Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


11 more days

My oldest child will be in the double digits. Tonight, while we were reading a bedtime story, I asked him if he would mind if I cleared out the little kid books off his bookshelf. We never read these and they were really just clogging up his bookshelf. I warn him that they are a lot. Do you mind if I get rid of the Muppet Babies? Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss? Anything you want me to leave? He looks at me and says "No mom. Go ahead and take all but the big kid books. I'll just get some new ones. You know, some teenage books."


This child has his own personal library. I'm in the middle of a decluttering of the Army household. I've gotten rid of so much clutter in the past three days. I'm very proud of myself. But, this breaks my heart. I know, logically, that I should give some of these books to the children's hospital in Fort Worth. Maybe some to the Ronald McDonald House there, too. Maybe I'll let Pickle chose where he wants them to go. I'll give him several choices. I'm sure he'll want to give some to Stinkerbelle, but not his brother. Brother already has almost as many books as Pickle.

Books are important in my household. As a writer, I want my children to have a love for reading and very little warms my heart as much as seeing the soon-to-be 2-year-old carrying a book with her wherever she goes.

What EXACTLY does this mean?

I guess this dork gets an A for creativity, but an F for making sense? Anyone have a theory on what this means?

And, all these years we've been thinking that city pounds were offing all the unwanted kitties. Really, it was just voting for Bush. Makes perfect sense to me in a weirdass kind of way. *shaking my head* I'm sure Kerry supporters are SOOO proud. At least make a point if you're going to protest and carry a sign. I read a story today about a guy who was questioned about what his sign meant and he admitted that he didn't have a clue, someone on the corner handed it to him, he said. Now, THAT is getting involved politically.

Hunting widow

As of Wednesday morning, I will be a hunting widow.

My office/living area is covered with camo clothes and goodies. A shotgun is on my bed along with some ammo.

Army of Dad took the day off for the opening day of dove season. $80 went to purchase a little piece of paper that says he can legally shoot a number of God's creatures. Let's pray he actually shoots something tasty this year. We bought a freezer for the kills of Great White Hunter. Right now it is full of Schwan's "I don't have time to cook, but we have an hour before soccer practice" fare. I suppose if he shoots a wild hawg (as we say here in Texas) then I'll make room for some tasty sausage and bacon.

I remember coming home one evening to him cleaning a rabbit in my kitchen sink. My oldest looked at him with big doe eyes (pun intended) and asked him if it was the Easter Bunny. Thankfully, he thought before he spoke and said no. I think he knew he was never getting laid again if he told my son he shot the Easter Bunny.

Now, he must clean his dead critters outside. I dread the day I come home and find Bambi's mom hanging from the tree in my back yard. It will be my luck that the neighborhood coyote, skunk and possum will be in the backyard having a snack. Yuck.

You be the judge

Somehow I feel like one of the Urukhai today. I am wearing my Big Brothers, Big Sisters shirt that I have had longer than I've hand my oldest child, but I like it, so I still wear it. *shrug* So, tell me what you think? Have I been walking around brandishing the white hand of Sarumon all these years?

Women (overall) have double standards

There are so many points to back up this title, but I'm going to focus on one in particular. Maybe I felt a twinge of guilt because the description hit home so severely this morning.

Went to the post office to mail about a jillion (ok, 17) ebay packages this morning. As I was pulling away, I noticed a POW/MIA sticker on the back of a car and just glanced at the stud, er, gentleman getting out of the car. I sized that man up and down this way and that and started thinking impure thoughts. Then, it just dawned on me ... if Army of Dad did that I'd probably get mad at him. I started rationalizing in my mind (ok, this is where it gets kind of scary that I'm debating myself in my head and I felt a bit like Gollum and Smeagal, but at no point did I snatch a raw fish from a pond and begin to eat it). *shaking out the cobwebs* I was arguing with myself about what I had just done. Army of Dad does this daily, I'm sure, when he gets an email with a photo of a naked chick on a golf cart or when he sees some cute soccer mom on the soccer fields. What is it hurting for him to look and have a passing impure thought? Absolutely nothing. He loves me and comes home to ME each night, for which I'm grateful.

The point I was trying to make with all of this is that EVERY single female friend of mine, whenever we have gone out and noticed a particularly handsome man, will make a comment or I'll catch her looking at him. But, women (overall, certainly not all of my friends fit this next description) take offense at catching their men looking at another woman or GOD FORBID saying something about another woman. I'm guilty of it, too.

Now, are we really two-faced or do we really have double standards, too? Yes and no. I think much of it is the insecurities women have. We worry about carrying around those 10 (ok 40) extra pounds and being attractive to our men. We worry that they will look at the chicks at Hooter's and want one of those girls rather than us. Ok, so we KNOW they'd rather HAVE one of those girls than us. We worry that they'll leave us for someone younger, prettier, thinner ... the list goes on and on.

What women really need to do is relax and trust their partners. Does he love you? Do you know he loves you? Then trust him until he gives you a reason not to. Are you going to run out and cheat on him simply because the cute boy at the deli smiles at you? Probably not. So, relax when he looks a little too long at the girl behind the counter at Subway. You can look at it this way, if he is fantasizing that you're Amanda Beard, just pretend he is Michael Phelps and both swim your way to the big O!!! Say no to double standards!!

I'm Army of Mom and I approved this message.

you had to know THIS was coming


It was an awful dilemma for Army of Mom last night. Do I watch my Cowboys or the opening remarks at the Republican National Convention? What to do? So, I flipped back and forth as any good conservative Cowboys fan would do. The Cowboys won 20-17. SWEET! And I tuned in to the middle of Sen. John McCain's address. He has sort of a goofy voice. Have you noticed that? I don't doubt his manhood after what that man has endured and he isn't in a rubber room. But, that voice ... *shrug*

I wish I was as eloquent of a speaker. I usually get flustered, in person, in political debates. 2 of 5 and me have the best ones because she is a Kerry supporter *boo, hiss* But, we manage to keep them from getting heated because we will actually listen to one another's points even if we don't agree, we understand why the other has her point of view. But, McCain said things so beautifully and conveyed what so many of us feel, so I wanted to share some of it with you:

President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq. Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone.The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents.And certainly not a disingenuous film maker (my two cents - at this point the crowd erupted into boos and Moore stood and waved to the crowd - he is there as a member of the media *rolling my eyes*) who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass gravesand prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls. Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.The central security concern of our time is to keep such devastating weapons beyond the reach of terrorists who can't be dissuaded from using them by the threat of mutual destruction.We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times. By destroying his regime we gave hope to people long oppressed that if they have the courage to fight for it, they may live in peace and freedom.Most importantly, our efforts may encourage the people of a region that has never known peace or freedom or lasting stability that they may someday possess these rights. I believe as strongly today as ever, the mission was necessary, achievable and noble. For his determination to undertake it, and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration.

I think McCain felt like a rock star - he had to keep telling the crowd to keep it down so he could finish.

But, the highlight of the night wasn't even Giuliani's comments. To me, it was the heart-wrenching stories of the women who lost loved ones in 9-11. One was the wife of a man on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. The second had a brother who was the pilot on the plane that hit the Pentagon and the last was the wife of a firefighter who perished in one of the WTC towers. I was in the kitchen packing lunch of Army of Dad when I heard the first woman take to the podium. I instantly started to fight back the sobs. I feel so strongly a connection to these women. I can't imagine the loss. Well, maybe I can and that is why it impacts me so much. But, she spoke of the four phone conversations she had with her husband while he was on that flight and how he was one of the men to overpower the pig-humping terrorists (my words, not hers). He told her he was about to "do something" about what was going on after she told him of all that was happening. She said that phrase has defined her life ... we should all do something to improve our country. That is powerful stuff.

The widow of the firefighter has a son leaving for Iraq in December. For all those critics of the war who say the proponents should send one of their own to the war if they support it so much - guess what? This woman did. She not only lost her husband, but her son is going to fight for what he believes in.

Here is a story from the New York Daily News about these speakers:
A firefighter's widow, the wife of a passenger on a hijacked plane and the sister of a slain pilot reminded America last night of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and urged us all to "never forget."

In her emotional tribute to her late husband, Tara Stackpole of Brooklyn first brought the delegates to tears and then to their feet.
"America must never forget the sacrifices of Sept. 11 or those that are made every day by our sons and daughters in the military service," said Stackpole, whose husband, Fire Capt. Timothy Stackpole, died fighting to save others from the burning twin towers.
"Timmy is my hero. I am honored to share him with you," she said, drawing tears at the Republican convention last night. "Just as I am proud to lend America my oldest son, Kevin, who is headed to Iraq (news - web sites) in December with his Navy unit."
The crowd thundered its approval and gave her a standing ovation. She then called for a silent prayer of thanks and remembrance.
Deena Burnett reminded the hushed, darkened hall of the heroics on United Flight 93, which was believed headed for Washington when its passengers took on the terrorists and crashed the jet into an empty Pennsylvania field.
Her husband, Tom, called her four times from the plane.
"On his fourth and final call, I asked him what I could do. He said, 'Pray, Deena. Just pray.' He then said, 'Don't worry. We're going to do something.'"
Those words - "do something" - still resonate, she said, and should be embraced by all Americans.
Debra Burlingame, whose brother Chic Burlingame was captain of American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that hit the Pentagon (news - web sites), said the outpouring of grief and sympathy helped her family get by.
She spoke of spontaneous memorials, the kind letters she read, the pictures children drew. "Thank you for these tender gestures and for the endless generosity which helped us carry on," she said.
None of the three women directly praised, mentioned or endorsed President Bush (news - web sites), in keeping with efforts by the party not to politicize the tragedy itself.
Daniel Rodriguez, the "Singing Policeman" whose rendition of "God Bless America" became a city standard after the attacks, sang "Amazing Grace" to close the brief, solemn tribute.
Addressing the twin towers attacks at the convention was a tricky issue for the Republicans, particularly after Bush met with criticism for showing images of the attacks in his first round of reelection ads.
Jimmy Boyle, who lost his firefighter son, Michael, in the attack, sat in the presidential box with about 20 members of families who lost relatives.
Boyle acknowledged mixed feelings about the President among the 9/11 relatives.
"A lot of families are against him, as you know, and a lot of families feel they're exploiting [9/11], and then there are families like myself who feel that this is important, that the world, that the United States is reminded that we were attacked on 9/11," he said.

