
When the TQ came home from summer school petitioning to try out lacrosse, we weren't too keen on the idea. After all, our only experience with the game was watching the professional men's team practice in Phoenix. Pretty brutal. Fortunately, women's lacrosse is considered "non-contact" (unlike soccer), and they actually wear more safety equipment as well (goggles and mouth guards). Still, I wouldn't want to cross her, would you?

It's the first victory of the season for the JV Lady Bears. Way to go, girls!

Of course, somethings don't change from sport to sport. Like disinterested siblings who are too young NOT to get dragged along. This week's distraction? Play dough in the top tier of the stadium.

Lucky little ducks that they are, the Princess will be hangin' with her Grandma this weekend and the Little Guy has Saturday planned with his Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. Otherwise, they'd be playing divide and conquer with Mom and Dad as we once again travel to two different cities (in two different counties) for the second round of Region Cup. They'll avoid the sexy soccer mom/dad tans that we'll inevitably come home with as well.

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  posted at 1:30 PM  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Four Years

Four years ago today, I couldn't sleep. I sat in my rocking chair listening to a rare Phoenix thunderstorm and contemplating the last hours that I would ever hold a babe inside of me. It had been a long road of attempting to get and stay pregnant. At 3:30 am, we headed to the hospital for labor augmentation. In the last moments of pushing, I remember putting my hands on my huge belly. "Are you saying goodbye?" my mother half laughed, half whispered.

"I think maybe I'm saying hello," I replied. And then he was here.

Three years ago, I was exhausted from round after round of speech, physical, oral motor, and occupational therapy visits and trips to doctors. I was lost and confused as a mommy and had started to blog to work through things in my head. I loved him but his infancy was one of the hardest things I had ever survived (so I thought at the time). Being a fourth time mother to this little person taught me more about living (and parenting) in grace and compassion than any book or conference could.

Two years ago today, I had two rounds of chemotherapy left to complete. I wasn't sure that this wasn't the last birthday I'd see him have. Taking care of an active toddler (note the fractured leg) while in such a physically depleted state would have been impossible alone. Two years ago,

he and his brother and sisters gave me a reason to get up every day. They forced me to learn to ask for help. As our family gathered around that day, I remember feeling so grateful that even if I wasn't around for his next birthday, there would be so many people to love him. I became a more thankful mommy that year.

One year ago today, I thought the hard times were behind us. I was wrong. Job loss and house flooding ensued, but this little one never missed a beat. Of all of us, he was ever ebullient, ever trusting , ever ready to hop up in my my lap and "snuddle". In his third year, he helped me learn to rejoice always. I'm a more joyful mommy because of him.

Today, he's a "live out loud" kid who's never met someone who is not his "friend". We'll take treats to his beloved preschool class and meet friends for his McParty. If I'm lucky, we'll lay down for nap together (he taught me how to do that as well!) We'll make his favorite mac'n'cheese for dinner, and my some miracle of logistics, will all be able to sit down and celebrate him for a little while this evening. Today, because of him, I'm a woman whose heart is full to overflowing and who has tears streaming down her face as she types.

Happy Birthday, Little Guy.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies
in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5
(Inked in my Bible next to these verses is a note that this scripture was quoted in a note from our friend Bob on hearing the news that Little Guy had arrived).
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  posted at 6:37 AM  

Monday, February 23, 2009
Things to Smile about today
--I screwed up last Friday. Big time (as in forgetting to call in to a radio station for an interview). I took a deep breath, realized that when one spins so many plates, occasionally one drops, and wrote a (very) humble note of apology. I opened my email to find that it was received with tremendous grace, and that I get to reschedule the interview. This time I may skip entering it on my calendar and skip right to having it tattooed on my arm.

--I wrote a note to Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, and author of the comic below, thanking him for the soccer mom humor that caused much coffee-spewing on Sunday morning. He wrote me back! What a nice guy.

--My "village" rocks. A few texts and a phone call and a last minute scheduling glitch cleared right up. The TQ's IB counselors may even get to see that she has two parents capable of sharing the same space....

