Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beware wiglee adic!

These days, kindergartners and first graders are encouraged to use something called "best-guess spelling", where they write things completely on their own, spelling everything phonetically. I've discovered that, as a parent, translating best-guess spelling is an art form. It's like playing a complex word game while trying to read your child's mind at the same time. Because word games and child mind-reading are at the top of my short list of skills, I've gotten pretty good at reading WCK's best-guess spelling. For example, yesterday she came home with this story she'd written all by herself:

"I like Cirmus. Cirmus is the best tim fo the yer. It adout babbe Jesus's brthday and the sar shn doa war he lad."

Translation= "I like Christmas. Christmas is the best time of the year. It's about baby Jesus' birthday, and the star shined down where he laid."*

* I know it should be "lay", but check out how she knew to use an apostrophe with "Jesus." Not too shabby.

Anyway. A few days ago, some packages addressed to Jay arrived from Amazon. Jay and WCK immediately smuggled the packages upstairs to his office and shut the door. A short while later, WCK came out and told me I was not to go into the closet. Shortly after that, an illustrated best-guess-spelling sign went up on the closet door:



I thought I had gotten pretty good at best-guess spelling, but this one had me stumped for the longest time. Jay and I puzzled and puzzled over this sign. I got the "NO MOM!", but what is "wigleeadic?" Is that person me? If so, what is falling on my head and making me go, "AAAAAAA!"?

I was ready to give up, when all of a sudden it all made sense.

The opening to our attic is in the ceiling of this closet. WCK was warning me that we have a "wiglee adic" (wiggly attic), and if I go into the closet, it will fall on my head.

Well, thank goodness she warned me. I sure hope that attic door doesn't fall on the Christmas presents that are hidden in there, though.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

She's a little runaway

WCK, for reasons unknown, says she doesn't like going to movies. So when her cruel, heartless, evil, wicked parents announced that they wanted to take her to see The Muppets, she ran to her room and started packing a bag so she could run away from home.

Jay had a talk with her, and he finally convinced her to come out of her room and endure the horror of watching The Muppets while eating a bag of movie theater fruit snacks. She survived. She might have even enjoyed it a little bit.

When I inspected her "runaway bag", I found it contained pajamas, a pair of pink sparkly pants, a Princess Leia wig, and several pairs of sunglasses. I asked why she needed so many sunglasses.

"Oh, I don't know," she said. "I was thinking of heading somewhere warm."

Looking back, I probably should have questioned the Princess Leia wig instead of the sunglasses.

She doesn't know it yet, but this is the story that will haunt her for the rest of her life. We'll all be sitting around at her college graduation: "Remember when you tried to run away from home because you didn't want to see The Muppets? Ha ha ha ha!"

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Woo hoo, part two

I had great test results this month! White cells are holding steady, hemoglobin is in the normal range for the first time in I don't know how long, and M-spike is down a teeny bit to 2.1. It's a great way to start getting into the holiday mood.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woo hoo!

I did it!! I survived NaBloPoMo!! I will let you all know when all of the valuable prizes start rolling in. This is my year; I can just feel it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We interrupt this blog for a sappy mom moment

It's always a good day when you look in your child's backpack and find something like this ...




Monday, November 28, 2011

Evil gypsy curse

Six years ago today, I was diagnosed with myeloma. Doctors -- including some of the country's best myeloma doctors -- have been unable to tell me why I ended up with this rare, almost-never-strikes-anyone-under-50 disease. Dr. H said it was "bad luck." Dr. GPO told me it was a "biological accident." Still, every day for the past six years, I've wondered to myself what I possibly ate/drank/breathed in/exposed myself to/did to anger God or the Universe or the evil gypsy woman who put a curse on my blood.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, my aunt was diagnosed with myeloma.

