Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I did not post during Thanksgiving week (third week of November) because I was in Florida, celebrating the holiday with my husband's family. It was a lot of fun! Mostly because we got to hang out with the family (who we do not see enough of), but also because there was a (heated) pool to play in. And a jet ski. Captain Adorable had a wonderful time being the center of attention, playing with his Grandpa and Lita, his great-aunts, great-uncles, and uncles.

However, the favorite of the week was his pretty cousin. She is about 21 or 22 and is tall and beautiful and is also good with kids and was willing to hang out with him. He met her on the first day we were there. We also met her boyfriend, a tall handsome young man who left to play golf. Hours later when we heard the boyfriend was coming back, Capt. Adorable became unhappy and upset, to the point that I asked the hostess to text her daughter to warn her that he might be difficult. That worry was averted when we left to go back to our hotel room before the two young people returned.

The next morning I moved from the roll away bed where I slept after Captain Adorable refused to the king sized bed to cuddle my captains for a few minutes. We were talking about the upcoming day and Captain Adorable asked about "that girl," pretending not to know her name because he liked her So Much. I said her name and we chatted about the things they had done together the day before. Then, because I wanted to prepare him, I mentioned that the boyfriend might be there again that day. Captain Adorable became upset, said he did not want that guy there and kicked, saying "let's send him back to golf!" Finally the kicking became so much that he kicked me right out of the bed! Later when I asked about it he said he kicked me out of bed because I said "bad things."

Later the boyfriend did show up and was very nice and played with Captain Adorable and everything was cool, though of course the pretty cousin was still the favorite.

Almost seems like a first crush, doesn't it? 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inspired By Watching A Cake Show

Yesterday the captains did yard work all day! There were a lot of leaves. I was inside, eating bonbons...ok not really, but I was relaxing on the couch, indulging in some television. In fact I was watching a cake show about various fancy bakeries making various fancy wedding cakes. Captain Adorable happened to come inside and I did not turn off the tv fast enough, so he got interested in the cake show. I turned off the sound and we talked about the show while it was on. There were cakes in all sorts of shapes, including one shaped like a big wheel of cheese.

Captain Adorable said he would like a cake shaped like a dinosaur--like a meat eating dinosaur. I asked what flavor the dinosaur cake should be. He replied it should be a meat cake. Through my laughter, I asked if he meant that it should be a meat-flavored cake and he said no, it should be made of meat! I thought this was hilarious and so he was even more inspired. By the end of our conversation he had clarified that he wanted a meat cake shaped like a meat-eating dinosaur made of meat from meat-eating dinosaurs!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Work On The Foyer

The paint has been finalized. Here you see Captain Adorable painting a piece of 2x4 while keeping his daddy company and Captain Obvious actually painting the trim. You can see the subfloor in these pics. Eventually the final coat was put on the wall and it all looks bright and beautiful in there!
A few minutes later he decided to paint his feet and all work was halted for the great wash down.
My darling husband, working hard as usual.
Last weekend, the new underlayment (1/4 plywood on top of the subfloor) was installed. With a (very) little help from me, the wood holder who doesn't actually hold the wood straight (sigh--I tried, I really did!). And today, Captain Obvious began installing the cork (floating floor)! There is still another day or so of work, but it is looking gorgeous so far.

Skid Loader

We've never gone to a touch-a-truck event. I really wanted to go to a recent one but it took place during our last visit to Tennessee. Today we got to make up for that in a big way. A friend of mine has a landscaping/design business. Therefore, he has a skid loader. This afternoon we went by to visit and check it out. My friend hopped in, started it up and actually let Captain Adorable sit on his lap and DRIVE THE THING!
This photo is blurry because they were moving towards me!
Here again you can see that Captain Adorable is the one driving!
After Captain Adorable was finished, I got a turn (all by myself). It was cool but I think Capt. Adorable had more fun than I did.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Magical Words From My Son

This afternoon I was racing around, all stressed out from half an hour plus on the phone trying to arrange dentist stuff and trying to get the house cleaned up in preparation for the cleaning lady's arrival. (She's only staying a certain period of time and I'd rather she spend that time cleaning than picking up.) I was also frustrated because Captain Adorable always turns into an insane rabid monkey when I am on the phone, sigh, so I had asked him to stay in his playroom while I finished on the phone. When I finished and called to ask him where he was, he informed me that he was in the bathroom on the toilet. I continued frantically stuffing things into the dishwasher (just getting them out of the sink so she can clean the sink and not the dishes). Some of the dishes, like wine glasses, are actually hand wash only, but I put them in there just to get them out of the way.