"Somebody hated us that day, and they still hate us and they're still trying to kill us."


A blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut

Even a misguided squirrel, it seems ...

Quote of the day:

"It used to be that an accusation wasn't the story. A story was there's an accusation that seems credible. But now there's so much pressure for ratings, to fill time, to go for the sensational." - Al Franken, fabulous comedian and flaming liberal

What does it say about the liberal media when the liberals, themselves, are criticizing them? It breaks my heart to see my profession going downhill like this.

I am (soon to be) woman - hear me roar!!

I'm bursting with pride right now. Watching the American women's teams take the gold in soccer, softball, basketball ... beach volleyball. I'm sure there is more, but these come to my mind immediately. I really feel the urge to cry (I wonder if PMS is approaching, cripes). But, I am so overwhelmed with not only national pride, but pride in my gender - the fairer sex that we are - and their determination to win. They have not only outstanding physical ability, but they've worked their tight little asses off to be the best. They worked as teams and not individuals. They have shown what America is all about.

But, I'm also proud for that little girl from Afghanistan who ran pretty much covered head to toe. I'm proud for the women of the Middle East competing in their first Olympic games. It pains my heart to think about what these women in other countries endure. As an American woman, I can make my own choices. I can speak my mind and guess what? If I disagree with my husband, my father, my brother or any other man for that matter, I don't have to worry about being stoned to death or set on fire. If I want to wear a tank top that shows off my ample cleavage, I can do that with nothing more than a dirty look from an old woman's whose old geezer husband is gawking.

From the Aug. 30 Sports Illustrated: On Friday August 20, Rakia Al Gassra of Bahrain ran in a qualifying heat of the 100m. She ran in a full hejab covered from head to toe.

She was one of five Muslim women running in the 100 meters. Danah Al Nasrallah, 16, was the first Kuwaiti woman to compete in the Olympics. These women have a fierce spirit and I admire them for it.

All of these women are role models for every woman - most importantly my daughter. I want her to know that she can do anything she puts her mind to. She can be feminine, yet strong. She can be a doting mother and also tackle a career if she so chooses. She can be a leader, but also listen to others. She can be an outstanding individual who contributes to the overall quality of a team. I like to think of our country like that - each of us as individuals who contribute to the good of the whole.

Abby Wambach is another shining example of doing what she wants to do and excelling at it. She even has a soccer camp for girls.

Army of Dad was reading his Sports Illustrated last night and showed me a picture of Abby Wambach roaring in delight after a teammate scored a goal in one of their Olympic games. Army of Dad smiled and said we should cut that out for Stinkerbelle. (background here - our house is on a little hill and the children have discovered that if you stand at the edge of the garage and give out a big roar, it will echo in our neighborhood. So, we don't leave the house without a good roar from my precious little girl.)

I am Little Bit ... hear me roar!

But, she won't always be little. Maybe SHE will be the first woman president. Can anyone say 2048?


A swift kick in the ass

Now, don't go calling Child Protective Services. We all need/deserve a swift kick in the butt every now and then, but Child No. 2 -aka Zoom Zoom - has been treading water for a few days in dire need of it.

Yesterday he whined and back-talked so much that he spent at least two hours in his room in time-out including going to bed an hour early. He chose not to eat supper - he didn't want it- and opted to go to bed early with no meal.

Today, I pulled all the change out of the piggy bank so I had $7.57 to buy a large cheese pizza and order of Crazy Bread from Little Caesar's as a treat for me and the two little ones while Pickle visited his dad and Army of Dad was reffing adult soccer games.

I have warned and warned and warned Child No. 2 that I'm tired of telling him something three times and him ignoring me all three times until I get right in his face to MAKE him mind me. Today was no different. He is smart, too. Oho, he is a clever child. So, is Stinkerbelle, who isn't even 2. Both children know that if my hands are full or if I'm on the phone, they're pretty safe from discipline. But, did I have this child fooled today. As were leaving Little Caesar's, I told him (you guessed it) three times to stop pushing the door open. He was very politely holding it open for me and Stinkerbelle. But, we were out already and I asked him to close the door. Instead he continued to push it farther and farther open. I feared that it would do one of those automatic lock things and require an employee to come close it again. No reason for that to happen if he would listen. Well, I had one hand carrying the pizza and crazy bread and the other hand tirelessly gripping the arm of a squirmy soon-to-be 2-year-old dying (ooh, poor choice of words) to run into the parking lot. So, I had no hands free. I could see the wheels turning in his mischievous Dennis the Menace mind. Hmm, mom has her hands full so *calculating the odds in his head* I can pretty much do what I want and I won't get a swat on the ass. Haha!!! After the third warning, I said I MEAN IT. CLOSE THE DOOR! He pushed it as far open as it could go, so I did a move that professional dancers everywhere would have been jealous of and made like a flamingo leg, bent at the knee in a 90-degree angle and kicked him in the little ass. The look of shock on his face was priceless. Had I not been so mad, I would have laughed. He says to me HEY! And I looked at him with every bit of mommy anger in me and said I told you that I was going to bust your ass if you didn't listen to me the FIRST time I tell you to do something. Guess what? Since then, he has listened to me. Ok, it has only been an hour, but hey ... small baby steps!!!

More than equal time

Now, here is a little something for everyone all in one fell swoop. The photo shows Athens 2004 Olympics American swimmers, from left; Amanda Beard, Michael Phelps, Jenny Thompson and Natalie Coughlin on the beach in Athens Tuesday Aug. 24.

Star Trek nerd kind of day

I'm so sad right now that I feel like I could cry and it is just plain silly, when I think about it logically. I had read that James Doohan (Scotty from classic Star Trek) wouldn't be doing any conventions any more. I just assumed he was old and tired of doing them or some health conditions as he aged. I was close. I just read Wil Wheaton's blog and found out that Scotty has Alzheimer's Disease. That just breaks my heart. I had my picture made with the dirty old man and gave him a kiss on the cheek at a Star Trek convention in Austin about eight or nine years ago. He was funny, flirting with all the women and stealing kisses from as many as he could. He made sure to tell me it was ok for me to give him a kiss. How could I resist? I really need to dig up that picture. I think it is a box somewhere. Anyway. I'm really sad about that news.

Jimmy, may God give you and your family comfort.

Note to self

Don't take a nap wearing an underwire bra.


Chan Ho Park kicked ass

I have been so busy and going ADD on things that I forgot to write about the Rangers-Twins game. Army of Dad pouted much of the game because he was ticked that the Twins sucked that night. It was the first and only MLB game we've attended this year because the prices are so high to go to a game ($7 to park, $20 per ticket, $5.50 for a beer, $9.50 for two BBQ sandwiches). We take our own bottled water and sunflower seeds to snack on. Anyway. Needless to say it costs too much to go very often.

We left home early so we could watch the Twins warm up. I usually try to get autographs while Army of Dad hopes to catch a homerun ball during batting practice. I wore a tank-top under my ARod jersey and it was about 95 degrees, so I took off my jersey. I still got it, too. Or at least the "girls" still got it. I looked up to watch about a half-dozen Twins players stretching and they're all checking me out!!! That was an ego stroke to say the least. I managed to get a few autographs. I got Lew Ford, Coach Scott Ullger and Matt LeCroy. I had a really nice LeCroy card that I bought for Army of Dad. I saw him getting ready to stretch with the guys who had already checked me out. He wasn't doing anything yet, so I leaned a bit over the railing and called "Mr. LeCroy, will you come sign my card." How could he refuse? He did make it look good and go sign some other kid's card first. In between getting autographs, I had a handsome blond named James Michael crawling all over me. OK, so he was 3. But, he was a precious little boy there with his dad and he immediately took to me (the child, not the dad) and we had fun.

I got to see Bert Blyleven doing a pre-game thing on the sidelines. That was cool. I got his autograph several years ago when he was a pitching coach in the Angels system. He was visiting Midland for a few days and I got him one night after a Midland Angels (now the Rockhounds in the A's system) game. But, I digress. It was cool to see him.

Army of Dad told me about Jose Offerman yelling at some fans during batting practice. Evidently some fat lady and the guys she was with weren't paying attention and a ball hit the fat lady. Offerman (who was assholey and wouldn't sign autographs, just by the way) turns to yell at the people that they need to pay attention so they don't get hurt.

We made our way to our seats behind right field, near the Rangers' bullpen. We saw Chan Ho (I'm getting paid $13 million this year) Park warming up with catcher Rod Barajas (who also noticed Army of Mom while he was stretching). The Korean fans all ran over in a frenzy cheering for him. He's a bigger dude that I imagined. Anyway. It went downhill from here. I feel asleep at one point and Army of Dad was pissy because the Twins were biting. Anyway ... that was our night at the ball game. I still had fun.

My birthday treat

I am so stoked. Cruising the net while dad is watching some History Channel show and I started going to the links I have bookmarked, but visit infrequently. I don't really have the luxury of time to just play on the Internet, but since soccer was cancelled this morning, I have about four hours on my hands that I hadn't filled with another activity (yet). So, I just cruised by the Star Trek convention link. I keep hoping there will be one in the North Texas area. Today, I rolled seven!

