Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Everyone talks about how dangerous it is to drive while talking on a cell phone, but I think the most dangerous way to drive, by far, is with a three- to four-year-old in your back seat. In the time it takes simply to back out of a parking spot at Hy-Vee, I'm bombarded with the following questions:

Why do people die and turn into angels?
What sound does a giraffe make?
Does the Wicked Witch of the West wear shoes?
Why don't trees like to eat cake?

Really, who can concentrate on driving with all of the thinking that is required? Why don't trees like to eat cake? And no matter how I answer each question, there are numerous follow-ups.

One more question like this in heavy traffic, and I'll be standin' at The Pearlies.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Standin' at The Pearlies

I'm pretty lucky to have such positive, encouraging doctors. I've mentioned before that I signed up as a "Patient-to-Patient" volunteer with the International Myeloma Foundation. The foundation gives my name and number to newly diagnosed patients, and they can call me to talk about the diagnosis. I've only talked to two people so far, but I really enjoy doing it. I think I help the callers feel a little bit better by the end of the conversation. Last week, I got a call from a woman in Boston. She was the friend of someone who has just been diagnosed with myeloma. She told me her friend didn't want to do any research or seek out any support herself, because she was simply too distraught and overwhelmed. Among other things, her doctor had told her she had just three years to live.

Why do doctors do that? Why?

The next day, I ended up having a long talk with Dr. GPO, who started talking about how nobody ever knows how long they have to live. "Hey," he said, "somebody makes a bad left turn after work today, and I'm standin' at The Pearlies."

Standin' at The Pearlies. Dr. GPO cracks me up.

In other myeloma news, I made my call to the Speak-n-Spell lady at the Celgene corporation today. In case you've just started reading the blog, I have to call the drug company every four weeks and take a computerized survey to let them know that I'm not pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or even making direct eye contact with pregnant women. The "person" asking these questions is actually a computerized voice, like the one that came out of those Speak-n-Spell toys in the '80s.

Anyway, there is a good chance that that was my last call to the Celgene Corporation. I think I'm going to miss my monthly chats with Speak-n-Spell Lady. After all, we've talked at least 25 times. My favorite question is, "Have you had your womb or uterus surgically removed? Press 'one' for 'yes', 'two' for 'no', or 'three' for 'don't know.'"

Seriously? If you are pressing three on this question, you have bigger problems than myeloma.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More quick thinking

The other day, WCK announced that she was going to name all of her stuffed animals either "Poop" or "Pee". I thought this was pretty funny, but I had to pretend to be a mature mother, and I told her that it was extremely bad manners to call anyone "Poop" or "Pee". We needed to have this talk several times.

Today she was playing with a little plastic frog that she picked up at the Pet Expo. I asked her what his name was.

"It's Poo .... h Bear."

Nice save.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Baby, I'll be your boyfriend

It's finally happened: I am over a week late with my monthly NKOTB video. This was pointed out to me by the other die-hard NKOTB fans who read this blog. (Actually, there is just one other NKOTB fan who reads this blog, but she did point it out to me, which means that 100 percent of NKOTB fans who read this blog are in an uproar!) How could I have let this happen? I must do a penance and listen to Hangin' Tough 10 times in a row.

This is a video for "Single", which has a special place in my heart, because it's the song they used to open their concert. Before the concert, I read a review of a show they did in another city. There was a line in the review that said something like, "They started singing 'Single', and then the crowd collectively lost their (bad word)."

And, seriously, I'm telling you as someone who used to work as a professional writer: That is the only way to accurately describe what happened. Now I can't hear this song without hearing a crowd collectively losing their (bad word). It's a fun sound.

P.S. See if you can find Danny and Jon in this video! It's like Where's Waldo.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The high point of my week

This afternoon, we drove all the way to the American Royal center. We stood in line outside the building for about 20 minutes, waiting to get tickets. We forked over $17 and fought our way though crowds, stopping only to pet a hedgehog, a ferret, and a chihuahua wearing a pink tutu. We endured the first 45 minutes of the cat show, which was so crowded we had to stand in the back. Jay and I took turns hoisting our 36-pound child over the crowd so she could see. The big highlight of the cat performance was a bell-ringing competition between a cat and a trained chicken named Indiana Jones. (Winner: The chicken)

Then it was time: The moment I'd been waiting for all week long. And this .... was it. This was it, people.

The best part of this video is when the cat who is supposed to be supervising the tip jar falls off of his/her stool.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's not a tumah!