In my stress I broke a wine glass. Just by stuffing it in the dishwasher. Of course I exclaimed aloud (Oh no!) and of course my little captain called out, asking what had happened. When I told him I broke a glass he replied, "Everybody makes mistakes mommy. Its ok," and the proceeded to list all the people in his life who make mistakes (which is everyone of course). His calm, sweet encouragement was exactly what I needed.  Hearing the words I have said so often to him (its ok, everybody makes mistakes; you have to make mistakes in order to learn) come back to me at a moment when I really needed encouragement was just, was just--magical.

Oh how I love that child!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Savor The Flavor

My next CT scan is December 8. I am worried, but I am always worried about these things. I have been thinking about and planning for the future. At the same time I have this Big Worry Of Illness And Death with me, just beyond the edge of my peripheral vision...yet, this in-my-face mortality allows me to appreciate and enjoy this moment, right now (each moment), more than I would were it not there.

Over and over again, even when quite sad and scared, I recognize the beauty before me and within me. I use that recognition to comfort myself. Right now, outside my window I see the colors of of the light sky, dark holly leaves, yellow oak leaves, red maple leaves, green-yellow sassafras leaves. Right now, inside my head and my stomach, fear and sadness are on the brink of spreading. Must I deny either of these truths? Or can I hold both ideas at once? Can I feel the pleasure and pain of life together? Can I savor the flavor of duality?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Overwhelming Love/Luck/Blessings

Over the past few days I have been reminded, yet again, of the overwhelming love/luck/blessings in my life. Just when I was feeling so down about the whole second baby no go thing. The universe (or whatever you chose to call it) has yet again shown me that I have a full life, abounding with love and happiness. Mine eyes shine with joy.

(If I tried to list all my blessings this post would never be over, but let me hit a few high notes...) I have lovely friends--old and new. I have a beyond-amazing child who returns every iota of my intense love for him and yet actively lives his own life. My marriage is overall great and currently at a particularly outstanding spot. My relationship with my parents is just, well, if you want evidence of how great it is, check out the photo in the previous post--who else among you makes art with her/his mother? Seriously. :)

Yesterday morning I was wiping the kitchen table after breakfast. My eyes wandered outside as they often do. My view was of trees and clear blue fall sky. I stopped to breathe and look; outside the leaves were floating down from their branches. I was transfixed, still, watching them falling slowly through that autumn morning. How blessed was I, in that moment, that eternal moment living in my memory, to just be there, being there. Bliss is that simple.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Top Coat

My mom and dad are building a straw bale house. Not to live in; it is a guest house. It is taking far, far longer and much more money than either of them anticipated or imagined (in the third year now) but that's a story for another time. I have been helping a little here and there when we visit Tennessee. I know I have posted little bits about those times when I helped to sculpt the trees trunks and, more recently, the leaves. This evening I got an email from my mom with a few pics attached. One photo showed the wall with the white top coat. It is so beautiful and magical I have to share it with you. An image like this makes me think all the hard work and sacrifice are well worth the end result!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pregnant Friend

Today I baked scones and cheese straws in preparation for playing hostess this afternoon. Two friends I've known for 5 years (!) came over to my house for the first time. We had tea (I got to break out my beautiful fancy teapot and tea cups) and the aforementioned baked goods. It was a fun afternoon. :0 During the course of the visit it was announced that one of the friends is expecting a baby in June! I was very pleased to discover no anger or sorrow within myself. Maybe because I've been thinking and talking and writing about this so much I've gotten over it a little more?

Anyhow, a wonderful afternoon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why No Baby For Me

So, I have cancer. Why does this prevent me from having a child?

