Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Horrible Sadness

Today started like any other day this week. Aggressive schedule. Contractor meetings. Chauffering the owners of our company around town. I was feeling really good about all my boss and I had accomplished in the past two weeks. I was excited to go have some beer with him, and debrief from our big day of meetings, and debate the pros and cons of our top two choices.

On my way to the beer joint, I called the office to let them know I wouldn't be coming in today. It was just before 3pm.

And everything stopped.

One of our dear employees, J, never came back from lunch. She had an aneurysm at lunch. All by herself. A treat she gave herself on pay days. Her favorite little Italian place a few blocks from the office. She began vomiting, and collapsed. She never regained consciousness. This evening, after she was transferred to a better trauma center, they performed tests and found no brain activity. Someday tonight or tomorrow, her family will take her off of life support.

The true irony is that one month ago to the day, her ex-husband - the one true love of her life and father of her only child - killed himself. One.Month.To.The.Day.

And now their adult daughter has to try to live. With all this tragedy.

And I'll never see her again. Never be able to tell her how much we appreciate her. How important she is to our success. How we treasure her as a person. It's just all over. In an instant.

When her ex-husband died, I debated whether or not I should go to the funeral. I'm an outsider here. I moved here when my company 'bought' this company, acquired these employees. I didn't know if she would want me there or not. But I don't often get much opportunity to tell these employees that I value them as people, so I went to the funeral. On a Saturday. Even though it pretty much eliminated half of my quality time with the boys for that weekend. Looking back, I'm so glad I went. I thanked her here and there, but I never got to tell her how important she was to me. Hopefully that one small gesture gave her some sort of an idea of how important she was to me. I hope.

I thought venting all these thoughts here would make it more real to me, but its not. I just can't hardly believe its true. I can't believe she's gone. And I'm just so so sad.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sad News Fun News

I could make every 'thankful' post about the boys. I am so grateful to have them. I love them just the way they are. They're funny, cute, spirited little dudes.

Here's two reasons why. A long and short story.

1 - our dear friends here in Dallas. Probably the two people who have welcomed us the most. Lost their baby this week. The baby stopped growing at 7 weeks. They are devastated, of course. They have a 19-month old baby girl, who is adorable and fun. And they were both so happy to be pregnant again. I am so sad for their loss, and still so grateful we never had to endure a miscarriage.

2 - for the past week or so, our little Will has been taking off his pajamas sometime between 8pm and 7am. Correction: his pajamas AND his diaper. Shocking the first time, I'm sure you can imagine. Even when there is poo in his diaper, he hasn't played in it (thank GOD) and has not made pee'd or poo'd anywhere in his crib. He just takes off his pajamas. So, last night, I took an old school diaper safety pin and pinned his zipper through both sides of his pajamas. These are the flannel pajamas with the feet.

The little contortionist somehow got the pajamas down to his waist while they were still zipped up! He must have somehow got his arms pulled out of the sleeves, and then maneuvered them up through the collar. But his hips prevented him from getting them all of the way off. So, tonight, he is sleeping in the outfit he wore today to see if its the pajamas he doesn't like, or he just likes to strip and go naked.

I worry about him getting cold, hopefully he'll cry if he needs us.

I love that he has combined my intelligence and tenacity with his father's mechanical aptitude. And I'm so thankful that I get to be his mom!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All Abount the Benjamins

Today I am grateful for the good fortune of finding out my DH's new job is a 'qualifying event' so I can open a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account with my employer. Which will save us about $1500 in taxes in 2011. Woo Hoo!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Less Pout, More Gratitude

So, DH called our accountant today and learned that the extra % in the tax bracket is just for the income actually IN our tax bracket. So, its not the extra 10% on all of our income, just that which we earn over the 15% bracket. Soooooo grateful he made that call! Life feels much better today. Still not wealthy or all the disposable income I'd like but he did save us (in my mind) about $7,0000.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Can I get a (tax) break?

So, with DH's new job starting next week, we have been updating our budget in anticipation of the great wealth one would expect with my ginormous raise in taking this job, and his 50% raise over his last job back in Wichita.

Can any of you guess what the problem is with all these windfalls?????

We are now moving up a tax bracket. And not just a small move. A big one. The big one. 10% more of our income will now belong to the federal government. All my life I have felt like paying taxes is a small fee for the freedoms and infrastructure we have in the United States. It's a small fee. Until you lose an additional 10% of your income just because your husband got a job!

DH is so positive. He says we've just reached a new plateau and every increase in income over this will be gravy. I'm trying to knock things off of our monthly expenses. Car payments. Student loans. Daycare. Yes, the boys will start pre-school full time in one week, and I'm already counting down the months until they can participate in the local education system. Seriously, SO expensive! But worth it.

I am still in disbelief, and looking forward to talking to our accountant when we get our taxes done in hopes of something other than the standard deduction or our standard exemptions or some advice that can help us to decrease our taxable income. I fear it will just be the way it is for us for a few years. Stupid taxes.

We're looking for a new home. Somewhere closer to where my office will move next September. We're not serious about looking at homes, but just about neighborhoods and commute times right now. So far, nothing we absolutely love. In my exhuberance to take this job, one part I was really looking forward to was finally getting our dream home. Right now we life in a closet-sized condo which is VERY cost effective. The rent is low, the utilities are low, the internet and cable are free. But the finish work, ah the finish work, is GORGEOUS! Dark hardwood floors, travertine tile, granite countertops. But tiny. I want the same finish, but more spacious, with a yard for the boys. And a kitchen counter / island that opens to the living space. Oh, and a two-car garage. Staring down winter, I'm definitely going to miss that while living in this condo.

And so today, I am trying to be grateful that we're thinking of this tax bracket crap in advance and hopefully won't be surprised by a big bill come tax time for 2011. And grateful that we have plenty of time and options. I should be grateful for all the extra income, but right now, the net is a loss not a gain, so it doesn't feel very extra. And mostly I am just pouting.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Saturday is an easy day to be grateful. I was so happy to sleep in (even though I accidentally had set my alarm). We had a great morning at a local fall festival with some friends from work. The boys were terrified of the bouncy house, but enjoyed the bouncy slide and the train! I enjoyed a quiet afternoon to myself shopping for me and my boys. The boys needed new car seats since DH got a job, we'll both need car seats in our cars in case one of has to work late, etc. I 'needed' new black boots for my skinny jeans. And the boys also got some new blocks and new pajamas...And tonight, DH and I enjoyed some pad thai. And now we're vegging on the couch with some good Tivo on the tv. I am so grateful for Saturdays!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three More

11/10 - Grateful this day is over! Whew! It was killer!