Excellent news from the vet: Garland's lump is just a cyst, not a tumor. Whew. The vet said she could be prone to future cysts, so if we find another lump that seems similar, we'll just leave it alone. Thank goodness. She has to go in next week to get her stitches removed. As soon as her fur grows back, she'll be as good as new. Maybe she can try out for the cat rock band.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feline Groovy

Yesterday I saw an ad in the newspaper for the Kansas City Pet Expo, which will be held this weekend. I decided to check www.kcpetexpo.com to get more details and see if it would be worth taking WCK and Jay. I have to do my research from now on, because we once ended up at a Train Expo that was hugely expensive and hugely lame, and all three of us were hugely cranky by the end of it.

I don't think this will be the case with the Pet Expo. I think the Pet Expo will be worth every cent, even if we have to pay for parking. Yes, I discovered that one of the performing acts will be this:

That's right. A rock band made up of cats. I'm not going to be able to sleep all week, just thinking of it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The best of both worlds

Today was the Big Day; we had both the carpet installation and Garland's surgery. Jay stayed home with the Carpet Guys so WCK and Garland and I could be away while they completely ripped the house apart. I have to say, they did a really good job and they finished the entire house in less than 11 hours.

During most of those 11 hours, however, WCK and I had to figure out where to go. I'd planned on going to a playgroup at a friend's house today, which would have eaten up a lot of our morning, but WCK woke up with a cough and a runny nose. I didn't want to be That Mother who exposed a bunch of innocent children to a virus, so we had to come up with some other activities away from home. We dropped Garland off at the vet's office, went out to breakfast, ran some errands at the grocery store, and then hung out in the toy department at Target for, seriously, like, two hours. During that time, WCK became fixated on a Hannah Montana microphone. You push a button on the front, and it lights up and plays a few seconds of a Hannah Montana song.

OK. What the heck is the deal with little girls and Hannah Montana? Until today, WCK had no idea who Hannah Montana was. Then she saw that microphone, and now she is completely obsessed with her. Here's the worst part: I bought her the microphone, and now Hannah Montana is a part of our lives.

Let me explain: WCK will not use public restrooms. Ever. The child will hold it in for eight or nine hours, rather than use a public restroom. By noon, she had gone about six hours without peeing, she'd had a huge glass of apple juice for breakfast, and we were not headed home any time soon. I knew the dam was about to burst, and yet WCK refused to use the Target restroom. Finally, I told her that if she would use the Target restroom, we could go back and buy the $3 Hannah Montana microphone. Success! I fully realize this is a lavish reward for one trip to the potty, but I was desperate. I hadn't brought any spare clothes, and I wasn't sure I could even get to some spare clothes if I returned home. Now I'm wondering if cleaning up a pee accident would have been easier than enduring the microphone. She will not stop playing with the microphone and pretending to sing into it. It plays a 15-second snippet of the song, "Best of Both Worlds" which I'd never heard before today, but it goes something like,

You get the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeest of both worlds
(Something something) slow, then you rock at the show
You get the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeest of both worlds
(Something something) all together, and you know that it's the best of both worlds
The best of both worlds

I know this, because I heard this 15-second snippet four times per minute for about seven hours straight. I thank God that Jay called when he did to say that it was OK to come home, because I was right on the verge of marching into Barnes and Noble and buying a Hannah Montana CD just so I could hear the rest of the song. This is why Hannah Montana has sold so many CDs. Mothers on the brink of insanity.

Anyway. After Target, we had lunch, hung out at Borders for a really long time, and walked around a local shopping area. Garland made it through surgery just fine, and we were able to pick her up at 5 p.m. The doctor said the lump came out really easily (which is good), but they have to ship it off to the vet school at the University of Missouri. We should have the results next week. Right now she has a bald patch on her back and some stitches, and she is very confused about the new carpet and kind of ticked off.

Otherwise, everything's great. It's the best of both worlds. Whatever that means.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cycle 24

With all of the hubbub surrounding the new carpet (it comes tomorrow, bright and early) and Garland's surgery (she goes in tomorrow, bright and early), I nearly forgot that tonight begins cycle 24 of Revlimid. That's right. Twenty-four cycles. That's two years of Revlimid, people. Wow.