A Star Trek convention for the classic Star Trek is coming to Grapevine. Now, my favorite is Deep Space Nine, followed by TNG and then Voyager. But, I'll take it. Shatner and Nimoy will be there on Army of Mom's birthday. What a great treat for my birthday. Now, I won't be able to shell out $70 for a picture. Now, maybe, just maybe, I will put up a PayPal link so if anyone wanted to contribute to the "Army of Mom's birthday Be an Official Dork with her picture of Leonard Nimoy fund" ... hmm, *scratching chin* I may just do that.

Here's the links for all the Sci-Fi conventions this company does.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited. Maybe I'll watch Lord of the Rings today to further solidify my geekdom.

Shoot me now

I'm glad my husband is the historian of the family and is the Cliff Clavin of North Texas - full of useless, er, useful information. But, God help me ... whoever created Tales of The Gun or History of The Gun, whatever it is, should be shot with his own firearms.

Army of Dad loves this crap. Saturday morning TV sucks, too, by the way unless you like cartoons because this is when I get stuck watching gun history shows or fishing or something equally mindless. Oh wait, there was Good Eats with Alton Brown. Oh wait, he makes me want to run screaming for the hills, too.

Thank God. Army of Dad found the Olympics.

Dr. Polaski should have fixed him better

Geek alert!!!

Captain Picard, aka Patrick Stewart, underwent angioplasty yesterday, but he is fine and recovering well. The only thing I could think of was the heart ailment he had on TNG from being stabbed by some weirdo alien while he was in the academy and how Dr. Polaski didn't fix him right the first time or this wouldn't have happened.

LOS ANGELES - "X-Men" star Patrick Stewart is recovering at home after undergoing an angioplasty procedure earlier this week to widen an artery, his publicist said Friday.
Angioplasty involves the use of catheters to place a small balloon in a narrowed blood channel. When the balloon is inflated, the artery flows more freely.
The 64-year-old Stewart — who played Professor Xavier in "X-Men" and its sequel, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" — went in for an annual physical on Monday, according to his publicist, Kelly Bush.
Doctors detected a blood-flow problem and recommended "pre-emptive angioplasty" to head off any future ailments.
Bush described the procedure as a success and said he is resting before returning to work next week, where he plans to finish the upcoming movie "The Game of Their Lives." He will also start voice over work on the Fox TV animated series "American Dad."
However, Stewart's recovery will force him to miss a planned personal appearance on Saturday in Toronto, where he was set to visit a Canadian sci-fi festival.

Canadian TNG geeks will be saddened and I'm sure they'll be talking about the precise episode number of his surgery as well as the name of the alien race in question. I'm a dork, but not quite to that level. Give me time.


Reporters, check facts? Say it ain't so

I tend to agree with the following commentary offered by the Columbia Journalism Review that reporters today are so lazy that they just accept what is fed to them without bothering to do some investigation.

And, they say Americans are rude

I love how all around the world we're known as the Ugly Americans because we have pride in our country and all it stands for. Yet, the ignorance of some people just amazes me. The Greek fans were pissed off because their hero in the 200-meter 2000 gold medal winner at Sydney, Kostas Kenteris, wasn't going to race. But, it was nobody's fault but his own. He never showed up for a drug test on the day before the opening ceremony, was hospitalized after saying he and another Greek sprinter were involved in a motorcycle accident hours later, then withdrew from the Olympics. So, why in the hell did they have to pitch a fit and delay the start of the 200 meter race? Could it be because they knew the Americans were going to kick their asses? I think so. They whistled - their equivalent to booing - and made as much noise as they could to keep the runners from hearing the starting gun. How is that for poor sportsmanship? And, they say we're the ugly culture. I don't think so.


Liquid nitrogen loves my cervix

Now, how is that for a blog entry title? But, it is true.

I had my cryosurgery Thursday morning about 10:45 and I was done and out of there in less than 15 minutes including making my follow-up appointment for December. Seriously. I was all amped up and freaking out about it and it really wasn't too bad.

Army of Granny went with me and she could tell I was a wee bit hyper about the whole thing, but damn, someone wants to put liquid nitrogen on your cooch and freeze it and you tell me that you wouldn't be a wee bit on the apprehensive side.

So, I go in and the British nurse is explaining it to me. Once he puts the speculum in and stretches it out like one of those old-fashioned meat grinders, then he'll insert an aluminum cone-shaped thing (don't you love my technical terms?) on the end of some tubing which shoots out liquid nitrogen. The doctor will adhere it to the cervix for about three minutes and then let it defrost a bit (just what I want to hear) and then we'll be all done. Ok, sounds good enough. It will cause a little cramping that feels like menstral cramps, she continues. If the pain gets too bad, let me know and we'll stop, but then we'll have to do it again. I'm thinking that doesn't sound good. I'll suck it up and move forward. Ok, I tell her. She said she'll count down for me so I know what the time is looking like. Great.

So, I go strip from the waist down and put on one of those great little gown thingees and plop up on the procedure table. In comes the doctor and he positions me on there and then starts screwing (oops, poor choice of words, sorry) the speculum open. Good God, that sucks. My cooch was not meant to get that far apart and since I had three c-sections, I'm not accustomed to passing items the size of a small watermelon through that opening. So, I'm chit-chatting and telling him that this was the worst part for me during the colposcopy and he chuckled. I was just about to tell you that this is probably the worst part, he replied. But, we have to make sure we get it open wide enough so we don't freeze your vagina, he added. Good call, Doc. I'm sort of fond of that area of my body and don't want to see any of it frozen off.

In it goes and before I know it, one minute has already passed. I'm thinking this is nothing. I didn't even feel it. Then, he warns me that I'll probably feel a cramp. Why, yes, indeed, there it is. The nurse had warned me that the cold cone on the cervix will cause it to contract resulting in the cramping. Ok, that cramp is uncomfortable, but no big deal. WE're down to one minute, 30 seconds, 15 seconds. Done. So, the liquid nitrogen machine is turned off. Then, I about climbed the walls like Spiderman. Ouch! Ooohh! That hurts, I tell the doctor. Goowwhwwhhh!!! The tool was stuck to my cervix and the doctor was trying to pry it free. It likes your cervix, he tells me. Great. There are a lot of vulgar jokes waiting to be said, but the pain is a little too intense to want to crack them right then. Finally, he asks the nurse to get a swab with warm water to free the tool from my obviously appealing cervix. We don't want to melt it too much because that would defeat the purpose, he says. Oh wait, I forgot about the smoke. That was a good part, too. As he turns off the liquid nitrogen he warns me that there will be a little smoke. I raise my head up and look at him. I'm wondering why my cooch is going to start smoking and then all kinds of hilarity runs through my mind. Smokin' will have a new meaning for me! But, the smoke didn't come out of my cooch (at least not to my knowledge) but the machine let out a big whiff of air and some smoke. I thought about Bill Cosby talking about his dentist visit and telling the doctor that there is smoke coming out of his mouth.

After the doctor leaves, the nurse tells me that she has never seen a cervix so receptive to the freezing. Great, I said, that must mean I have a hot twat. She laughed and said, no I think it might mean that you're frigid. Ouch, that hurt lady! She chuckled and then told me to get dressed and meet the doctor in his office.

The procedure went beautifully, he told me. I'll return in December for a repeat pap smear and hopefully all will be back to normal then. Fortunately, I only had a few cramps immediately after the procedure and have felt great all day with nothing - not even a Tylenol to deal with it. Woo hoo. Hopefully that trend will continue.


Till the Twins series do we part

It is a poster we've had for, oh, I don't know ... the past three or four years. Every year, about this time, Minnesota's Twins come to town and we have to make at least one game. Prior to three little hellions in the household, Army of Dad made every homestand game - with or without Army of Mom. A few times he called in sick. Other times he used vacation, but he didn't miss a Twins series in Texas. Until the past two years. Keeping one parent home with the children is just a little too much financial strain to shell out the big bucks required to attend a major league baseball game - even if it is just for one person. So, we are planning on going to the last Twins' visit to Ameriquest Field (still hard for me to call it that, but that is another blog entry) on Thursday.

I say we PLAN to go because I'm having cryosurgery, which sounds so ominous, but really isn't, tomorrow morning. Army of Granny came up to watch kiddos for us. Army of Dad said we will only go if I feel up to it. I don't think I'll feel up for much, but what the hell? I'd rather be cramping and bleeding at Ameriquest Field while watching hunky young men in baseball pants than sitting home and doing the same with three children under my feet.

The link talks about what I'm having done Thursday morning. Sounds like lots of fun. Don't read this over breakfast or if you have a weak stomach as you may hurl like Stinkerbelle did on Pickle tonight.{5FE84E90-BC77-4056-A91C-9531713CA348}

But, it's all good. Yeah, right. I don't believe me either. Make sure you click on the little camera that shows you what a cervix looks like. No, it isn't a real one, but an artist's rendering of a cervix. Add a few more flab rolls to the drawing and that is exactly what mine looks like. I guess ... since I'm not that flexible, I wouldn't know.

Back to baseball - a much more favorable topic. Army of Dad and I made a sign that we carry to the Ballpark, er Ameriquest Field when the Twins come to town. It reads "Till the Twins Series Do We Part" and then has our names and hometowns on the bottom. He'll wear his Minnesota hat, T-shirt and jersey. I'll have on my Rangers hat and jersey. I actually have less Rangers attire than he has Twins attire. But, we create quite the scene. He is usually high-fiving other Twins' fans and I'm usually cowering in my seat eating sunflower seeds when he is yelling obscenities toward the field or toward some drunk redneck in the rows around us. Since we can't afford $40 seats, we are usually surrounded by the wife-beater wearing Bubbas drinking some cheap beer and scratching their asses. I'm so proud sometimes to be a Rangers fan. I'm thinking about making a "Circle Me Bert" sign, but I'm not sure if we'd ever figure out if we made it on TV or not. In case you don't know, Bert Blyleven is one of the commentators for the Twins on their hometown sports network. He likes to do a Madden-type move and he circles people in the stands. So, in the Metrodome, people have signs that say Circle Me Bert and he will ... we ought to get noticed. Can't be too many of those in Texas.