11/11 - Thankful the weekend is almost here!

11/12 - GRATEFUL for the weekend!!!!!

Are you sensing the theme?! It was a big, big week for me at work. And now I'm ready to veg with my fam. Love.Those.Dudes.

Did I tell you DH got a job?! So, the boys will be in pre-school/daycare 5 days/week starting on the 22nd. They're already going one day / week to Mother's Day Out at this pre-school, and I know the structure environment will be good for them. I'm happy for the extra income, and yet kind of pouting that now I'll have to get up earlier, so the boys and I can be on the road in time to drop them off at school and still get to work on time. (sigh)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Pics

Grateful my crazy photographer FINALLY delivered our family photos today. Only 2.5 weeks late, and after the following excuses (lies)

  • My email didn't go through

  • They were lost in the mail

  • My father in law has cancer

  • My grandmother is dying

  • I'm in the ER with pneumonia

  • My daugher is sick

  • My husband is out of town

  • I'm going through a divorce

  • I'm in a 3-day walk for the cure

  • And the greatest of all when she showed up at my office earlier today ... I left the CD at home! That's right! She had to make TWO TRIPS over 30 miles each way to finally get the CD to me. Poor little liar!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Catching Up

11/6 - Thankful for a great evening of family fun having my mom kick my butt in Scrabble!

11/7 - Grateful that my wonderful mother came to visit - and grateful that she's gone so DH and I could just hang on the couch!

11/8 - Thankful for my kick a** job that I totally rocked today. Busyness and Business going well!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 5

Thankful for my work ethic, and happy I'm not the crabby person I have to deal with today.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 4

So, I missed Day 3.

1) I am thankful for the person who expressed interest in my car today. It's only been for sale for like 5 months. Hopefully, they like what they see!!!!!

2) I am thankful to live in Dallas with all its vast resources. Today we took the boys to the children's museum which was awesome. What a way to wear them out!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 days of Thanksgiving

Here is a Halloween pic. DH is the Situation. And me as Snookie in the back. I had a few too many and deleted 'all' of the pictures on our camera, so this is the best I have of our costumes.

I have been seeing on Facebook where people are posting one thing each day for the month of November for things they are thankful for. I really don't feel like doing that on Facebook, but it is totally something I would have done back when I took better care of this blog. So, I'm going to give it a shot. Since today is the second, I have some making up to do.

1. I am thankful that my mammogram was clear last month. And I don't have to have another one until I'm 40. How incredibly humiliating!!!!!

2. I am thankful that I did not make a total arse of myself at this Halloween party with my co-workers this weekend. (My boss is the mad hatter!) Everyone seemed to reach the same state of drunkeness at the same time, so I was saved.

Hopefully I'll have something else for you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Can you believe how big they are??!?!?! Jack pushing Will while Will is in the storage compartment in their little ride on toy. It's the only way to get them to share when they try to wrestle it away from each other - encourage one of them to push!
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am having a mammogram tomorrow.

Not really, its actually because my new Dallas OB (seriously O.V.E.R. finding new doctors!) recommended it for my 'dense' breasts. And....she wrote on the paperwork the number of medicated cycles I have had - 4 in case you lost track.

I'm oddly not that worried about it. My BFF H. had one for the same reason. And I have other friends who have had them prior to boob jobs. So, its not totally uncommon, just a precaution. I guess I just wasn't expecting it at age 34.

That being said, all the publicity this month for the awareness and save the boobies and all that is kind of creeping into my skull. I have to keep changing the radio station and avoiding restaurants with their pink roses. There was a Susan G Komen Race for the Cure walk/run by our house last weekend. Etc. Etc. Etc.

It's not as serious or as emotionally disturbing, but its like a mild case of the way you feel when you're TTC and you hear a friend got her BFP or you read an article about the Duggars. Um, hello, I'm trying to avoid thinking about this and you're ruining it for me!!!!!!

In other news, the boys have started a Mother's Day Out program one day / week at a local pre-school. This week they were finger painting. How cool is that?! They still aren't talking as much as I'd like. But I suppose I also may just not be very good at hearing them. Will says something that sounds like "Go!" or maybe its just "Bo". He never will repeat anything on command, so its hard to say. So, I am narrating the life out of them. Yes, you have the blue cup. Jack pulled Will's hair. Will is swiping Jack's orange ball.

Work is good. Busy. Busy. Glad I'm here. DH is still looking for a job. It seems like nobody called all summer and now he gets a couple calls/interviews a week. Hopefully, he can be picky. The job he has a second interview for next week is actually MORE than he was making in Wichita. Which would just be so freaking awesome! Imagine! We would actually be better off, which was the plan, but just hasn't worked out yet.

My mom is coming to visit for a week. She arrives on 10/29. She's been having some financial struggles. DH and I have been talking about how we might help. I don't even know if she'll let me, but I am really upset about it, and I really want to do something. It's the least I can do.

Ok, I gotta get back to this episode of Jersey Shore. Doing some research for my Halloween costume - I'm going as Snooki and DH is going to be the Situation. I promise to post pics!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Free and Clear

So, the dramatic body scan is over.

My appointment was last Friday at 11am. I sat thru the scan in a much more 'ghetto' setting than my scans in Wichita. They literally used a chair as a footrest.

When the scan ended, I was left alone in the room. I had been watching a scan on the monitor, and when I stood up, I was checking it out. It showed the three major areas - throat, lungs, colon - that they seem to check each time. Only the neck showed a much larger white spot that had spread out from the scan I had last Spring.

My heart sank. I was having pretend conversations with my doctor about what we can do once I get all the radiation I can get. What are we going to do? Who's going to raise my kids? It was tragic.