Now off I go to take my tiny little pill and go to bed. We have to take away Garland's food all night, so I'm hoping she doesn't start stomping on my face at 2 a.m., but she probably will.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The carpet project continues

As I mentioned before, we're getting new carpet in our house in a couple of days. I am very excited to be getting rid of the yucky carpet, but this whole thing has turned into quite a project, as I'm trying to clean out closets and get all of the books and little knickknacks out of the way so the furniture can be moved. Fortunately, the Carpet Guys from Nebraska Furniture Mart will move all of the big furniture. Today, the Head Carpet Guy called and told me all of the things the Carpet Guys could not move: big-screen TVs, Foosball tables, pool tables, and grandfather clocks.

So I guess if you've just won the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right, you're out of luck.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Maybe you had to be there ...

Like me, WCK likes to play around with words. She likes to make up silly words and rhyme things, and she's just starting to dabble in puns. The other day, I asked her if she wanted some fruit punch. She thought for a minute and said, "I want a BUNCH of PUNCH!" We both laughed really hard, and then I said, "Do you want a bunch of punch ... for LUNCH?" Man, this was downright hilarious. We could not contain ourselves. We still talk about it.

Today, I asked her if she wanted to watch one of her favorite shows, "Word World."

"No," she said. "I want to watch 'Purred World.'" She waited a beat and added, "It's about kitties."

Dang, she's good, and she's only three. Imagine the puns that are going to come out of her when she is 18. Imagine all of the people who are going to want to smack her. I know what it's like. I've had things thrown at me.

Just before bed tonight, she asked, "Do they call it a T-Rex because it drinks tea?" Heh. Actually, I'm not sure if that one is a pun or just a really good question.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hooray for my birthday!

I had a good birthday. This morning WCK and I went to storytime at the library, and in the afternoon we went out for ice cream together. Tonight I strapped on the ol' Snuggie and relaxed.

I thought my birthday called for the posting of a happy song. How can you watch this and not smile?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I'm using my laptop without being cold!

My 34th birthday is not until tomorrow, but I've already been celebrating for a few days. My parents were here for the weekend, and my mom and WCK made me this excellent Wizard of Oz birthday cake while I was away at exercise class:

It was a white cake with rainbow confetti, topped with frosting and rainbow sprinkles, and a gumdrop Yellow Brick Road and rainbow. The figures on it were my toys, which I've passed down to WCK. And, yes, they were well washed ahead of time. At least that's what they told me. You can't really tell from the photo, but the witch is actually half-buried in the cake, like she's melting in it. When we pulled her out, she was covered in cake and frosting. I declared that since it was my birthday, I got to lick the witch.

That's a new life lesson for you all: Sometimes you have to treat yourself. Lick the witch.

After the witch licking, Jay took me out to dinner at Genghis Khan, and then we went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Kansas City Music Hall. I'd never seen it before. I loved it, don't get me wrong, but I'm a little confused. Here was the plot: Creepy guy lives in the basement and can't get the girl he likes to go out with him, so he starts annoying people. That was it? Really? Then again, Les Mis is about a guy who steals a loaf of bread, and Cats is about ... um, I guess I've never really understood what Cats is about. At least they all have some catchy tunes.

And finally: In addition to the Phantom tickets, I got the best present ever. As I've mentioned before, I am always cold and searching for innovative ways to warm up. Months and months ago I saw the following infomercial ...

... and I knew, right then and there, that I HAD TO HAVE A SNUGGIE. I have been begging for a Snuggie ever since, because, I don't know, I'd feel silly buying one for myself. Imagine my thrill when I opened my birthday gift and found, yes, my very own Snuggie! It came with the free book light, too. I am wearing it right now as I type, and I can't wait to knit or play backgammon. Of course, I don't know how to knit or play backgammon, but I'm pretty sure that the Snuggie has magical powers that will enable me to do these things.

WCK was in cahoots with Jay and was excited to give me the Snuggie ... until I put it on. Then she ran screaming upstairs, terrified. She hates the Snuggie. I'm not sure if she's having premonitions of me wearing it to chaperone her eighth-grade dance, or what. (And, really, if it is chilly in that gym, I just might.) Jay says that we should use it as a discipline tool. You know: "If you don't go to bed right now, Mommy is putting on the Snuggie!"

Anyway. To avoid scarring her for life, I can only wear it when she's asleep. Let's hope that I'll only be invited to marshmallow roasts or football games during the late evening hours.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Told you so!

I was really excited last month when my M-spike suddenly dropped down to 1.1, but I kept saying to myself that it just didn't seem right. It had to be a fluke or some kind of a lab error. Looks like I was right; this month it is 1.5 again. Sure, I'm disappointed that it didn't keep going down, but I know that 1.5 is still totally OK.

Stable, stable, stable.