Oh. OK. Thanks, Universe! Thanks. So it's nothing we ate/drank/breathed in/exposed ourselves to/did to anger God or the Universe or the evil gypsy woman who put a curse on our blood. Apparently, my family simply has poisonous genes. It's either that or an evil gypsy woman put a curse on our ancestors back in the 1800s, which is entirely possible.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We are thankful for ...

A few years ago, I started a Thanksgiving tradition. On November 1, I draw an outline of a tree on a piece of poster board. I write, "We are thankful for ..." on the trunk of the tree. Then I cut out a whole bunch of leaf shapes from construction paper. Every night before WCK's bedtime, Jay, WCK, and I sit down and each write one thing we're thankful for on a leaf, and we stick it to the tree. We do this every night until Thanksgiving. Here's our list from this year, in no particular order.

We are thankful for ...

Water
Our church
Superman
Air conditioning
Jay
Grandkids (my mom wrote that one when she was here)
Clocks
Vitamins
Beer
Bob (the guy who fixed some wood rot on our house)
Living in Kansas City
Clothes
Garland
Silverware
Food
TV
Sisters and brothers
Running
Pets
WCK
Star Wars
Clementines
Cousins
Nachos
Love
The Kansas City Chiefs
Grandmas and grandpas
Little House on the Prairie
Friends
Monkeys
Our cars
Chili
Grocery stores
Aunts and uncles
Electricity
Cake
WCK's teacher
Computers
Beautiful weather
The world
Medicine
Mommy
Grilling
Good food together
Neighbors
Beds
CDs
Baseball
Extended family
Books
Oz
Exercise class
Music
Being healthy
Jalepeno peppers
Animals
Snow
Football
Weekends
Parties
DVDs

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Comedian

Jay's sister and her husband have a dog named Bailey. When they were visiting us this weekend, someone asked who was taking care of Bailey. Without missing a beat, WCK exclaimed, "A Bailey-sitter!"

My kid's hilarious!


Friday, November 25, 2011

He's baaa-ack

Ralph, our family's Elf on the Shelf, returned to our house sometime last night. I'm not sure how he got into the house. He's up on the mantel, keeping a solemn vigil over us, reporting any misbehavior to Santa. I guess I'd better stop stealing WCK's Halloween candy if I want to get something good this year. Jay is still convinced Ralph is going to murder us in our sleep.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a beautiful day here in Kansas City! Jay and I ran the Turkey Trot 5k this morning in short sleeves. Last year, it was so cold that the cups of water for the runners turned into cups of ice. Afterwards, we had a chili feast (prepared by Jay), because we're having another Thanksgiving gathering on Saturday and we didn't want to cook two turkeys in a row. WCK, however, made these place cards for everyone:



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The music breaks

When I post a "music break" video instead of writing something, it might seem like a big cop-out. Wrong! I fully intended it to be a cop-out, but really, I probably spend more time looking for videos than I would spend writing. Of course, I have to view each video several times in a thoughtful, intelligent, scientific way to determine if it's the right video for my blog. For example, yesterday I was going to post a video of the Backstreet Boys singing "Get Down" at the Kansas City concert. After several thoughtful, intelligent, scientific viewings of "Get Down", however, I thoughtfully added up the number of times various Backstreet Boys grab themselves and scientifically determined that I probably shouldn't put that one a family-friendly blog.

If you don't care about family-friendliness, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LKZhEcs9t0

I'd better go watch it again, just to make sure my scientific theory was correct.


Monday, November 21, 2011

It's good to have goals

After WCK goes to bed on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin comes to our house, takes about half of her candy, and leaves a toy in its place. Where does the candy go? I'm not sure. According to ancient legend, it might get magically whisked away to Jay's office for his co-workers to eat. No one really knows for sure.

Anyway, even with half of the candy Great-Pumpkined away, there is still a ton of candy left in that Halloween bucket that we keep on top of the fridge. Today, WCK made an announcement:

"My goal is to finish all of that candy by the end of the year!" she said.