A few moments later, the tech walked in behind me and said, "That's not your scan. That's the guy before you." She then starts typing on the computer and pulls up my scan - which is completely black, meaning completely and utterly free of any detectable cancer.

And I feel like I've come out from under a dark cloud. Blissfully able to plan a future with my family. To have dreams. And goals. And maybe even someday, more kids. Or not. But I've got time.

On the more realistic side, I need to have another clean scan in 6 months before I'm really out of the clear. But this is definitely a start. And it makes me happy I opted for the aggressive second treatment a week or so before we moved to Dallas. I feel like I made good choices. And I had fabulous medical care. I am so grateful to my OB who spotted the tumor, my fabulous surgeon who did such a clean cut for my basically invisible scar and who left so little tissue behind, as well as my oncologist who gave me my doses, and my endocrinologist who sent me back to the oncologist when my first radiation didn't completely "ablate" my cancer. And my husband who watched my boys, friends who came over to help him, and listened to me all along. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

p.s. The boys are GREAT. Adorable. In to everything. Still not talking, but maybe getting close. We catch an 'up' or an 'uh oh' in between all the 'daddy's Love those guys.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

IF Snob

So, I have a total body scan tomorrow. And I'm such a sh*tty patient. Such a snob. An IF snob. A whiney, complaining baby. And why do I say this? Because I think it is RIDICULOUS that I have to trek across town everyday for pre-scan shots in the rump. Um, hello?! If I can shoot myself up with progesterone in the rear for months, months I tell you, then I can certainly handle two days of thyrogen. Progesterone in O.I.L. and this stuff is thin with a short little needle that I barely feel when the elderly nurse makes me bend over - yes! bend over, are you kidding me?!. I admit it, Yes, you have to mix it. But I have mixed my meds before. So, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to injections, you know?!

Also, loving the Proverbs on some random Bible blog I've been getting in my Google reader lately. Here's yesterday...Proverbs 16:9 - "In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps."

Think on that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Long Time Gone

Wow. 4 months since my last post. Wow.

It's a combination of the speed of life in Dallas, and the fact that our ultra small condo does not allow much alone time for me, and I somehow don't like to blog in front of DH. Weird, huh?

I really do love our life here. I love my job. Love my new boss. He is, in a word, brilliant. But so much more. He's really making me feel included and inviting me to participate and to be his partner, which is what I so desperately needed and was missing in my last position. I know I made a good choice. Can't imagine being in Wichita today. No way!

DH has not yet found a job, so he is still staying home every day with the boys. They are walking now. Still no words, but they definitely are smart cookies. Jack stands in front of the fridge when he wants a drink, and walks to the changing table in his bedroom when I ask him if he wants his pants changed. He will pucker up for a kiss, and start taking off his shirt if you ask him for it. Will doesn't seem to have the same grasp on language, but I'm not worried. He's smart in other, more devious ways. Like figuring out how to climb on top of things to reach things on the counter. Or how to put one of mommy's flip flops on his own foot. He's so demanding and task-oriented. He likes to take my shoes off while I'm standing in them! So he can try to put them back on. I definitely see some parenting books in my future for that little dude! So determined. So like me! And I had always blamed all my bad behavior on being an only child. Apparently....its genetics!

I am scheduled to meet my new endocrinologist on September 1st. He will measure my blood levels, and perhaps schedule a scan so we can see whether or not the radiation in March irradicated the big C. I don't hardly ever think about it, which is good, since there's nothing I can do, really. But sometimes I worry its spread to my jaw or my skin. It's kind of a curse, this diagnosis of mine. Makes you feel susceptible to things, just brings your own mortality into the forefront. Not where it belongs.

We're waiting to make a final decision on whether or not we thaw out the totsicles until we get this cancer diagnosis behind us. I'd like to have one more, maybe, but then we'd need a different car, more money, more time, etc. And we really do have a good deal with the boys. I don't want to be greedy. Don't really want to risk having another child who is less than healthy. These two little miracles are more than enough. I still am in awe that they are here. Of course I get tired and impatient and desperate for more personal time. Of course. But I look at their little faces, and I see them learning and growing and they are just true miracles. My little dudes. And I am grateful and happy. I don't need another child to be happy. I got the dream I never thought would come true.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Exhibit A

In our short life in Dallas so far, my husband and I have been amused by the name of several businesses...Exhibit A....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

I'm home. Have been for hours. But the drive here must have taken it out of me, because I'm just now to the point where the laptop doesn't make me hurl. So, I've mostly been sleeping. Had to take a sick day, which kills me. We only get 3. I just had to be honest with myself.

The pizza has been ordered to arrive at 5:15pm (doctor pushed it back on me). I broke down and had a piece of toast this afternoon. No butter or anything, but my tummy really seemed to respond to the one they gave me at breakfast, so I thought I'd try it again. Fortified me somehow.

The window repair man - one of like 9 repair men we've had to come to the house in the past few weeks since the buyers' home inspection - is due to arrive around 4:40pm. I'll be in the basement so I'm sure he won't bother me. I just hope he's not in DH's way this evening. He's replacing one window in our kitchen, office, and nursery. So, we can shut the door behind him and then he shouldn't have to worry about tripping over the boys. Plus, they'll be eating when they first get home, then DH is taking them to one of his friends from work's house to pick up our dog who we gave this weekend, but its not working out. So, that one item that had been crossed off our list is now back on the list of crap we absolutely have to get done before we move. Boo.

Ok, that's enough thinking for today. Thanks for your support and kind words. I am so pathetic this time around. So weak. And tired. And dizzy. I don't know how people do this for weeks at a time for rounds of chemo. I am so lucky I just have this one treatment.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

One Step at a Time

I'd like to rush and multi-task and have that somehow speed up this schedule, but I can only get through this one step at a time.

I have to admit.

It's harder this time.

I'm more tired. Exhausted, really. After the injections started, all I can do is lay in bed. My poor husband had an even earlier start to my being no help (which we were expecting to start when I left for radiation). I can't stand. I can't pull myself out of bed. I just want to be laying down all the time. I can't even watch tv. I just lay here with my eyes closed.