1) We don't know if I can get pregnant or if my eggs are viable. Who knows if I can even have a baby. (Or whether my eggs are ruined by chemo and not capable of making a normal healthy child.

2) I have to have CT scans every 3-4 months. Can't have a CT scan when you are pregnant. I don't think the standard of care is to go 10 months without a CT scan. And what if I need chemo or surgery again?

3) My doctors tell me all the time that the cancer will come back. Do I want to go through the whole journey of fear and anger and sorrow and weaning again?! Do I want to put my health in (even more) danger?

4) Is it fair to my son and my husband for me to put my life on the line?

5) What would happen if we had two children and I died? (See number 4.) My husband feels he can handle one child but with two how could he afford the child care alone, much less college and retirement?

6) Let's pretend all the cancer stuff does not exist (haha wouldn't that be great?!). There are several other reasons that might prevent us from choosing, as a couple, to have a child. I prefer to keep those private.

So, dear blog readers, that's about as starkly unhappy as I've been in a post for a while. I hope to be able to soar beyond this as well, to remember (in this season especially) how grateful I am for my amazingly lucky life full of love, comfort, and (dare I say it) adventure.

7) This is the secret part that I don't allow myself to think about. So, not really secret. The chance of reoccurance is greatest within approximately 2 years after NED (no evidence of disease*), so maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe...

* The CT scans show a stable lesion in the apex of my left lung; no one knows if it is cancer or not without cutting me open (again). So we do not know if I am NED or not.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Babies Babies Everywhere

It took a long time and to conceive our son. It was a year, actually. To make a long story short, we did all the stuff you are supposed to do and ended up seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist and doing all sorts of tests. That guy told us we had a 5% chance of conceiveing spontaneously (i.e. naturally) and we were preparing to start fertility drugs when (drum roll) we discovered I was pregnant. Oh we were so happy! I cannot tell you the joy of a much-longed for pregnancy! :)

But you know, while I was waiting for the proper time to try to get pregnant and then trying to get pregnant, I felt only joy when I heard the news that a friend was pregnant. I had a friend in law school who was unable to have children and she thought I was really weird for looking forward with anticipation at attending Ms. Breadwinner's baby shower. I tried to explain to the law school friend that I was so happy for my friend and that I was happy to be included in celebrating her pregnancy and that I looked forward to seeing my friend in a new role--as mother--and to watch her child grow. My law school friend said that she hated baby showers and did not like talking with pregnant women because it made her unhappy. I could not agree but could see her perspective.

And now? Oh my I would love to have another child. I can't describe how deeply I love my son and how that love makes me want another baby with my husband. However, as readers of this blog know, times have changed for me. Looks like my baby hopes will never come to fruition. I cannot even really allow myself to think about it much since it is a source of hard hard pain for me. I now feel sadness and even anger when I hear about someone else's pregnancy. Not for first children--just for the second and third babies. I also feel ashamed about these emotions, which makes it all worse.

Why? Probably because cancer has robbed me of this, too. Maybe because I hoped so much and had my hopes dashed. I've been having to confront this a few times lately because it seems that everyone is having another baby!

Ah, it is all so complicated. I could write pages and pages about this and still not feel I've really explained myself to myself and/or anyone else. But writing about it, even a little bit, helps.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Busy Few Weeks

In the last few weeks we've been pretty busy but we've had a lot of fun. :) Here's a short summary of what we've been up to, with photos.

We attended the Rally For Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.
A couple of guys with funny costumes. Or were they ironic statements?

Me holding my little captain in the crowd.

The crowd, from where we were standing.
We dressed up for Halloween, attended a neighborhood party, and went trick-or-treating. (Captain Adorable and I attended several events this year--we got our money's worth out of the costume alright!)
On our way to the neighborhood party.

Look at that form as he reeeeaaaaches for the door bell. :)

The captains have been cleaning up lots of leaves from all the trees in our front yard.
Aren't they cute?

We had the boat taken out of water for winter storage.
It looks so tiny!

We worked on the continuing foyer renovations.
He works very hard and he's strong.