If you're watching the game at home Thursday night, just look for the unhappily married Twins vs. Rangers couple in the stands. He'll be the one drinking Shiner and yelling obscenities and I'll be the one balled over cramping from cryosurgery. We'll be quite the combination.

But, so far, he is ahead in this four-game series. Twins are up two to one. The Rangers go to the Twin Cities next week for three more days of torture. Wish me luck.

Criteria for a Purple Heart

Best friend no. 2 ... I'll just assign all of my best friends a designation ... sort of like the Borg. K- your designation is now 2 of 5.

Yikes, I'm digressing into Star Trek geekdom. Sorry. I will try to focus. I'm really ADD this morning. Part of it is dreading my cryosurgery tomorrow. Hell, even THAT sounds like something from Star Trek. Ok, I must watch Deep Space 9 at noon today on Spike TV. I'll schedule my lunch for that.

Sorry, I did it again. I call this Pinball thinking ... if I have to explain it, you just won't get it and it will take too long. Think about it.

Anyway. Two of Five emailed me today about an article she found explaining the criteria for earning a Purple Heart in light of Bob Dole's nasty comments to John Kerry about his purple hearts. Two of Five does NOT share my political views, but I do think this is a pretty good read.

When I was working Killeen as the education reporter, I had the pleasure of meeting three members of the Order of the Purple Heart in Killeen. They were talking to children in a classroom about their experiences and they very movingly shared the tamed-down versions of how they were wounded and where (both on their body and the location in the world at the time). It was very touching and I had to fight back the urge to cry. These men were wonderful and a credit to our country. I don't think we'll ever see a generation with as much pride and dedication as these gentlemen. Army of Dad is the exception to the rule. But, they passed around their Purple Hearts to show the children. Most of these kids are military dependents, so they were duly impressed. I was impressed at the attention these third-graders paid to these gentlemen. And, no, these men value their service ribbons and medals and didn't throw them away in any kind of protest. *sorry 2 of 5, I had to throw (pun intended) that in there.

Bad writing, reporting and headlines

I know I made my fair share of stupid mistakes as a greenhorn, but sometimes I just want to reach through cyberspace or news print and shake the life out of writers and editors who make stupid mistakes.

The latest today that has me shaking my head is the headline on this story on the Yahoo News site.
The headline reads: Russia Probes Cause of Two Plane Crashes

I tilt my head. Hmm. Scratch my chin. Since when do the Russians launch probes? Maybe Star Trek is closer to the truth than I was thinking ... ooooohhhhh, now I get it. The country is probing the cause of the crashes. Wow, I didn't know a country as big as Russia could get around easily enough to do investigations. OOOOhhhh, wait. They mean Russian officials are probing for the cause. Why didn't you say that? *shaking my head*

The other one, which made me practically fall out of my chair laughing hysterically, came from an Associated Press story on a very sad event. In Temple, Texas, (about 20 minutes from Fort Hood, where I once lived with Army of Dad) a woman and three children were found dead in a house after an apparent house fire. The AP writer writes about what happened, talked to fire and police officials and then offers this paragraph:
Brenda Drobny, who lived in the house that burned until June, said she was shocked to learn of the fire.

Why would she be shocked if it burned until June? That sounds like a sadistic children's rhyme.
There once was a lady who lived in a house that burned until June. It charred all the furniture and left it in ruin.

I could continue, but it would be in REALLY poor taste.

Between that and all the "analysis" that is disguised as news, I'm ashamed of my profession. Maybe I'll become a bill collector, a car salesman, lawyer or HMO manager. Those are all respected professions, right?


My family tree is full of nuts

No one will argue this point. But, I have evidence now. My mom thinks the Rubberband Man from the Office Max commercial is the same old guy from the Six Flags commercial.

Yeah, I see the resemblance. Mom swears up and down that it is really good makeup like the Wayan brothers comedy "White Chicks" that she sees on the commercials.
*rolling my eyes*

Yeah, mom. Whatever.


I'm always disappointed when President Bush falls a little short of what I think he should be doing. I think he tries to pander to the liberals a little too much. What is worse is that his efforts are still criticized by the Dems. He can't please them, regardless of what he does. He can't please them. Now, he has cowered and criticized the Swift Boat Vets for Truth ad and the Dems are still pissing and moaning.

But, I'm also disappointed in the Kerry campaign. It comes as no surprise, but it is frustrating. Kerry didn't like the ad critical of him, yet he won't say a word about the same 527s that benefit him.

From the story:
While Kerry and Democrats have demanded that Bush condemn the attack on his war record, the president has been targeted by an estimated $60 million in commercials by outside groups since the campaign began.

Kerry has declined to call for an end to those ads, which helped him at a time when he did not have the funds to compete with Bush' campaign advertising budget.

Again, Kerry is talking out of two sides of his mouth.


No trespassing allowed

In light of some recent comments posted, I'm putting out the following notice.

Here in Texas we like fences. It is a different concept to my Minnesotan native husband and my neighbor from Wisconsin. I grew up with fences and I like them. Sort of like my blog. This is my piece of the Internet. If you want to have a friendly discussion and exchange of ideas, I welcome it whole-heartedly. But, if you just want to go off on a tangent and wander far away from the topic spewing hate-speech, please go somewhere else to do it. There is a little X in the top right hand corner of the screen. There are a lot of other websites out there that you can visit and be amongst your friends. If you're here and you enjoy the banter and debate, by all means, pull up a chair. But, just be warned. I have a delete key and I'm not afraid to use it. It is MY site and I can decide what the content focuses on - just like I make smokers who visit my home go outside to pollute the air out there rather than the air inside.

Ok. I'm done. I'm putting the soapbox away.

Equal time

No, not for Kerry. I was asked for equal time from the male Olympians to post some female hotties up here. So, first off is a link to hot chicks

Now, let me see what else I can offer. How about swimmer Amanda Beard?

And, people say I have a closed mind. Please. *shaking my head*

Crappy month

Funny, but I think the past 30 days have been up there at the top of my list of the crummiest month of my life. Seriously. The weeks before and after my divorce was final was pretty awful. The few weeks when I learned that I had an ovarian cyst that was growing any my mother had breast cancer were awful. A bout of post-partum depression after child No. 2 is right up there at the top of my list.

And, now there is this past month. Bone spurs. I can handle that. Abnormal pap smear. Ok, I can handle that. A lump in my left breast. *sigh* I can handle that. Then, there is the family issue that I don't really want to air out for the world. Maybe at some point I can, but not yet. But, it is the last straw. Please say a prayer for my brother.

I'm cleaning. It is my way of coping. I'll have to be up late tonight writing for that is what I had intended to do upon returning from running errands this morning. For now, I clean. My bathroom will sparkle as it never has. My husband hates chaos. He is a very orderly person and he struggles in how to help me deal with stress. But, I think, secretly, he loves it when I'm freaking out because our house is never so clean.

How could I leave this guy out?

Checking the results so far on the hottest Olympian poll and saw that Ian Thorpe is ahead in the standings. So, I thought that maybe I'd go check out another picture just to see for sure.
This is what I found:

Australian swimmers Ian Thorpe (on the right) and Michael Klim (on the left) are seen in the stands before the men's 50m freestyle semi-final on Sunday. Good God ... nothing like a man with a shaved head. I'll be voting for other in my own poll. ;)

Living up to my tagline

Well, it is 6:20 a.m. and I've already dusted the ceiling fan and ceiling, gathered up the trash, cleaned the toilet and started updating my blog. Child No. 3 is still awake. Army of Dad told me she was awake when he kissed me goodbye about 5:45 a.m. So, I woke up shortly thereafter when I realized sleep was going to allude me. Started cleaning and hoping she'd go back to sleep. Guess I'll go bring her down after I get the trash out to the curb. So much for having a few moments for myself this morning.

Stayed up late again last night watching the Olympics. I think I'm addicted. Met some business publication colleagues (i.e. my friends) for dinner last night at the Marriott in Las Colinas. We walked by the bar on our way out to the car and the t.v. was on with the Olympics. I glanced up. "Oh, that is Loudy Tourky. She's probably going to win a medal." The two women with me - who do not share my Olympics passion - looked at me in disbelief. They turned to look just in time to notice the diver's name pop up on the screen. They just shook their heads. I can't help it. I love it. Wish I could remember what country Loudy is from. *shrug* The national pride is immense - regardless of what country you're from. I find myself yelling at the t.v. as I would if I were at the actual sporting event. It is so invigorating to cheer for my countrymen. I got to witness the pride of the Greeks last night, too. It was remarkable to see their national pride as one of their own won gold in the men's rings.

6:26 a.m. and child No. 2 is awake now.

I was able to instill a wee bit of Olympic interest in another friend of mine who has absolutely zero interest in sports overall. We had him over for dinner Saturday night and I was like a mad-woman clicking from the Cowboys game to the Olympics. Army of Dad and I did get R. interested in some of the competitions when he realized that women would be in swimsuits for diving, two-piece swimsuits for women's volleyball and tight little running outfits for track events. Hey, gotta find some way to pull in the audience. Right?

Cries of mommy are now coming from upstairs. I'm on mom duty now. The trash will have to wait for a bit.


Gave myself a headache

I got a feedback today that troubled me. The anonymous comment said that Republicans don't listen to both sides of an issue. As a journalist, I pride myself in having an opinion, but also in being able to hear both sides of an issue. In my writing for publications, you can't tell what my opinion is. If you sense some sort of opinion there, it is probably the opposite of mine because I've gone to such extremes to make sure you don't know what my true opinion is. Regardless of that, I took a wee bit of offense that this reader didn't think that I listened to both sides of an issue.