I'm dizzy. When I stand. Even when I'm laying down and I move my head too fast.

I'm nauseas. I broke down and took the anti-nausea meds yesterday, which I never needed last time. My stomach is just churching. And I feel like I constantly need to go to the bathroom. And all this fruits is giving me tremendous gas.

I'm drooling more. I think I had this last time, too. It drips out onto my pillow or whatever surface on which my head has fallen. And it chokes me.

It really is harder this time. It's so bad that for the first time, I actually feel like I have cancer.

I go to the hospital tomorrow. I hope to eat normal food starting at noon on Tuesday. I am looking forward to a Papa John's pizza. Cheese. Large. With Garlic Butter Sauce.

This may not end up being the case, but I somehow associate eating real food with feeling better.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Radiation Scheduled

Well, my TSH was only 9, so they wanted to push my treatment back. But because of the move and all the scheduling issues surrounding that, they are going to give me thyrogin injections this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and I should be ready to go for my treatment on Monday, the 15th. Which means I should be able to hold my boys again no later than the 22nd.

Thank GOODNESS because I'm SO ready to be off this darn diet. I see a Pepperoni Pan Pizza in my future! And a lot of starving between now and then.

Today, I have consumed
  • Orange Juice
  • Mountain Dew
  • A Banana
  • A small salad of baby spinach/olive oil/balsamic vinegar/roasted almonds/strawberries
  • Homemade low-iodine roasted vegetable/boiled chicken soup with matza crackers
  • Water

How can I be gaining weight you ask with such low caloric intake? Well, apparently, your thyroid is responsible for your metabolism. And not only does eating hardly anything slow down your metabolism, but your absence of thyroid meds will do that also. So, no weight loss pour moi.

I had a great day working with my new boss today on budgets. He told me it was so nice to have a partner. Love it!

After we quit for the day, I drove over to our new condo to pick up my pre-radiation prescriptions at what will be my new local pharmacy. And the pharmacist was SO nice, knew my name, greeted me by name, chatted me up. He did this with everyone. The people here are SO friendly - except when they're driving ;-) The commute was about 35 minutes, which is a little long but not too bad. I have about 50 other routes to try. No highway, just stoplights. And I tried the grocery store right there. It was small. Are all Tom Thumb's tiny and old? And do they not have self check out in Texas? We shall see....

Hired the movers today. Big step.

All of the multi-tasking which I'm used to doing is hard to do without that metabolism thing, too. I have such a foggy brain. I booked airline tickets under the wrong name, so had to sit on hold with Southwest forever, but they were very kind in fixing it for me. I kept using the wrong dates when getting our corp. secretary to book hotel reservations for me. And I just felt really stressed, like there was too much going on for me to keep it all straight. Just 1.5 more days of budgets, and then I should be back in my own office where I can turn off some of the background noise. Sigh. I H.A.T.E. that this medical issue impairs me in any way mentally. But I know it does. I'm just really scattered. Flaky. And yet constantly feel stimulated. Like I'm on the verge of a headache and my mind won't stop racing. But not about any one thing. Like about everything. Ok, enough thinking about that.

Miss my boys. Excited to go home in a few days. Excited to bring them back with me next time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

low iodine diet - day 6

Sitting in my hotel room in Dallas. I'm here for 4 days....and I LOVE IT!!! I love the people. I love the vibe. I love what I'm doing. I love working with my new boss. Who I loved working with before, but was somewhat worried about how things would be when I was his employee, not just his friend or a member of the corporate staff.

I'm giving myself 15 minutes to update here before calling DH.

S.U.X. But I am trying to not dream about sinking my teeth into a burger, or fries, or bread, or anything else I love and cannot have. But I will definitely be having all of those things and more when I can. Even the new pacific shrimp tacos at taco bell look good at this point, and I don't think I would normally crave shellfish from a fast food joint.

So, today, I have consumed the following: 1 glass of orange juice, an orange, a small spinach salad with homemade dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sugar with strawberries and toasted almonds (yum!), baby carrots with no.salt.added peanut butter, cinnamon applesauce, and a Sprite.

I brought with me to my hotel other foods like more fruit, potatoes, and some homemade low-iodine roasted vegetable soup which is kinda good with some crumbled up matzah crackers. Almost as good as tomato soup with saltines. That's who desperate you get for food on this diet.

As you can see by the quantity of food consumed above, I'd rather just go hungry. You may notice my dinner was carrots and applesauce. I think my sons had more calories today.

Aforementioned love of food is why I would have loved for the hospital to have called me back this afternoon, to tell me which day I can have my treatment next week, or even I guess if I can have it next week, if my levels were high enough today. I had a blood test this morning before hopping on the company plane. It felt like the world stood still for me for a minute there. President and VP of my company on stand by, waiting for my call, to meet them at the airport.

Anyway, still hoping for treatment next Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest, which would mean I could eat real food again next Thursday at noon.

Jack has had loose bowel movements since Friday. He seems like he feels find, but even the old BRAT diet isn't working. He's had it all. Bananas. Rice cereal. Applesauce. Toast. Still loose. Keep trying to decide whether or not to take him to the doctor. He seems to feel fine?! The boys have their 4-week follow up swine flu shot on Friday, so maybe we'll just wait until then to ask. I don't know. The follow up shot is normally a junior nurses' assistant, so probably not into getting advice from her. Maybe I'll call on Thursday if he hasn't changed to solid by then. It's such a fine line between being a worry wart over-reacting parent and negligent.

Will has a cough, which I fear may lead to sinus infection. I'm constantly analyzing his sucking and coughing and tugging anywhere near his head for signs its come back.

DH and I worked tirelessly on our basement this weekend, sorting unpacking and repacking. Items for garage sale. Items to move. Items to throw or give away. It was like a bad HGTV special. And EXHAUSTING. Being off my meds, having the boys there with us, and knowing we can't put it off because there just aren't enough days left before the movers will arrive.

I need to call the movers to get that contract signed and get them scheduled. Our lease has progressed. Realtor received our application fee today and hand delivered it to the leasors' office. Hoping to know tomorrow or Wednesday if we have any problems there. Shouldn't. But there's always a chance.