--One of the Little Guy's Friend's mom took the time to call and ask if it was still okay to RSVP for the McParty, despite the late date. Manners are not dead. Woot!

--A very sweet clerk at the store bakery was charmed by the almost-birthday boy, and custom mixed a pack of mini-cupcakes for him, throwing in some uber-cool (to a preschooler, at least) picks for them (not usually included). Preschool treats for birthday? Checked off the list with NO late night baking by Mama.

--My kids are not afraid to work. As a family we were able to bless Grandma and Grandpa by clearing 16 contractor-sized bags of leaves from their yard yesterday before the family birthday celebration.

--The Laurie Berkner Band gave an incredible performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall yesterday afternoon that has literally left my younger children and their cousins begging for more. ("Can we go to Laurie Berkner again today?"). Kudos to my sister for finding the concert and booking the tickets. We'll be "Buzz buzz buzz"-ing about this one for weeks. (It's a LBB fan thing...).

--I have one more day of my "baby" being three. I'm stocking up on three year old snuggles, hugs, and kisses.

  posted at 4:09 PM  

My Sister-In-Law's Recent Post...

was what came to mind when I almost spit out my Sunday morning coffee while reading this. It didn't help that my son's current team and my daughter's former team share the "Strikers" moniker. There's always more than a little truth in most humor!
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  posted at 8:02 AM  

Monday, February 16, 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Just for the record, this week it wasn't me who:
--Got so disgusted with the dad at the Father-Daughter Dance who spend over 20 minutes on his Crackberry while his daughter wandered around that I started shooting photos of him in the hopes of guilting him into putting the stupid thing away already. Such behavior would have been totally beneath me.
--Was in total agreement with my husband when he was rather firm in insisting that our three year old finish his breakfast Saturday morning. After all it was his favorite. I also totally did not share in the parental guilt when said child hurled his breakfast all over my van 15 minutes later.
-- Ran out to the eye doctor with the TQ and left my knight to clean up the mess.
--Wished, more than once as the child threw up three more times in the next few hours (twice more in a vehicle) that I was on the beach in Mexico.
--Has a child who, despite the fact that she knew that company was staying in her room, didn't make her bed, and while she can put both soccer and lacrosse balls into goals from 18 yards, didn't see fit to actually get the trash into her receptacle, preferring her floor. My children are much better trained than that.
--Breathed a huge sigh of relief when her son's team missed the semi-finals at Disney by a very small margin. I'm always supportive of his coach and would never, never say that the boys have been overworked and over scheduled lately, or say out loud that our exhausted and illness-depleted squad should have passed on this one.
--Allowed her almost 4 year old to order mac and cheese for breakfast in the hopes that he would eat.
--Traded dinner out with her family for a blissful 90 minutes to myself last night. I would never put myself before my family :-).
Finally, it's not me who plans on thoroughly enjoying every minute of her family's holiday doing a whole lot of nothing (except perhaps trying this recipe). Hope your day's just as nice.

  posted at 11:18 AM  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
My Boys are Growing Up!

Before: Breakfast time. Pre-morning at the orthodontist and putting in his new "soccer eyes".

Egad! Aliens abducted my EJ and left a true tween in his place!

This, just some gratuitous cuteness. But with my baby turning FOUR in two weeks, I'm entitled. Mommy wussed out and had Grandpa register him for three day preschool next year. I'm not sure I could handle him away five mornings a least that's my story until his next monkey stunt.
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  posted at 2:40 PM  