So, I challenged myself to go read blogs of the left. I did so for about 90 minutes. I did get some insights. I even linked to a blog that I don't agree with, but that I think is important for people to read. I have written an email to the blogger in hopes that the writer will respond and give me more insight. If I get that response, I'll share it here.

But, for now, I'm going to go take some Alleve and drink a Dr Pepper. Reading all that stuff gave me a headache.

Does Michael Phelps have any vices?

This guy plays cards with his Gran at the assisted living facility. He looks great in a pair of skimpy Speedos. He shares his medals with his teammates.

Army of Dad, I'm sorry. I'm packing up and moving to Michigan. If I can find his swim coach, I can hold him hostage until he leads me to Phelps. Then, I'll pretend to drown (not too hard with my swimming skills or lack thereof) and maybe he'll rescue me and fall in love. I figure if Mary Kay LeTourneau can seduce her 13-year-old student and carry on a love affair that lasts after her incarceration, maybe, just maybe a 19-year-old swimmer can fall for this 35-year-old Army of Mom.

One can dream, at least. Right?

Kerry needs to stop whining

Ok, I've bitten my tongue as long as I can stand. It is painful and I refuse to continue. Kerry is bitching again about how Bush needs to put a stop to the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that Kerry has exaggerated his war hero status. Deal with it you big baby. You are the one who keeps touting what a hero you are and how your four months of combat *achoo bullshit* experience makes you qualified to be commander in chief. If you are the one who keeps bringing it into the forefront, expect someone to question it. What are you going to do if you get elected and are attacked as viciously as Bush is being attacked now? Did you hear Dubya whining about you guys picking on his National Guard records that are probably shoved in a warehouse somewhere if they even still exist. No, he didn't. He has the balls to take the attacks like a man and not go whimpering in a corner about it.

This is just complete Kerry party line. He claims that the Swift Boat Vets for Truth are doing Bush's "dirty work" for him as a front group. What the fuck do you call or Follow this link and, if you can stomach the entire cartoon, watch all of it. At the end, it portrays Kerry and Edwards as heroes for a woman's right to choose. I about lost my lunch watching it. Those aren't fronts for Kerry? Give ME a fucking break. You don't hear Bush asking him to back them off. No, Bush just rolls up his sleeve and gets ready to duke it out.

Addition to the post: Bob Dole has a few things to say and this story reiterates what I had to say in this post.


You may be a redneck

Army of Dad likes to make fun of stupid Texans. But, he has officially earned redneck status. Not only does he own a passel (how exactly do you spell that?) of firearms, but he also owns a passel of camo clothes. And, I'm not talking about his former Army uniforms. Some of his most valued and treasured Christmas presents from Army of Mom and AOD's parents have been camo gear. What are the odds that one year I buy him a camo backpack for Christmas and he brings one home a few days before Christmas morning. How many people can say that happened to them?

But, when I call him a redneck, it is because he likes to watch hunting shows. AOD cracked a joke about "you may be a redneck when you shoot a buck and are speechless." I laughed and then he said, look, its Jeff Foxworthy and he doesn't know what to say. *shaking my head* What is sadder is that you, too, can own this video.

Golden Boy

He has seven medal - five of them gold. He could have easily earned his sixth gold tonight by swimming in a 400-meter medley relay, but he bowed out and gave his teammate, Ian Crocker, the chance to earn it.
Michael Phelps is not only one of the greatest swimmers in recent history (maybe all history) and a cutie, to boot, but he is a team player. His momma must get prouder of him every day. Now, it isn't totally altruistic, I'm thinking. He swam in the qualifying prelims, so he'll still get a medal if they win, but he won't be on the podium to accept it.

He told Sports Boy (i.e. Bob Costas) last night that he is moving from his home in Baltimore to Michigan to follow his coach. But, he said he'll probably still talk to his mom every day. What a sweet boy. Army of Dad, if the chance comes, I may bolt for Phelps.
Look at these low-rise swim trucks. Meow!


Happy thought for the morning

Getting kids off to school, but a happy first thought of the day: swimmer Aaron Piersall. He won gold, too.


Big pet peeve

There are lots of things that irk the hell out of me, but some are consistent irritations that tend to piss me off more than others. I encountered one of those, yet again, today. We went to Children's Day Out so Stinkerbelle could meet her teachers and see her new classroom. She was fairly insistent that she was in the wrong room and kept trying to go to last year's room. It was pretty funny. One of the girls in her class is the little sister of a soccer teammate of Pickle's. So, that was funny. Anyway. Back to my pet peeve. I went through all the kids' clothes and had a garage sale last weekend. The kids' clothes that didn't sell are going to friends for their kids. So, I had a box of boy clothes to take to my former neighbor whose son is the same age as Stinkerbelle. Oh, let me add that it is raining and Little Bit fell asleep in the car. So, I'm trying to carry a box of clothes, a sleeping 2-year-old and an umbrella in the rain to the CDO.

I step out into the parking lot and some bitch in an SUV isn't even slowing down. Damn woman. You're in the same boat I am and you can't even slow down long enough to let a woman carry a sleeping baby, a box and an umbrella to the other side? I'm not one of those super slow poke people either. I'll hustle across the street as much as I can with my hands so full. That just pissed me off. It usually happens to me when I'm in the parking lot at a grocery store with all three kids in the rain. I just don't understand people. I try to rationalize and think, maybe, the driver had to use the bathroom really bad or maybe their baby in the back seat just threw up and they want to get home. But, you know what? I really doubt there is anything that dire forcing them to practically run me and my toddler down in the church parking lot.

The bitch did the same thing to another mom carrying a toddler and an umbrella. We both gave each other a look and (in typical AOM fashion) I looked at her and said "would hate for them to slow down for moms and children in the rain." The other mom looked and me and said "really." So irritating. In the dry safety of her gas guzzler, she can't even let me walk across the parking lot without buzzing my ass with her monster car. GRRR.

Embarrassed to be a member of the media

There are moments when I'm absolutely embarrassed to be a member of the press. This is just another example of why the media gets bashed - rightly so in this case.


You just have to say that in Jack Nicholson style or it is wrong to say it all.

Ok, for my in-laws and parents of my friends, my easily offended readers (why would you be here if you're easily offended? But, you get the point) and for all of you don't know me that well .... put your fingers in your ears and close your eyes or just skip this post.

I have to admit it. Knowing that I'm having cryosurgery on my cervix next week and having a tumor in my breast that may or may not be cancerous was really putting the nix on my sex drive. I mean seriously. Army of Dad has been a saint not to drive to Mexico to find some senorita to help him out. But, now that the breast cancer scare is over, I'm feeling better and a little more revved up. Add to that the fact that I know after the cryosurgery that I'll be out of commission for about two weeks and that just amps things up another notch.

So, the Olympics' golden boy Michael Phelps in that low-rise swimsuit have not helped things. Throw in the Hamm brothers from gymnastics, Roddick in tennis, Ian Thorpe ... I could go on and on. We have some hot rowing dudes, too. I mean, for God's sake ... look at this.

Even straight guys have to admit that is a pretty impressive specimen of man.

Now, I know Army of Dad loves his Army of Mom because he sent me the following link from one of the blogs he routinely peruses. He knew it would be applicable to me because I cannot get enough of Lord of the Rings. I love the movies and just finished reading the trilogy a few weeks ago. It was awesome. I'm going to go check out The Hobbitt at the library soon. Maybe I'll read more about Tom Bombadil, too. But, I digress. Rachel Lucas writes exquisitely about what me and I'm sure many other women think about when we're watching LOTR movies. Dear God, it should be illegal for men NOT to look like these guys. *fanning myself* These guys are pussies in real life, I fear. I know that Vigo Mortennsen is some white-flag waving "no war for oil" doof and Orlando Bloom reminds me of my first boyfriend from high school (complete with three chest hairs and a smaller chest than my 10-year-old son). But, Jesus help me. They are so freaking hot in these movies. Shh, don't tell anybody, but I think the Hobbitts are pretty hot, too. I'm still wondering about the whole correlation of foot size to ... you know ... *shrug* Anyway. I've got that nice little flutter in my chest thinking about it now. Off to call another of my best friends to see if I can borrow his LOTR DVD collection. I keep waiting for the extended DVD of the third movie before I make the major investment of selling a kidney to buy the set.

Rachel has reached into my brain and pulled out what I was thinking about these guys. Good God. *shaking my head* I could just see Army of Dad looking a little scruffy, sweat dripping down his shaved head as he dismounts from his trusty steed yelling For Rohirrim!!!! running to slay an orc. Dear God ... I need a cold shower.


Breast cancer

Sat down to run my bath water and picked up my family circle and started reading. I typically read each issue from cover to cover while I soak in the tub. Flipped to the next story and it is about a family of women who have seven of 11 siblings diagnosed with some form of cancer - most of them with breast cancer. I read a page or two of it and then had to sit it down. The recent scare is still a little too fresh.


Well, its back - soccer. We kick off tonight (pun intended) with the bigger kids team's first practice. Tomorrow night, we have the little kids.

Back to normal?

So, is everything back to normal now that I know the status of the tumor? I guess so. I'm back to stressing about how to pay the bills, meeting the past deadline on a brochure project, getting everything done. So, life is good.

Kids got off ok on their second day. Zoom Zoom still isn't quite ready for me to drop him off yet. He still wants mom to walk him to class. *looking to the heavens* Thank you Jesus. He is STILL my baby after all. We ran into a soccer teammate who is also in his class and they ran along the sidewalk together having a ball. That was nice to see.