Lots of work has already been done to our home, and there is more to come. All the crap we need to do to pacify the buyers, who have every right, but I have every right to resent it because its money we're spending on something that was good enough for us, but somehow not for them, plus I'm just cheap and want to get out of the house as cheap as possible. Electricians were there Friday. Chimney measurements Saturday. Glass guy sometime in there, too. Chimney guys are due back tomorrow to install whatever was leaking. Roofers next week. Etc. Etc. Etc.

You can see why I'm excited to have this time in my hotel room with the tv off just listening to the keyboard and the mini fridge. A few moments to call my own when I don't feel compelled to do something productive.

But....maybe I should review that moving contact one.more.time. ;-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

low iodine diet - Day 1

Hating the diet. Today was the first day. Smoothie for breakfast. Strawberry salad for lunch. Beef recipe for dinner was crap, so I ended up eating matzo pb and j. One and a half.

We were in Dallas looking for a new home this weekend. Being off my thyroid replacement makes me tired, and this time with all the other stuff going on right now, I am also emotionally drained. So, I would be excited to look in the morning but by late afternoon almost in tears regretting my decision to move there. Our realtor was gret. We covered lots of ground. And today I think we agreed on one. I was struggling over trying to find the total package in just 3 days - on our budget! Location. Space. Finish. Appliances. Pool. Washer/dryer. All these things you don't worry about when you own your own home. Getting there in person made me confront how we get the boys from our car to the condo and vice versa. This would have been so much simpler without kids. But I wouldn't want it any other way. So, long story short, I am finally excited about Dallas, excited about where we are going to live. Finally. I have been excited about the job forever, but am finally now starting to picture our life there. Finally.

Lots to do in 4 weeks. I figured out tonight I need to start a project plan like what I use when we acquire businesses. Then, I will feel organized. There's just so much to coordinate. Utilities off. Mail forwarded. Oh, and the repairs needed from our home inspection. I'm waiting for 2 more estimates on movers. Seriously, like 7 different repair-type people. Electrician. Roofer. Glass replacement. HVAC. Lots of petty little things, and it won't amount to much money but its going to require mid-day trips home to meet repair men. Sigh.

The boys are standing and smiling. Both clapping and babbling. We're working on more solids. Less gagging. And sippy cups.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I accepted the job in Texas on Monday night.

Told my boss on Tuesday morning.

Had an executive staff meeting to formulate a replacement strategy on Wednesday.

Our house went on the market today.

And we have our first showing tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Stars at Night

The Stars at Night ... are Big and Bright [clap, clap, clap, cap] deep in the heart of TEXAS!!

In the most surreal experience as an adult, I received 3 simultaneous job offers yesterday - from my boss and two other division managers in our company. Simultaneous. As in all of them, in the same room, one after another, in front of each other.

They are giving me a week to decide. And I have a meeting in a few minutes with the owner of our company for his input. But, OMG, I think we're moving to Texas! Best offer. Best promotion. Best job. Best bonus. Best. Best. Best. From every angle. Except the whole relocate and re-start your life, find new friends, doctors, a new hair stylist, a new Walmart, a new commute to work, new home, sell your old home, sell stuff so you don't have to move it kind of way.

I hope to formally accept on Monday. I have a few negotiation points to work out with my new boss before I commit. But there is like little to no chance I would pass on this opportunity.

DH has promised not to tell his family until AFTER my rescheduled birthday this weekend. They live here in town, well, his mom and her husband do, and they are going to FREAK! And I definitely don't want to be around for the guilt they are going to put on him. I can almost hear it now ... 'you're keeping us away from the boys' Um, yeah. You live in the same town. And you see us 6x/year. Whatever! As you can tell, he will be the better choice for this conversation. More empathetic. I mean, I've lived here and away from my family this whole time, but they seem to forget that. Like my sacrifices don't matter.

Oh, and the other hard part. I have to tell my boss. Who will have to replace me and/or take over my duties temporarily/permanently. Her offer sucked. It was insulting almost, but not her fault, just the way they value the position she was offering. They obviously value me higher than that, if they're willing to pay the higher wage for me in Dallas. So, its the position they spit on.

Ok, can't think straight. Just wanted to share my joy! Now all the planning begins, there is so much to do just to move, plus have another radiation treatment before we go!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oncology Update

First, I am still sick. You're probably sick of hearing about it by now. But going to the doctor helped. I am now on a super-strong antibiotic and have some delicious cough syrup with codeine. Codeine! As in a derivative of cocaine! It's all so dangerous and potent! Well, it is working better than the other OTC meds I was taking, so that's all I care about, really.

Second, the 411 on my visit with Dr. R, the oncologist. First, he was apologetic that I had to be back. I guess this was his first time dealing with my scan results, when I dealt with them weeks ago. I could have used his sympathy then, but somehow it was a burden yesterday.

He said the size is so small (a stubborn remnant) and my initial treatment was so recent (just 6 months ago) that he could see how if we waited, they maybe just hadn't had their full effect and it would be gone in a few months. To me, the test to see if they worked and the treatment are so similar that I thought we should just go for it. He thought that was a good plan too. Last time I had a dose of 125, this time he will give me 75. I still have to go off my thyroid replacement. I still have to suffer through two weeks on the ridiculous low iodine diet. I still have to go a week without human contact. I may still have cancer when its done.

DH recommended we have a nice dinner before I start the diet. He is so sweet to think of that.

So, I started my 'pretend' thyroid meds today. Two weeks of these before I'm cut off completely. This other thyroid med is supposed to make me less spacey, at least initially. I already feel spacey enough with this head cold.

So, that's that.

For those of you on the edge of your seats, I did not go to Panera. I was good. I ate my quiche. I was good all day. I guess I just needed some event to work toward, and H's wedding is just that. September 25th, I believe. Plenty of time to drop 40 pounds, right?

Oh, and for those of you following my career path, the VP of Ops at my company has called a meeting of the following people tomorrow afternoon - the President of our company, my boss, manager #1 who has offered me a job, and manager #2 who has offered me a job. Whoever decided to drop that guest list in my lap either thought I was stupid or wanted to drive me nuts for the next two days. Obviously, I know the topic at hand. I am nervous about being under such high powered scrutiny, and also excited that they may just decide my fate for me so I don't have to make this colossal decision.

