Sunday, February 27, 2011

Things One Does For One's Child

OK, I am kidding, because I have actually been to a monster truck show before (back in 2000), but I never thought I'd go to another one. Today the combination of my devotion to my child and the invitation of some generous friends got me to attend another one. It was over the top in so many ways (my eyes actually hurt from all the exhaust in the air, despite the ventilation efforts of the Monster Truck Jam crew). Of course we took precautions to protect our ears.

It was a lot of fun to watch all the amazing tricks and stunts. My favorite part was the Freestyle Mania section of the show, when the show floor was filled with bicycles, four-wheelers, and motorcyles all jumping and twirling and flipping everywhere you looked. I even forgot to take photos.

Much to my shock and surprise, Captain Adorable fell asleep about 30 minutes shy of the end of the show. How he slept with all that noise and excitement I will never understand. Still, makes me feel pretty good about the ear protection he was wearing!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Afternoon In The Park

This afternoon my little family went to the park. Our plan was just to spend some time together and look around. We had a great time doing not much, together.
Walking around down on the beach...tide was low.

Me and Captain Adorable walking along the beach.

Down by a different beach we saw deer tracks.

"Writing" in the sand.

The barnacles and the rocks and the water looked beautiful in the late winter sun.

Ooooh! Fallen trees!

Freezing cold and running back to the woods.
The last big hill.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Little (Wonderful and Weird) Changes

As I've written about already, I have been working hard on changing bad diet habits for a while. Yes, my aim is to lose weight but also to give my body the best food I can give it while cooking at home for my family. So losing weight has obvious benefits: I feel better, I look better, my clothes have stopped shrinking in the dryer...but there's more. The many little changes that I notice so much more often than how I look in a mirror. Here are some examples.
  • I no longer have indigestion. Seriously, it is a thing of the past. I used to take Zantac 2-3 times a week. Now? Never. 
  •  My wedding and engagement rings had become uncomfortably tight; so much so that I was beginning to think of putting them aside. Now? They're a little loose--constantly sliding around my finger, clicking together and becoming unattached. 

Weird things I did not know to expect:
  • Not only are my clothes too big, so are my underclothes. I've had to get rid of most of them because they're baggy, they bunch up under my clothes and feel weird and probably look weird, too.
  • My thorecotomy scar looks bigger (dude it is like my whole back now) and seemed to have moved (I used to pull the bra up on the rare occasions I showed it off, now I have to pull it down). My husband says my infinity symbol tattoo is smaller. I don't see it often, seeing as we do not possess a full-length mirror. 
  • The seatbelt in the car never bothers me anymore. Used to be that it would cut into my neck all the time. I think my belly shifted it upward whereas now there is no belly (or much less) and the seat belt stays where it is supposed to be!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Practical Romantic

Last spring, Captain Obvious asked me to learn how to splice line. He bought some line and a splicing kit for me to practice with. I took one look at the directions, realized it would help to see the procedure, and decided to watch some videos on youTube. After one or two of those I put the project aside until another time, when I would be "ready." Which means I forgot about it entirely, since I was scared of it and did not really want to try. A few nights ago Captain Obvious got the kit out and began attempting the splice. Of course I got sucked in and tried to help. We sat together on the floor for a couple of hours with a how-to video inching along second-by-second on youTube, each with a line tied to a leg of the couch, and after total of 4 attempts, I ended up with nothing (my hands are not strong enough to force the fid with the core past the core under the cover, if you want to know precisely) but he had a couple of splices! Not good enough to use on the boat, but still, better than what I made! It was fun to work together, separately and together working on a complex problem. Funny how our minds work, but it reminded me of something that happened at our wedding.

In the months leading up to the Big Day, Captain Obvious and I talked a lot about what our wedding meant to us and carefully picked music and poetry that (hopefully) communicated to our family and friends the way that we loved one another and what we wanted for our lives together. My dad, at our request, got ordained as a minister (online by the Universal Life Church) so that he could be our officiant. I had been wavering a little about the final poem, leaning towards a beautiful but kind of practical one but at the same time pulled towards a much more romantic, passionate one. As far as I remember, my beloved groom was more in favor of the romantic one but was cool with the other one also. I finally decided on the practical one. Since writing this, I asked him and he said he remembers preferring the more romantic one but being cool with either choice.

There was a mix up right before the ceremony and the poem I chose was not on the podium when Dad needed it, so instead he read the romantic one. Prophetic? My husband, the man with whom I have a strong partnership, whom I work so well with, is also the one I love passionately and endlessly.

Here are the poems I am talking about. Both were written by the great Khalil Gibran.

The one I wanted:
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

The one we got:
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gone Again

Feeling a little down and extra tired since my beloved Captain Obvious is gone again. Last week he was out of town for work too, boohoo. I am not complaining about him--I know he is working hard for our family, and I am thankful to him for his efforts. I am just complaining because I miss him. I'd like to see his handsome face and give him a hug and a kiss right now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pee Again

It snowed last night and preschool was canceled for today. Even if it had not been I do not know if I would have sent my boy to school since he is sick. No fever, but lots of snot and some coughing. Plus Captain Obvious is out of town again this week, so more time in the house alone with mama. Boring. Ah well, we played with his trains all morning, making several train tracks. But soon my little darling declared that is was hot and I knew what was up next; he took off all of his clothes. He's quite the nudist lately--I am beginning to wonder why we get him dressed in the morning at all.