Monday, February 09, 2009
It's that time again

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
It was not me who gave into the incessant chatter of her three year old a let her child pick a treat off the shelf to take home while on the phone with Laurie to witness it (and laugh her butt off). Neither one of us seasoned moms would ever fall for that ploy from our cute babies.
It was also certainly not me who compromised on my lifelong hatred of the golden arches and booked my soon to be four year old's birthday there, simply because I a) wanted to have the party on a preschool day to make it easier for his classmates to come, b)didn't want to deal with set/clean up and/or pay $150 to rent the rec room at the park, and c)it was a HUGE deal at $6/per guest. Nope I'd never stoop to feeding my son and his friends utter crap just to make my life a littler easier.
It was not me who was the crazy soccer mom who has now purchased contact lenses for not one, but TWO of her offspring, not for reasons of vanity, but because Rec Specs fog up too badly on the pitch. It also wasn't me who drove to three different sports shops trying to replace the beloved keeper pants that my daughter finally wore the knees out on before Saturday's games. And it really wasn't me (it was my husband!) who ended up purchasing them 75 miles away from our house. (To our credit, it's the town he works in). It's also me who allowed her rather comely 13 year old daughter to take a spot on a U14 BOYS team this season and who is utterly delighted at how respectfully the boys treat the two girls on the team (and how happy the girls are with the more intense level of play).
It was not me (or my husband) who spent the weekend in two different counties for round one of Region Cup, and we certainly didn't require the rescue of a third adult home on leave from the Navy (thanks Amanda!) to take our most middle of children off to a birthday party so that she wouldn't later require "non soccer child" therapy.
It would never be me who accused her 7th grader of both" linguicide"and not having English as his native tongue as I helped edit his oration lat night.
It wasn't me who's decided that having her father-in-law's favorite bread ready to go was more important than having a sparkling bathroom for him to clean up in. It's also not me who's so double booked tomorrow that her father-in-law has to come and stand in line for preschool registration for her while her son has his braces applied AND she skips out on the Father-Daughter dance committee at school.
Finally, it is decidedly not me who will go to speech in my flour covered workout gear if I don't finish my lunch and get off of the computer right now. I would never be such a poor time manager.

Happy Monday!

  posted at 12:27 PM  

Monday, February 02, 2009
A few Cancer Rants for a Rainy Monday
Rant #1:

Most of the time I'm too busy actually living my life to remember that I'm a "medical miracle". Every once in a while I have occasion (besides check ups, of course!) to be reminded just how "lucky" I am to be here.

This latest occasion was at the neighborhood urgent care center where I landed early Sunday morning with some nasty urinary tract symptoms (never a good thing when one possesses only one kidney) and an even nastier reaction to a drug that I've taken literally dozens of times to manage said symptoms.

The sweet doctor wasn't just content to take my medical history. He had to analyze it and ask lots of unrelated questions about how I discovered the sarcoma, where/why/how/who treated the sarcoma, and tell me how unusual my cancer was. I get it. I'm a medical junkie myself. I totally see how fascinating my "case" is and why residents and interns have literally salivated over my case (very cool in a Grey's Anatomy way, right?).

What I don't get is this. EVERY practitioner, without fail (this one included) felt the need to find a reason I got cancer.

Smoker? No
Drinker? Rarely
Exercise? Yes
Healthy eater? 90% of the time
Chemical exposure? No
Family History? Nothing even close to my case, thanks.

Every time someone tries to figure out the why, the ninth chapter of John comes to mind.

1As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

That the works of God might be displayed in me.

That's the why for every circumstance of my life.

When you consider this, and the fact that all any of us "deserve" is death, then it becomes easier to let go of the misconception that hardships are punishments and material blessings are some sort of cosmic gold star for "good" behavior.

Rant #2:

Someone recently said offhandedly that I'd been through the "hell of cancer".

While I appreciate the fact that this person recognized just how hideous my treatment was, the phrase continues to eat at me.

Correct me if my theology is off (and Keith, I know you will) but to me, hell is eternal separation from God.

While there were definitely times when I felt like God might be standing afar, or even asleep during my trials, I knew (and continue to know) that he was there the entire time, cradling me when I was too weak to function.

To be eternally lost to that love, comfort and truly be alone in the not know that there was a significant reason (see above) for all it? That, my friends, is hell. Cancer is just a bump in the road.

Not a rant, but still nice for a rather Maudlin Monday :-):

I recently ran into a friend who was on his way to sing for a funeral. We looked at the songs chosen and I began to remember some of the things I had wanted during some of my nastier health crises.

This hymn is one of my all time favorites.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

--Ka­tha­ri­na von Schle­gel

  posted at 5:14 PM  

About Me


I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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