More News Later.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Still sick.

Sitting in oncology waiting room.

Trying not to cough or sneeze or sniffle. These people have enough to worry about.

I think I'll call my GP to see him later today or tomorrow. I'm starting to think this is a sinus infection.

Now waiting for scans. For some reason even though the bldgs are attached, having my scan done at the clinic means my oncologist at the hospital doesn't have a copy. Um, was I supposed to request that? I thought it was assumed, as in the whole reason I am here.


Really struggling over being good on my diet and going to Panera for a delicious bfst sandwich on my way back to the office. It's just scross the street. I mean, come on?, I have cancer! Don't I deserve a little bacon, egg and delicious Tillamook cheese on artisan bread with a delicious hazelnut latte? If I'm good, then I'm staring down coffee without creamer or sugar, and some low fat/ low carb turkey quiche. I really think I'll be strong. I deserve to be skinny!

Oh, and did I mention that my bff from high school asked me to be in her weddimg in September?! Just the motivation I needed to be good. Seriously, oldest bridesmaid ever!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Birthday Bites

You know what bites? Being sick on your birthday.

From a cold you presumably caught from your darling son earlier in the week.

And when you're sick, you can't diet. You can't work out. You can hardly breathe. And if your heart rate is up, its from all the energy you expend hacking up a lung. Certainly not from the treadmill or eliptical machine.

I've received approximately one million facebook happy birthday wishes, which are really sweet, and so fun. But they aren't doing me much good.

I've been in bed at 7:30 for the past 4 nights, and have resorted to napping with the boys to get even more rest.

I cancelled dinner at my favorite restaurant last night w/my local BFF who also happens to share my birthday.

I cancelled lunch with the in laws today.

I cancelled our plans to attend a housewarming/super bowl party with other friends.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Emotional Eater

It's 5:14pm. I've been home all day with Will who has an ear infection and a high fever and is just not very happy about it. Who could blame the poor little guy?! For the first time in his almost 10 months on this earth, he fell asleep on the floor today.

The house is silent.

I am tired.

Stressed from being up all night holding Will, getting him a doctor's appointment first thing this morning, getting his brother to daycare, stopping by my office to pick up some work to do at home, getting Will to the pediatrician, getting Will to get his rx at Walgreen's and getting home all before 10am. And then putting him to nap so I could work, but really not being able to concentrate much, because I had to clean my house for my friend to come over to stay with him while I went to my very own doctor's appointment.

I finally broke down on Friday and called my endocrinologist about my body scan and blood work. I saw the note today in his hand, it said "Wants to know test results" which isn't a direct quote of my call, but good enough. His nurse called this morning while I was in the Starbucks drive thru - did I mention I had time for a pit stop on the way to Will's dr appt? Yum! Anyway, his nurse called, and they had a cancellation for today (supposedly) and they got me in. Not sure it was worth the time and money that will cost my insurance company when he's just referring me back to my oncologist, but its over now.

Dr M said that the first radiation treatment killed off my remaining thyroid cells, and this second one will be to treat the cancer. And its "common" to have multiple treatments. I asked him to quantify "common." He says 20-30%. He says the cancer cells I have are so small, so trace, that they are undetectable with sonogram, so its not like I have a big tumor. He seemed to be dismissive of the cancer (its miniscule, but its cancer, so we gotta treat it) without being dismissive of me. Which felt really good.

My radiation won't be for at least 6 weeks, because I have to go on this other non-Synthroid prescription for a month, then be without any thyroid replacement for the two weeks that I do that stupid rotten low iodine diet. Blech! The diet on which you can eat nothing and you still gain weight because your metabolism is so freaking slow! Yes, that one.

So, I made it all day eating right. I had a skinny latte from Starbucks. Leftover South Beach friendly chili for breakfast. A piece of natural peanut butter on whole grain double fiber bread for lunch. And some water here and there. But tonight I'm thinking PIZZA and CHOCOLATE. Self medication is good, right? In moderation. If I don't do it every night.

Whether or not I eat the pizza, I'm beginning to recognize this pattern where I reward myself for putting up with a doctor's appointment by eating my fav breakfast sandwich from Panera, or I make myself feel better for having a rough morning by having a chocolate shake. The last few weeks, I haven't been succombing to the temptation. I mean, I feel it, but I've really been letting it pass and just eating the right thing.

And it has paid off. Not my goal weight by any means. I mean, wouldn't it be great if you could lose one pound for every salad you ate? It would be great. But that's not the world I live in. But I did happen to lose about 6 pounds since my last appointment with the endocrinologist, back on January 4th. I'd rather have lost 10, but I'll take my 6. If only the doctor had noticed ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snarky Post

Because we all like to other people complain, I will tell you about the Monday to beat all Mondays in recent memory.

7:35am - have boys, day care supplies, workout clothes, laptop, brief case, coffee, lunch, snacks, etc. all loaded in car, headed to work a few minutes early so I can be at my 8am meeting on time.

7:36am - car will not start.

7:37am - phone husband to come back home to retrieve us.

7:38am - call boss for ride (I'm on her way), but she has already arrived at office.

7:39am - call VP for ride (I'm on his way), but he forgot his cell phone at home and was running late.

8:05am - arrive at work after hubby came back to get me, we both dropped off boys. VP pulls in right behind us.

12:15pm - ride home with boss during her lunch hour, tell her I'll work from home this afternoon while I wait for a tow truck.

1:00pm - call for tow truck.

3:00pm - tow truck still has not arrived. Call for update. Driver supposedly ran out of fuel and had to return to base. I was next.

4:00pm - tow truck still has not arrived. Call to complain. They had two trucks down, they've been behind. He's on his way to me.

4:50pm - tow truck still has not arrived. Call to complain louder. Driver is stuck in traffic nowhere near my house.

5:40pm - tow truck still has not arrived. Call to complain and demand free service, but tow truck pulls up outside, so I hang up while on hold. Truck driver was NOT apologetic, but I did not take my frustrations out on him.