In the afternoon he was finally allowed to watch his show (Word World) and sat, pleased as punch, looking at the television while eating a cracker. I was reading on the couch and after about 20 minutes I noticed him run to the bathroom, go in very quickly and run right back. About 10 minutes after that, I saw out of the corner of my eye, he made a sudden motion and looked up at me immediately. I put down my book and discovered that he had peed on the ottoman (where he was sitting) and the floor! (It was not much, but really, even a drop is too much pee on the furniture!) I insisted he go pee in the toilet over his loud protestations that he did not have to go. Based on the sound I heard, it was a good thing I insisted! I paused his show, got the upholstery and carpet cleaner and had him help with the clean up (he loves spraying, so this was pretty much fun for him). We then had a talk about what had happened. He knew he had to pee, which was why he went to the bathroom, but he did not want to take the time to go, so he just came back without going. He thought he could hold it for the rest of the show. I think the fact that it came out was completely unexpected! We talked about how it is important to go when you have to go, not to put it off and hold it in too long. I also asked that he put on at least his undies, which he did.

This is actually his third pee accident since late December. The first one happened at a party, so the reason for that one is a bit unclear--was it delay, did he not know where the bathroom was, or something else? The second time was definitely because he was delaying going to the bathroom because he did not want to interrupt what he was doing. This time was because he did not want to take the time away from the tv to pee. There have been a couple of close calls, when one or both parents have had to persuade him to pee. My boy has been potty trained since he was 30 months old (2 and a half years) and he is now suddenly (at over 4 years old) having pee accidents?! Urgh: a new thing to watch for and ask about.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Visit To The Boat Yard

Captain Obvious went to the boat yard today. The boat needs love too, you see. Or at least a lot of snuggling. Oh wait, I meant sanding, not snuggling! Captain Adorable and I went in the afternoon to bring lunch and conversation. It was really, really windy. We ate in the car. After our meal we did get out to walk and play a little.

After a while the two Captains climbed up into the cabin--one to work and one to play. I stayed on the ground. I thought to take a nap in the car, seeing as I am still feeling extra tired and crappy, but was interrupted too soon for any real sleep to occur. Then Captain Adorable and I went drove home and waited for Daddy to join us.

The basement stinks of the anti-bacterial stuff, which is preferable to stinking of poop, but pretty awful. I am looking forward to the fans getting turned off and leaving (maybe Monday) because then I will not have to listen to their incessant noise anymore.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Basement Excitement

Today was an exciting day. Last night we discovered that the sewer line had backed up and we had sewer water all over the inside of our basement. Stinky, disgusting, and depressing. Also potentially a lot of work and very expensive. Of course, my darling Captain Obvious was up early and ready to attack the problem with his usual combination of confidence and optimism. I helped as much as I could (which mainly involved standing by and cheering him on) until he discovered roots and there was nothing more he could do. I drove Capt. Adorable to a much-anticipated outdoor playdate (it was a gorgeous day today--the thermometer in my car said it was 80 degrees farenheit as I pulled out of the parking lot on the way home). Captain Obvious made some calls and got things done. By the time we got home, a temporary fix had been made (they dug a deep hole into the yard removed a big root ball) and they promise to be back at the beginning of the week to make a permanent fix. The insurance company sent out a cleaning service (I mean there was POOP down there--POOP!) to get everything cleaned up. Fortunately, everything that was ruined can be replaced and most of the things that were touched by the POOP but not ruined (wooden furniture as opposed to cushions, for instance) could be washed by the cleaning service using a sprayer and some super-sterile anti-bacterial solution. I had been afraid they'd have to throw everything out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feeling Off

Since about last Thursday I've been feeling bad. Not terrible, but bad. I have a slightly elevated temp: 99.7, 99.3, 99.6. Some days it has gotten up to 100.2 or even 100.6 but not really a fever. My throat is sore (and red). I'm extra tired and spit up nasty green and brown mucus in the morning. Some coughing and scratchiness in my throat. Why don't I call the doctor? Well, because I am kind of convinced it will not do any good. Last time I went and complained about this type of thing (especially the constantly slightly elevated temp) I just heard that chemo had changed my body temp and that's just the way it was. Not much help, so what's the point in going? Meanwhile Captain Adorable and I are on our own as Capt. Obvious had to travel for work (will be back tomorrow) and I'm feeling icky. Good thing my little guy is so cooperative and helpful. And thank goodness for preschool! ;)

And yes, I will call the doctor and make an appointment. Grumble grumble.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Wonderful Idea

Recently two or three people have suggested that I write a book about my cancer journey. I love this idea--I've always told myself I'd write a book one day (or perhaps even more than one). I've written short stories, poems, even a play, but never anything longer than a couple dozen pages. I've been keeping a diary off and on for years so I guess you could say I am my own favorite subject. (Does that mean I am vain? Or just boring?) But who would care? And who could I convince to publish a book about me?