Not much on my mind this morning, shockingly. Relief is still hanging in the air. I stayed up too late last night watching the Olympics, but it was fun to watch hometown girl Carly Patterson. She had a rough start, but finished wonderfully. I wept along with Michael Phelps' mom. I was imagining the pride she must be feeling. All those days/nights/weekends that she sacrificed her own personal time to take him to and from swimming practice. All the money she spent on coaches, camps, equipment. Then, to watch your son stand on the platform with a gold medal around his neck listening to the national anthem play for him. Tears streamed down my face along with her. What a wonderful feeling for her. But, then I was thinking about them showing the guys all celebrating and how low he wore his swim pant thingees. As a woman, I'm thinking MEOWRR! But, the mom in me was thinking, pull up your pants, your butt crack is about to show! Then, I started noticing that these boys didn't have any hair on them. Ok, so I noticed that his pants were so low, some hair should be showing. Then, I noticed these guys didn't even have armpit hair. So, I started wondering if they shaved all their hair, waxed or what. I dated a boy in college who was a competitive cyclist and he shaved his legs. Totally grossed me out if and when our legs would brush while sitting on the couch because he would have razor stubble. That just isn't right.

But, I must turn my mind away from smooth-bodied 19-year-old swimmers and focus on the tasks at hand. We have to go to the store and the pharmacy this morning. And, I have to get this brochure text done today.


My boob is good as gold

Ok. Now, I'm just going to do it all in one fell swoop. I visited the surgeon today at 2:30 p.m. The nurse called about 10ish to ask me to come in. My first thought is that it must be bad news for them to want me to come in so soon. I lost my breath for a minute as all the images of the women I wrote stories on for Cancer Survivors' Day (among other topics) started running through my head. Images of these women and their many many stories were all rushing to me. I'm going to be another of the numbers. A pink ribbon will have more significance to me now. I imagined the worst. I called Jesse to come home early and watch Stinkerbelle and then go pick up the boys from their first day of school.

So, off I went to the doctor. I only had a brief wait before he came in the exam room, shook my hand and asked me how the biopsy went. It sucked, I said. It was better than surgery though, he said. If you say so, I respond. He hands me a copy of a report from the pathologist and points out where he circled the word fibroadenoma. Its benign, he says. I'm not sure if he said much else after that. I heard benign and sort of faded away as a rush of relief swept throughout my body. Then, he said, we'll do a repeat sonogram in six months to see if it grows or stays the same. It is, essentially, a tumor. So, it can grow or stay the same. According to WebMD, a fibroadenoma is a firm, noncancerous tumor of a gland, often found in the breast. It is round, painless, feels firm and rubbery, and can be easily moved around. Such tumors are often found during a breast self-exam. Fibroadenomas may occur as one lump or multiple lumps in the breast. They are most common in women in their late teens and early 20s and occur twice as often in black women. A breast biopsy may be needed to tell the difference between a fibroadenoma and breast cancer.

Off I went feeling a little bit lighter. I felt guilty for having all these worries and stresses, but so much better knowing that everything is good.

So, now, do you still want to hear about the biopsy? I thought you would. Sit down, this is a long story.

Upon our arrival at the hospital, I was given the little light-flashing vibrating pager at the registration office. Jesse asked for a table in the corner and if they'd have the breadsticks ready for us when we were seated. The receptionist wasn't near as amused as we were. We had to wait for about 40 minutes before it was our, er, my turn. Army of Mom, biopsy for one, your exam room is waiting. I wish it was that simple. We went to Room No. 7 to decimate yet another forest with paperwork. Again, they try to bleed some money from me. I had $20 in my pocket for my children's remaining school supplies. She said she'd be happy to take it. *sigh* As she wanders off to make more copies of the endless paperwork, I'm left listening to Army of Dad bitch about doctor bills and why do we pay insurance, blah blah blah. Finally, we're done.

We walk the hall down to Breast Imaging. Sounds like an adult glamour shots to me. I can hear the bow chinky bowwow music playing. We go in and sit down. No Rocky on the TV this time. Instead I get to listen to some Chinese radiology tech laugh and carry on about something or another with a colleague. We're running a bit behind she says. No problem. Fortunately, I brought a baby blanket I was working on for Stinkerbelle. A few minutes later, the techs all come in to turn on the TV to check on Hurricane Charley.

Next, out comes Michelle the mammogram tech. We're thinking about changing your biopsy from stereotactic (meaning using the mammogram machine) to ultrasound (using a sonogram). If my doctor ordered the stereotactic, shouldn't we use that? Well, she tells me, he doesn't do a lot of these procedures and the radiologist thinks the ultrasound will be better. It will be quicker and easier for you. Whatever, I say, that will do the best job. Ok, she says perkily (is that a word?) and beebops away.

She comes back and takes me to a room in the back where they do the stereotactic stuff. Another nurse, can't remember her name, comes in and starts asking me questions and then takes my blood pressure. It is 100 over 60. Pretty low for my normal 120/80. She was a little concerned about this. I'm starting to get really scared and nervous at this point. I'm crying and trying to compose myself. Army of Dad is cracking jokes, but they're not doing me much good despite his best efforts. Then, the nurse starts to tell me about how they're going to give me a shot to deaden the tissue, then, they'll take the samples and tag me. Excuse me? Do what? Tag me, she repeats. It means they'll put a little tag inside the mass, so they can find it on mammograms and sonograms easier. Great. Jesse and I start to laugh. I'll be setting off metal detectors at the airport. No, no Mr. Security officer. It is just my boob. I can see the security guards arguing over who gets to frisk my boobs, just for good measure. Then, the image of those microchips placed in dogs to help owners find them if their lost comes to mind. I told Jesse that if I die in a plane crash, he'll have a way to identify me. Well, Mr. Army of Dad, we identified your wife's remains from the tag in her left breast. The nurse is cracking up. She said she never has patients cracking jokes like this.

Then, Dr. Chan comes in. Great, I'm thinking. I've got the Asian version of Doogie Howser. He is awfully young, I'm thinking. But, he seemed really good. He was very matter of fact, while being very kind. He said he would tell me of everything he did as he was doing it. He explained it all again, as the nurse did and answered our questions. We joked again about the tag in my breast and he joined in noting that the government would now be following my wherabouts. The nurse tells him about my low blood pressure and then I get some valium and vicodin. They wouldn't let Jesse in the room because it was a sterile procedure. I'm wondering how having two c-sections weren't sterile and he could be in there, but I didn't argue. I was ready to get this done.

About this time, perky tech Michelle returns. I think she was Michelle. She could have been Kelly. I think the sonogram tech was Kelly. Who knows? I could have them mixed up. I was heavily medicated. They take me in the sonogram room - the same one where I had the breast sonogram a few weeks ago. So, they keep going back and forth, in and out, doing this and that. Kelly is looking for some sample of some woman in these big jars that looked like those that movie theaters keep pickles in, but they were filled with some pink fluid and what looked like big globs of fat. It was nasty as shit. Michelle was looking at me with equal disgust. Worst part was they weren't sure which pile of crap was this woman's sample. I was hoping they didn't get my shit mixed up because I didn't want to do this again.

In comes Dr. Chan. He was really nice. We're all four talking about wedding rings at this point. I'm laid out on a table with my left boob exposed. Michelle and Dr. Chan are putting towels and stuff all around my boob. Michelle is near my right foot, Kelly is by my right boob with the transducer (the thing they rub on your boob to find the image) and Dr. Chan is on my left. He asks me to put my left arm above my head and I grab ahold of a bar that is part of the bed. My right hand is gripped around some sheet or towel or something.

He warns me that I'm going to feel a stick. Boy, he wasn't lying. He inserts the needle to numb the tissue with lidocaine. He pushes it in a bit farther to numb a little deeper. He tells me that the tumor is about an inch in size and about an inch and a half deep into my breast. So, he is pushing it in a little deeper. It hurts and it burns. I continue to squeeze my eyes closed. They've told me to stay still, so I'm trying to keep myself composed.

The whole time, we're talking about wedding bands. Dr. Chan's wife won't wear her wedding band or solitaire because it is too big. The two techs and I are joking about how that is such a problem to have and how we need to talk to her about that. This discussion helps keep me as distracted as possible with three people jacking with my boob and stabbing it with giant needles. Once the tissue is numb, he made a small incision and inserted a catheter type device. The incision is made on the far left side of my boob near my armpit. The whole time he is maneuvering everything, he is pushing down on my breast in the nipple area. He explains that this is to keep the tumor still and make sure he gets the right tissue sample. It hurts and he apologizes. Hey, I would rather you crush my tit than have to do this twice, I tell him. Then, he warns me that he is going to take some biopsy samples. He warns me that the device is loud, making a popping noise, and will jolt me. I won't feel any pain, but I'll feel pressure. Ok. He does it. Baboom!!! Even the sonogram tech jumped as did I. I let out a pathetic wail. Did it hurt, he asks? No, it just scared the shit out of me. It sounded awful. It reminded me of the ear-piercing device they use at Claire's. So, we laughed a bit at the tech jumping, too. My eyes are still closed throughout. He warns me that he is going to take a few more samples. Again, two more babooms are heard and felt, but no one jumped. Each time, I think I may have let out a little whimper. I felt very violated. I can't explain it, but I did. I suddenly felt very sorry for rape victims who have to go to the hospital and have the rape kit done. I can only imagine how degrading it is to have that done after you were raped, too. I know this is nowhere comparable to it, but I still felt humiliated to be doing it. It really isn't something I can explain.