I complained to two people at auto dealer about the tow truck company they use/recommended. They cut my diagnostic charges in half. And I didn't even finish complaining to the tow truck company before she offered to refund the charges. And my car was just flooded. A fluke in the design of my car, caused by my husband moving it on Sunday. In total, I think I'll be out $40 which is nice. But my Monday was pretty much shot.

So, for anyone in customer service, what might have the dispatch clerk have done differently?

Perhaps she could have told me they were running behind, it would be hours before they got to me, so I could go back to work, do something else, etc. etc. etc.

Maybe she could have told me they wouldn't get my car to the dealership before it closed - which they didn't - so I could call another tow company for faster service.

But she didn't do any of these things, so I wasted half a day at home, frustrated and waiting for a tow truck.

Oh, and because they didn't get my car in to the shop on time, it wasn't diagnosed yesterday so I had to take a cab to the airport to catch my flight to Dallas this morning. And so I had to listen to my concert promoter / speed skater cab driver for $30 worth of a ride at 5:15am. And he was 5 minutes late, but because he tried so hard to be chatty I tipped him anyway.

BUT - other than skipping the exercise, I was good and didn't eat any bad carbs or fat. And so, the scale was kind to me overnight. Although ... pizza would have REALLY hit the spot. So woudl chocolate chip cookies!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Best 90 Minutes of the Day

What is it you ask? What are the best, yet fastest passing 90 minutes of the day? Well, not every day, but some days, its NAPTIME!!!!!

Diet is going well. I have worked out everyday. I have eaten right. I have lost 5 pounds. Yay me! The really sick thought is that I've dieted so well I've started spotting. Not unhealthy. I'm eating plenty. Don't worry. But every time I start dieting, reducing carbs especially, I start spotting.

Have not heard from the doctor yet after I got the scan results over a week ago. So, I guess I need to call tomorrow to prompt someone to do something or tell me something, right?

Busy week ahead. I'm headed to Dallas Tues/Wed, road trip on Thurs, plus all the working out and cooking healthy food and planning ahead so I have the right things. And on top of that, getting our foster care license renewed, or at least the home visit part finished up on Thursday night. Seriously, we've had zero placements, and I really doubt we'll ever use it, but its easier to renew than start over if we ever need to in the future.

My in laws are idiots. We showed up for lunch today and YET AGAIN they are sitting there waiting, with CHAIRS for the boys. No booster seats. No high chairs. Just wooden adult-sized chairs. Oh, and crayons. Yes, 9-month olds use crayons. Sure! I'm so sure. Why does it anger me so much? I'm not sure but they're just so freaking worthless when it comes to the kids. W.O.R.T.H.L.E.S.S.

Random thought of the day: I am a grudge holder. There are people who did small petty things to me in high school for which I have never forgiven them, and so I will not accept their friend requests on facebook. And then I realize its been over 20 years. Like seriously. Who holds onto the time when MS told everyone at a slumber party that I buy my shampoo at Walmart for 20 FREAKING YEARS? Well, apparently, I do. Should I just buy into the nostalgia of 'hey, we went to the same high school, its great to catch up?' or just ignore them? I'm just leaning toward ignoring. Not just leaning toward. That's actually what I've been doing. Because I am a grudge holder.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

9 month pics

My babies are 9 months and 1 week old tomorrow. We got their 9-month pictures taken today. I'm including a couple so you can see how much they've grown. I picked the one of Jack clapping, because he seems to have taught himself this all on his own. If I clap, he claps. If daddy claps, he claps. Very cute. Since we noticed this, we've tried teaching Will to no avail.

My diet is going well. I've exercised every single day since Wednesday. Okay, that's like 4 days, but still, 4 more days than I went to the Y last week. If the South Beach recipe I make is icky, then I try to eat something else good but I don't beat myself up if it has some sugar, carbs, etc. About half of the recipes I make turn out okay.

Got my body scan results in the mail. I think its bad news, but maybe not horrible news. I guess I won't know until the doctor calls. They saw some 'abnormal' uptake in my throat in the same place as the first scan in July - only this time, smaller and less intense. Thought about freaking out when I read it, but am choosing to believe that maybe it will just mean one more round of radiation. Thinking I'll take a vacation this time, instead of having no fun in the basement.

That's all I got.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back down I-131

Well, I got my I-131 radioactive iodine pill this morning, and will have to be away from the babies until Sunday. The dose is lower this time, so I don't have to suffer through any hospital time, but I still have to avoid holding or hugging Will & Jack since their tiny little thyroids are so sensitive.

I'm probably a little overkill on this, but I'm trying to maintain a 5 foot radius, if not more, especially this first day when there is so much of it in my system.

I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of enjoying the break. I can run errands without worrying about taking them, not taking them, leaving them in a "good mental state" (i.e. fed, changed, well rested) with their daddy, etc. etc. etc. In my defense, it's already killing me not to be able to comfort them when they cry - my DH's tolerance for fussing is a lot higher than mine - but I'll make it.

I was hoping to travel Monday and Tuesday of next week for work. Missed traveling this week b/c of appointments. But not sure I want to now since Sunday will be the first day I can hold them. How could I leave them so soon after that?

Still suffering from a head cold, so no dieting or exercising yet. I found my old prescription for the salivation glands, so I can *hopefully* avoid losing my sense of taste this time. Plus, I am pushing fluids, and laxatives, and sucking on hard candy. It's like I've done this before....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Me Time

Will is asleep. Jack and his daddy are playing in the living room. I just took two Tylenol PM and am hoping to be asleep soon.

So far, the new me looks and acts a lot like the old me.

I've had a rough start to my new healthier lifestyle. But instead of working through lunch b/c I'm busy, I've been working thru lunch to make up for lost time due to medical appointments.

I had my regularly scheduled follow up with my endocrinologist on Monday. He did the ultrasound of my neck himself, to check my lymph nodes in that area for any unusual growth. None found. Yay. And he scheduled a follow up visit for this summer. And then the body scan I thought I would be having in April, he scheduled for THIS FRIDAY. So, I had to have an injection yesterday, and another today. I take my radioactive iodine pill tomorrow. Nothing Thursday. Body scan and thyroglobulin blood test on Friday. A hectic schedule, but the lovely injections mean I don't have to do that AWFUL low iodine diet this time around. And it means I get to hear even sooner whether or not last summer's radiation treatment worked. I feel like it did, but what do I know?