Seriously, what would my hook be? All I've done is not die. I haven't taken up a raw food diet. I haven't had a religious awakening. I haven't become a crusader for cancer research. It is true that this journey has changed me and has opened my eyes to the joys of life and shown me how supremely lucky I am, but again, no hook. One of the friends who was suggesting the idea said that my hook was that I was a mom throughout my journey. I don't know; I don't think that's much of a hook.

Anyhow, I'm interested enough in the idea that I think about it a lot; perhaps I should do some research and see how likely it would be that anyone would be interested in publishing my story.  I mean sure, it seems bloggers get book deals all the time, but those are usually cookbooks. ;) If any of you, my faithful readers, have any connections, let me know! How I'd love to write my story and share it with an even wider audience.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Moment of Motherhood Joy

I am, as you know if you've read this blog even once or twice, overjoyed to be a mother. In my experience, there are amazing moments and unadulterated joys in every moment. One of the reasons I am a successful mother is of course the support of my darling husband, the father of our beautiful child. Oh I sound so lecture-y and sentimental but these two people are my life and I adore them both.

This afternoon Captain Adorable and I had finished reading a couple of books (Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke and Masha And The Firebird by Margaret Bateson Hill and Anne Wilson) and I was puttering around in the kitchen, cleaning up and thinking about what I was going to make for dinner when we heard the garage door open (which means Daddy is home) about an hour and a half earlier than usual! Capt. Adorable jumped and asked "Is that Daddy?" I said, "yes," and he ran to look out the dining room window to check for himself. I soon heard a scream of joy followed by the exclamation, "it is Daddy!" Now, I am always happy to greet my husband on his return home but hearing the delight in our son's voice was an additional joy. Oh the love of my child for his father melts me into a puddle of happy, happy love goo......

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weight Loss

This evening I happened to look at my passport. The photo was taken in preparation for our trip to Costa Rica in February 2009. I was really surprised at the very different looking woman in that photo! She had short kinky hair--the chemo do--and a fat swollen face--the chemo face. I was not terribly slender before chemo (haha) but all those drugs and horribleness swelled me up (I gained weight and I had very large cheeks/jowls from the drugs).The photo makes me feel sad because I remember the pain of that time and happy because it is over (for now) and proud because I have changed since then.

Since May 2010 I have been committed to changing some bad eating habits and losing weight. I have lost alllllllmost 30 pounds so far, but the important thing to me is how many deep changes I have made concerning what I choose to put in my mouth. And, obviously, what I show my son about eating habits and diet choices. I feel better. I look better.

Making these types of changes in one's diet is never easy, and I have often struggled with temptation in the form of tempting treats or just old habits. But of course the struggle is worth the end result in the long run (and sometimes even in the short run).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Photo Diary of Sorts

Captain Adorable likes to take photos. He likes to play with the camera. Now and then he takes nice ones (I've even posted one on this blog.) But usually his photos are really just documentation of what he is doing at the time. This evening I was looking through some of his photos and thought I would share a few with you.
First photo of the day. You can see me sitting at the kitchen table, probably eating lunch. You can tell he is already running.

Down the hall.

Into his playroom.

The gas stove.

Some of his paintings.

Blocks on the arm of the couch.

I think this was taken through a block with a hole (marbles can go through these at the end of a ramp).

His flashlight.

Holding his flashlight.
And then there are some white ones (he must have been shining the flashlight directly into the lens). Later there were photos of the carpet. And the toilet. And the cats. And sometimes a self portrait or two. :D

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inspired By Reading

Captain Adorable and I often go to the library. As you can see from the list of books I've finished reading on the right side of this blog, I read a lot. My son has book fever too. As Captain Obvious says, thank goodness for the library or we'd never be able to afford our book habit. Several weeks ago we found a little gem in the children's section called The Bravest Knight by Mercer Mayer. The book set Capt. Adorable's imagination afire! We kept renewing it and renewing it. Capt. Adorable wanted to take it to preschool with him (where there are plenty of lovely books) and his teacher read it to the class.

I could see he was inspired by this book, and for Hanukkah and Christmas and his birthday he received several knight-themed presents, including, of course, the cherished book (thanks to his uncle!). Now a sword fight with Daddy is one of his daily activities. Of course, he is happy to have a sword fight with whoever will play, but I'm not into it and others brave enough to try do not often repeat the experience. Here are a few photos of this afternoon's battle.

 I should add that the helmet was a project Capt. Adorable and I did together yesterday afternoon. We got the instructions from another library book: Medieval Arms and Armor (First Facts) by Jim Whiting. It is a difficult to see out of and hot (the point of making one was to demonstrate to the child what the knights of old experienced), but Capt. Adorable wants to wear it for every battle now. After this evening's fun he told Capt. Obvious that he ripped it and then took it off! (The aluminum foil did indeed get damaged...)