The biopsies are done. Now, Dr. Chan tells me, it is time to tag me. Why don't you just pierce my nipple for fun while my boob is numb, I joke. Dr. Chan and the techs laugh. I think the drugs must have been in full effect at this point. Ok, here goes the tag. Oh Sweet Jesus, that fucking hurt! I'm sorry, he says two or three times. We have to go a little bit deeper than where we numbed to make sure we get the tag in the right place, he explains. It felt like someone shoved a straight pin into the center of my breast. Why the tag? It is like a marker. If you develop another mass near it, this will let everyone know that this mass has been biopsied already so they don't do it again. Ok, that sounds like a good idea. I begin to sob at this point. He takes all his instruments of torture out of me and the tech is holding a sterile gauze pad on my incision. They have me sit up because I'm sitting in a pool of blood. At this point, I'm completely weeping with my body heaving. Do you hurt, the sonogram tech asks me? No, I manage to get out. No more than expected. I'm just glad it is over. The doctor leaves and I can't remember some of the next things, but the techs left, too, briefly. I'm sitting there topless, holding this gauze on my breast and crying. I felt so alone. So, absolutely and utterly alone. Perky girl returns as does the sono tech. I am examining the instruments they used and that needle was really fucking huge - like a few inches long. It is covered in my blood, too. Do you want to see the biopsy samples, one of the women asks me. Yes, I do. A little cup like the ones you pee in at the OB/GYN's office with the lid is produced. In some pink fluid is three little fish poop-looking things. Really, that is what they looked like - fish poop. They were brownish and had that look to them. Hmm. I thought Jesse would have probably liked looking at that. Now, mammogram tech girl asks me if I'm ok enough to walk down the hall to the mammogram room. Sure, I said. I stand up and wrap up in the little smock thing they give you. I look like Napolean, I joke to her, as I walk with my gown wrapped around me with both arms literally hugging myself. Why do I need a mammogram, I ask her. To make sure the tag is placed in the right spot. Great, I'm thinking, but if it isn't, you ain't fucking going back in to do it again. As I walk up to the mammogram machine, she must have read my mind. We won't do it tight like a regular mammogram, just enough to make sure it is in the right place. Damn straight you won't do it hard, I'm thinking at this point. The drugs have killed some of my manners. We go back and I get my clothes back on. Fortunately she put me in a wheelchair because I'm not sure I could have walked out of there. The drugs have fully kicked in at this point.

They give me a little ice pack to slip inside my bra. Fortunately they gave me instructions before the drugs, so I remembered what to do. For the next 36 hours or so, I kept an ice pack in my bra and that helped tremendously. I'm still sore and my boob is pretty bruised. I'm just glad it is over. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from around my neck. It isn't cancer.

Interesting read

I found this to be of interest today.

Kids' first day of school

Here are both boys before walking into their classrooms.

Going to the surgeon this afternoon

Well, I still haven't written about the biopsy yet for all of my friends who have been asking about how it went, what it was like, etc. I'm still struggling with writing about it.

Got a call from the nurse in the surgeon's office this morning. The doctor wants me to come in today to discuss my biopsy results. I'm going at 2:30 p.m. She said it doesn't necessarily mean it is bad news, he just likes to talk to the patients in person.

That isn't much comfort.

God Bless our troops

Go read today ... as I shed tears saying goodbye to my sons as they go to school, I think about the children whose dad isn't coming home from Afghanistan and I feel so selfish. Army of Dad left the service so he could provide a better life for me and the children. He struggled between his sense of duty to country and his sense of duty to family. He continues to struggle with this and I, fortunately, have won the battle. I'm selfish. I don't want my husband in harm's way. And, here are families all across our great country who struggle with missing their loved ones - husbands, wives, daughters, sons, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers ... Sgt. Hook tells the story of another supreme sacrifice. Someone's dad isn't coming home. Go read today about Sgt. Galvan and say a prayer for his family.

The tears are flowing

School started today and the tears are already flowing. No, not from either boy, but from Army of Mom. We had meet the teacher night last night. I feel pretty good about Zoom Zoom's teacher because he is the class with the assistant principal's kid. She had to put her kid with a good teacher, right? Pickle's class should be a good match for him. Small student to teacher ratio and he was stoked because she said he can bring a snack to school. That was cool. Anything to get him excited about school.

The batteries on my camera died before I could get all my pictures taken, so fortunately my ex was there with his camera and shot some for me. The shot below is all three right before school started. The youngest wasn't sure what to think about all this.


I'm feeling quite seasoned

I like that word ... seasoned. It implies something that is tasty and valued unlike aged. I mean, wine gets better with age. Some steaks, some cheeses ... but when you say someone is aged, that sounds like elderly. So, I'm seasoned. Achoo! Oops, that was the pepper. Better use a different seasoning.

We went to meet the teachers tonight for my boys. New school for both of them. New program for Pickle and kindergarten for Zoom Zoom. So, I'm feeling a little old for that alone.

Was in the tub and called to Army of Dad: Hey, don't let me forget to get the pencil box for Zoom Zoom out of the pantry. Where is it and I'll get it, he offers. So, I tell him it is the cardboard one with Crayolas all over it in the craft box. You know, the cardboard kind like we had when we were little kids. He sticks his head back in the bathroom and replies with a sly grin "I used a metal one when I was a kid." Yeah, yeah. Back in my day, we had to use cardboard cigar boxes and carry them 10 miles in the snow uphill both ways wearing only sandals. Yeah, yeah, I get it. You're younger than me. Thanks for rubbing it in.

I've only started crying twice about Zoom Zoom starting school in the morning.

Pickle has a tooth growing in up above his baby tooth, so I told him a visit to the dentist is in order. To this, he decided to work that tooth. Army of Dad said to give him two weeks to get it out. Before we were done reading a Scooby Doo bedtime story, the tooth was bleeding. I give it two days max before it is out and the Tooth Fairy is flitting into my house with some Sacagawea golden dollar coins. Sort of a tradition in the Army household. I have a stash of them in my special bank (something I got in a white elephant gift exchange in the sixth grade, if you can believe that one). Another reason to feel old, er, I mean seasoned.

Two of my favorite sports

Was looking at Olympic pictures and found this in the archives. Two hotties from two of my favorite sports. Jennie Finch from USA Olympics softball team and A-Rod, whom used to play for my favorite team, but sold himself out to play for Steinbrenner.

Must have been a bad idea to go to Iraq

I heard a radio interview the other day with one of the Iraqi Olympic athletes. He said this was the first Olympics that athletes from Iraq could participate in without fear of torture upon their return home. Yeah, I guess it was a bad idea for us to go to Iraq. It must have been all about oil and profit for Bush, right? Yeah, that's it. Keep on drinking Michael Moore's kool-aid guys. Look at the smiles on these guys.

Members of the Iraqi delegation pose with members of the United States' delegation during the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Friday, Aug. 13. Photo by AP.


Procrastination trend

It isn't a good trait of mine, but one I have ... I procrastinate. I'm really good at it, though.

Maybe Monday I'll FINALLY write about the biopsy. I definitely need to work on the brochure. I am really good about not wanting to face problems or conflicts or even admit my own feelings. So, I think I'm unconsciously putting off writing this blog entry. Maybe with some time, it will be easier to write. I don't think so. The huge bruise on the side of my breast isn't letting me forget it either. I'm not wearing the ice pack in my bra anymore. That was sort of a hassle, but it did make it feel a lot better. I don't know. Maybe I still feel a little sorry for myself. I'm not sure. Maybe I want to wait until I hear back from the surgeon on Wednesday or Thursday. I don't know. I just don't want to have breast cancer. I probably don't. But, then again, I've been telling myself at every step of this thing that they'll figure out it was nothing and I've been worrying for no good reason. Everyone was right that 'everything will be fine' and I shouldn't worry. But, you know what? Everything hasn't been fine and everything isn't alright. Each step has taken me to another step. No one has said, let's watch and wait. Know why? Because that isn't a good idea. Know why? Because everything isn't alright so far. I know it will all be ok in the end. I truly believe that. But, right now, everything is not alright. I put on a giant brave face. I crack all kinds of jokes to my friends, my husband, my family and even to the medical professionals I'm working with. Everyone is very impressed by how non-chalant I am. AOD and I haven't talked much about it. I think it is his way of coping with it all. He is a tough guy and he doesn't show weakness. Makes me wonder sometimes if he is worried at all. I know he is and maybe that is why he has been a little distant the past few days. It is his coping mechanism. He mowed and edged the lawn today - two of the chores he hates the most. He also let me take a two-hour nap - second day in a row I got to do that. So, that was outstanding. I'm off to bed now so I'm still ahead on my rest.

And, sorry to unload like this. My dearest friends know I'm a basket case - but only momentarily. I've got to keep up appearances. *shaking my head* By-product from my dysfunctional youth. We couldn't let anyone know about the turmoil in our home. *tsk tsk* No way, no how. Put on a happy face. I still cling to that coping mechanism. If only I had a half-gallon of Blue Bell chocolate or banana nut ice cream. Then, I'd be reliving my youth (and widening my ass even further).

Drank part of a Dr Pepper today, but it didn't taste all that great to me. So, I think I'll have a glass of water before bed. Woo hoo ... the changes are kicking in. I actually want a glass of water.

Two days later

Well, it has been two days now since B-day and I still haven't set down to write about it. If you ask me now, how was it? I'll probably say not that bad. But, I'd be lying. It was pretty awful. It isn't as painful as childbirth, but it was pretty degrading. I know that may not make sense, but my feelings don't always make sense.

When I get a chance later today I'll write about it. I need to write about. My breast is still pretty sore, but that is to be expected, I would think.

We're watching the Power Puff Girls right now. Sarah picked out that video at Blockbuster last night. Robert selected Batman vs. Mr. Freeze.

Saturday, I had a pretty good garage sale. I sold some of my brother's stuff and cajoled my dad into taking a few of the bigger items of my brother's home with him to stick in his storage shed. So, that was successful. I made enough money to go rent a video and get some barbecue for dinner. So, that was nice. Army of Dad and I curled up in the floor with the blankets and pillows to watch The Rundown after we watched some Olympics and pieces of the Texans-Cowboys (I hate to call it a game, but ...) game. The Rock is pretty cool. It was a mediocre movie, but entertaining.