They are oh so apologetic at that office about the injections. But as you're all aware, after any medicated cycle the needle thing is just nothing. Want my blood? May I suggest a vein? Wanna inject me in the bum? I'm pretty sure I could handle that myself. So, at least I have that going for me.

Sadly, they weighed me at the endocrinologist's office, and let's just say, I have to do something about this weight! Scary high! More than my husband and he's 6'2" (I'm 5'4"). He recommended low glycemic (guess I could have seen that coming since he also specializes in treating diabetics!). So, back to South Beach for me starting Saturday (grocery day). It's worked before for me, so I know it will work again. It's just those initial two weeks that I dread. Look for self-pity from me next week.

Work is really weird right now. I feel like I'm in limbo. I have my job. I have this job within our company I think I want in TX, and I get to work in TX whenever I want kind of doing that job, but in a more advisory role rather than actually having the responsibility or authority. And I have this other job at another division in our company that I will be offered that I probably don't want. But at the same time, if I don't get the TX job I'm pretty sure I want a different job, so why not take the one in KC? And at the same time, I can't really say which job I prefer - I need to keep my cards close to my chest until I get an official offer from someone. And the two men offering me the jobs, are my friends and colleagues who I talk to about other things every day. And who know about each other's offers. And who talk to each other every day, as well. A very weird, yet open, dynamic. And all at the same time, I kind of need to focus on my job here in KS again and start gearing that back up in case I get a budget come April.

Home life is good. I wish my husband and I could take a vacation without the kids. Not because I don't want them with us, but just so we can rest. Just lay in the sun, read fiction, and hold hands. For hours. And perhaps have an umbrella drink. But I can't imagine leaving them with ANYONE overnight. No one. I can't see it. Let alone DAYS or God forbid a WEEK! But I do daydream about it. And as soon as the boys are old enough to enjoy something other than chewing on everything in sight, then we will be headed south for a little family vacation.

And that's all I have the patience for tonight. Funny story about why. On Dec 22, my backspace key fell off my laptop for no apparent reason. So, I plugged in my 10-key and used that backspace key at work that week. And I hadn't been back to the corporate office until yesterday. Today, I found the backspace key in my coat pocket, and had an IT guy replace it for me. And he did. But its kind of crooked now and doesn't work. So, for every single typo (and trust me, I have a lot of those!) I have to use the shift and arrow keys to highlight the errant letters and then hit the delete key. Pain! Requesting new keyboard tomorrow.....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Me

I'm Back! Well, at least for today. I'm hoping to get back in the blogging habit. Julie and Julia has got me motivated!

Has it seriously been since October since I updated my blog? Can I even call this a blog if I don't write for months at a time?

Yes, I'm still IF. And DH and I are trying to decide whether or not to defrost our two totsicles or a summer IUI (I'd like any siblings to be about 2 years apart)...but what I really want to focus on right now is achieving a healthier weight and lifestyle. I've been self-medicating with food for months now, and letting work take over my life, and I'm taking control again. And I mean it!

So, here's what's been going on in my absence:

1 - Work. This is a biggie. My company bought another company in Texas and so I've been traveling there weekly. DH and I had a deal - I could be gone 3 nights a week, though I preferred 2 and I usually kept it to 1 or less. But, in general, it was stressful. When I was away, I got to relive my youth, drinking with coworkers and eating out on the company dime. It was like a hedonistic little mini vaca every week. I ate and drank whatever I wanted, and stayed up late. It was fun. But it got old. And I missed my boys. So, goal 1: less travel!

2 - Work. It's so big. It deserves two points. I have been so bored at work, with all of the layoffs and budget cuts, I've had no opportunity to do "my" job. And I feel so left out of everything at the office, because I travel all the time. I miss having a "partner" who I work with toward common goals day in and day out. Plus, I want more money, so I expressed some of my concerns to my boss and a few friends. And, as a result, I have been negotiating two job offers this spring. The first in KC, for comparable pay but a move closer to my family in IA. The second in TX, a lot bigger pay but further from the fam. I'm leaning toward TX, but still waiting for the final offer which could be anytime between now and June. Impatient me needs a distraction in the meantime... but Goal 2: new job!

3 - Balance. With the two previous work items, I have been letting myself go. Really. I had already gained 10 pounds of the baby weight back with my thyroid-ectomy. And with the indulgent lifestyle I've been leading, I've added another 5 or 7. I joined the Y months ago and have been like 3 times. I planned to exercise on my lunch hour, but ended up working through lunch and usually just hitting a drive thru and getting back to work or running Christmas shopping errands. So, I need to commit to a goal of 'never let your head hit the pillow without 20 minutes of exercise" and "more water" and "lean protein." Plus, I have an appointment with my endocrinologist tomorrow, so I'm going to ask him if he has any diet tips for someone without a thyroid. I know there will be no magic pill, but perhaps there is a certain tactic that works better given my current metabolic limitations. Plus, I don't want to do anything that would increase the risk of my cancer coming back (assuming its gone away). My health seems okay. I still sometimes say the wrong word (like I'll see you back at the garage, when I mean to say house). And my scar continues to lighten. Trying to decide whether or not to buy another round of the scar treatment at the dermatologist, or switch to Mederma....

4 - The twins. They are now about 8 1/2 months old. They roll over, army crawl, sit up, eat solids (if pureed baby food counts as a solid), smile, laugh, and get into trouble. They started swim lessons in November, and are really good natured little dudes. Will had his first earache over Christmas in Iowa. It was our first stressful trip with them, just a lot of action with all of the family around, they were overstimulated and so were we. DH and I were wise, oh so wise, to return home on Friday so we had this weekend to settle back at the house, get the Christmas decorations down, the laundry done, etc. etc. etc. Whew! Travel is so much work with kids! But they tolerated the car trip really well. Pic above is of them in their 'girlie' Christmas outfits my mom sent them. I don't normally think they look alike, but as they get older, I'm starting to think they do.
Ok, need to make lunch.