I feel more like myself now than I have in the previous few weeks. I think getting the biopsy over with helped. Now, I'm just waiting for the results. The radiologist said it will probably be Wednesday or Thursday before we hear anything. More waiting. *sigh* But, it shouldn't be that bad because we are going to be busy as hell this week. School starts on Tuesday. Monday we have to take some food for the teachers' luncheon, take Dylan to art classes, have a soccer coaches' meeting, meet the teacher and the exterminator is coming, too. Gees. I also have to write up brochure text that I didn't get to do because of doctor's visits last week.

So, maybe this afternoon I can blog about the biopsy.


B-day victory

Well, I did it. I survived the biopsy. Thank you valium and vicodin. You were good friends to me today. Oh yeah, lidocaine, too.

I wound up with a sonogram-biopsy instead of the stereotactic biopsy. It went well, I guess. It is over with, so that makes me happy. My boob hurts, but it is done. We will know something Wednesday or Thursday, the radiologist said.

I will blog all about it Saturday evening. For now, I just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know I survived. I'm having a garage sale Saturday morning, so I'll be away from the computer until late afternoon or early evening. But, I have a tale to tell. I know you're shocked.


Friday the 13th - B-day

Not only is today the dreaded Friday the 13th, but it is biopsy day. Not much to say about it. I'm not looking forward to anything but it being over with. I'm hoping for the best, but fearing for the worst. And, that is all I got to say about that (as Forrest Gump would say).

One really good thing this morning. I got to sleep late (Army of Granny and PaPa have the two little ones and Army of Ex has the oldest). That was good. Another one - I lost another pound, which is amusing considering I drank THREE Dr Peppers Thursday, ate at Burger Box (yummy!) and had a Coconut Cream Pie Shake from Sonic. Super yum! Maybe I'm approaching this diet all wrong. :)

Thursday was a really good day. Took my little ones to my best friend's house while I took the oldest to the doctor. He is growing like crazy and we're guessing he is doing ok other than some sinus headaches. Went and picked up a bag of hand-me-downs for him, which was awesome. Funny, though. Her son comes to the door. Haven't seen him a while and he was really grown up and getting cuter. But, he had his shorts hanging off his skinny butt and his boxers showing. Cracked me up and made me dread my oldest turning into a teenager in the next few years.

We returned to best friend's house and hung out for a while. My children are so much louder than hers. *shaking my head* But, then again (shocker, I know) Army of Dad and I are loud people, too. My children, who often whine about being around each other too much, were all playing in the same room together at one point - without their friends there. Was strange, but reassuring in a weird sort of way.

Headed to Burger Box. Comfort food from my youth. Best friend pulled out the plastic and said "it's on me." Woo hoo. Saw a girl I knew from high school who was working at Burger Box in high school. She was still working there. That was sort of surreal. Saw another girl I recognized from high school, but she was older than me. She looked the same. I probably look mostly the same except heavier and now I'm blonde, too. The children had a great time playing and eating. They were really good. I was very proud of all three of them.

Came home and packed up their stuff and then sent them away a few at a time. That was sad. All three were happy to be leaving, which always makes me a little sad. But, at least I know they're happy. Zoom Zoom told Granny to tell me "Don't worry mom, they'll take good care of me." That was pretty funny. Came in to work on a story that was due on Monday, but no one was cooperating with me. They all assured me that they'd have information for me Thursday morning. No one did. So, I sat around waiting for a 4 p.m. phoner that didn't happen. Blew my time to run errands sans children because of it. Oh well.

Army of Dad came home and we had corn on the cob and grilled chicken. Was very tasty. We hosted a parents' meeting for our soccer team of 5-year-olds. Two new boys and they are pretty cute. I like the little team for amusement factors. The mom in me loves that age. They're so excited about everything and they still love to have their mamas around.

After that, we got the baseball stuff together and I went to watch Army of Dad play softball with the guys. It was so much fun to get to go watch him without the children. I took a blanket I'm sewing for Little Bit (with little ballerina slippers and tiaras on it, so cute) and sat and sewed in between watch my honey play ball. He totally kicked ass playing third base. He usually plays first, but he rocked at third. He had two put-outs and two assists. I worried about him there because these guys can knock the hell out of the ball. But, he did well. He was one for three with the game-winning RBI sacrifice. He got hosed on a call at second. He had a single and was taking second on an overthrown ball and the third baseman whips the ball to second, but Army of Dad had slid under the tag. But, Dufus No. 1 (ump on the basepath) called him out. *smacking my head* "He was clearly under the tag. It hit him on the shoulder and his feet were on the bag!" I scream to Dufus No. 1. Dufus No. 2 (ump at home) turns to look at me and says He got him. "Huh?" Anyway. They won in spite of it and I was pretty proud of Army of Dad and the old guys. His team had guys of all ages, but most of dad-kind of guys. One was a grandpa. The other team had two ringers - one guy is going to play for Arkansas' baseball team. Those two guys single-handedly killed our team in the outfield. It was amazing. That kid's arm was incredible.

On our way back, we dropped off the electric bill so our family could have a nice air-conditioned house for another month and then we dropped off prescriptions for Pickle.

*sigh* At this point, it is after midnight and I still have to write my story. Army of Dad keeps nodding off because he has been up since about 4:30 a.m. I'm working to get this stuff done. Finished. Asleep about 1ish.

Now, I'm trying to finish up my blog and get ready to go eat before the biopsy. The nurse called yesterday. Oh, I left that out. She told me to have something to eat before the procedure, so I don't get sick from the valium. She talks to me a little about what is going to happen. I am still scared shitless. I won't have any news today and I probably won't be blogging again until Saturday night. Best friend No. 2 is taking me to dinner tonight if I'm up for it. I should be. We'll go pick up my kids this afternoon and bring them back. Saturday morning, I'm having a garage sale. Probably not the wisest thing to do after a boob biopsy, but not much slows me down. So, I will be busy when I get up tomorrow.

Have a good weekend all.


Busy day ahead

Not a lot of time to blog before I have to hit the road with the kids today. We're heading to Cowtown to see the endocrinologist. Pickle (the oldest of the children) is growing so fast that we are having a hard time keeping his medication regulated. In case you didn't know, he has a birth defect called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH for short) and has to take medication to replace Cortisol, a crucial chemical in our bodies, because his body doesn't make it. So, we're going for a check up. We had bloodwork last week. AOM's best friend is going to watch the two little ones during the doctor's visit, which can entail a lengthy wait. Then, we're going to pick up some hand-me-downs for Pickle from another of AOM's dear friends while we're there.

But, it only picks up steam from there. Then, we head home to pack up everyone's belongings. AOM's mom and dad are coming to pick up the two little ones on their way home from Dallas to keep overnight and during the biopsy tomorrow. Pickle's dad is going to come get him for a few days.

Then, I have to write up a feature story for a magazine tonight. I need to write up some text for a brochure I'm writing for a local community college. It is due tomorrow, but with all the doctor's visits this week, it isn't going to happen. Tonight we have a parents' meeting for Zoom Zoom's (middle kid) soccer team.

Friday is B-day (biopsy day).


The sign says it all

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- A Shell gas station owner put up this sign again as gas prices increase in the area. The owner put up the sign last year when prices climbed. Photo by the AP. I can only get one tank of gas a week and it kills me. Fortunately, here in North Texas, we can still get gas for $1.65 per gallon at a couple of gas stations.

Let's help some sick children

My sister-in-law has been keeping me abreast of a family in Indiana enduring what none of us ever want to get near - childhood cancer. The Johnson family has three daughters. They were already coping with a child with disabilities. Their oldest daughter is in a wheelchair and has been having problems recently, too. Their youngest daughter, who is 3 was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. The apparently healthy child showed no symptoms of being sick until she started having pain while walking and then was unable to walk. Within a few days of taking her to the doctor, they had the diagnosis. That was just about two weeks or so ago.

The toddler is undergoing chemotheraphy and is losing her hair now. She seems to be a little trooper, my sis-in-law tells me. The pediatric cancer unit where the child is staying doesn't have many toys in the playroom so sis-in-law is working with the mom to get donations of new and gently used toys/books/games/puzzles/play-doh, etc. The unit gives out a new blanket to each child admitted so they are also working to find ways to get those donated as well. Things like play-doh, stickers, paints, etc. are desired because they are small and can given to individual children to keep in their rooms. Some children have to be in isolation because they can't take a chance on catching anything - especially the children taking chemotherapy.

The appeal from sis-in-law was made: If you know of an organization or group that would be interested in helping children in the cancer unit this way, please contact AOM and give me your contact information and I will pass it along to sis-in-law.

You can make donations directly to the hospital, but please mark that these are designated for the pediatric patients on the third and fourth floors of the hospital in honor of Sarah Johnson.
St. Vincent's Children's Hospital
2001 W. 86th St.
Floor 3, Pediatric Cancer Unit
Indianapolis, IN 46260

Why am I so concerned with this child that I've never met, you may wonder. I've touched on it before in my blogs, but I'm a childhood cancer survivor, too. I remember what it was like to be stuck in the hospital for days on end. I remember what it was like to get so much joy from the paper dolls or craft kits that I got to play with. The playroom was such a joy and a highlight to my day. I might have to go in a wagon because I didn't have the energy to walk or I might be dragging an IV pole with me, but I was 6, I didn't care. I was going to get to play.

Please consider going to the dollar store or WalMart and just buying a few dollars worth of Play-doh or stickers and put them in the mail. If you don't want to do that, make a donation to your local hospital - Cook Children's or Children's Medical Center will make sure the sick kids there get something, too. Or you can give something else - your time - to one of the hospitals or even the Ronald McDonald house, which provides free or very low-cost housing to families who have to travel for their children's medical treatment.

If you love me, this would be a tremendous way to honor me. It is hitting a little close to home right now. I'm blessed with three beautiful and healthy children. I can't imagine what this mom must be going through - or worst yet - I can imagine and I don't want to.