Little does she know I am secretly helping her reach her goal, day by day. I'm just trying to be supportive.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This afternoon we had about a dozen kids over for a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving party. If it's been a while since you've seen A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, it goes like this: Peppermint Patty calls Charlie Brown and rudely invites herself -- plus two other kids -- over to Charlie Brown's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Charlie Brown can't say no to Peppermint Patty, but he panics, because he doesn't know how to cook anything except popcorn and toast. Linus, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown go to work cooking up popcorn and toast for Thanksgiving dinner, only to have Peppermint Patty freak out and yell at them for not making a "real" Thanksgiving dinner. Charlie Brown is crushed; Peppermint Patty realizes she's been horrible and apologizes. Then they all go to Charlie Brown's grandma's house for a real dinner.

It kind of makes you wonder about the parents of everyone in the Peanuts gang, particularly Peppermint Patty. Maybe they're all drunk. I mean, you've heard them talk. Whaaaa whaaaaa whaaaaaaaaaa!

Anyway, at our party, all of the kids made turkey hats, and then we all sat down to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Afterward, we had Charlie Brown's feast of pretzels, jellybeans, popcorn, and toast. I figured the toast tower would be more for decoration than anything, but they all devoured the toast!


It was a lot of fun, and I love throwing these parties for the kids, but I think WCK has come to expect a lot from my party-planning abilities. "At the end of our next party," she said, "we'll make confetti fall from the ceiling!"

Hmm. I'll get right on that.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear diary, part II

Yesterday before I picked WCK up from drama club, I got an e-mail from her homeroom teacher, asking all of the parents to give the kids extra practice on their spelling words. Apparently, everyone's test results this week were, well, less than ideal. WCK missed four words, which was very upsetting to her, since she's used to getting 100 percent and a sticker. She did not get a sticker this week.

As soon as we got home, WCK exclaimed, "I have to go straight to my diary and write all about this HORRIBLE DAY!!!!" She quickly disappeared upstairs.

Apparently, she is still learning all about drama in drama club. It was a very Jan Brady moment.

Again, I'm just dying to see what she wrote in there. Dying.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dear diary

The half cake was a big hit last night! I also bought WCK a little gift: A little diary with a lock on it. She had been asking for one, and she thinks it's the coolest thing ever. I told her that whatever she wrote/drew in the diary would be top secret just for her, unless she specifically brought it to Jay or me to look at. Last night and this morning, she spent time "writing in her diary", and, OK, I admit it, I am dying to know what she is writing/drawing about in there. It's not that I think she has any deep dark secrets, it's that I'm sure it's extremely cute.

Oh, I want to go look at it so much.

But I won't, because I know diaries with locks on them are sacred. At least, mine was until my sister figured out how to pry open the lock in third grade, but that's an entirely different story. Besides, WCK announced that she "hid" both of the teeny-tiny keys where I would never find them, and I'm wondering if she will ever find them again. The child often has trouble finding things that are in plain sight. We once had the following exchange:

WCK: Where is my granola bar??!?!?!?!
ME: It's in your hand.
WCK: Oh.

And this morning we had a huge drama because she could not find her purple barrette and was forced to wear a blue barrette, like an animal. But that's an entirely different story.

So there's a very good chance that neither one of us will see the inside of that diary, at least until my sister comes to town and can pry open the lock for us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hap bi!

WCK learned about the concept of "half-birthdays" in preschool and kindergarten. To make sure that kids with summer birthdays aren't left out of the bring-a-treat-to-school-on-your-birthday tradition, the teachers let them bring in treats on their half-birthdays over the winter. WCK kept asking me why we never celebrate her half-birthday, because we never have. Really, it's not because I'm a mean mom. It's because I always forget until a few weeks afterward, when somebody at the park or McDonald's Playland or wherever asks me how old she is.

ME: She's five and a ha...
MY BRAIN: Oh, crap.

This year, though, I actually remembered about a week in advance, and I told WCK about it, so she could remind me multiple times a day, every day, for about a week. Today when she comes home from school, I plan to surprise her with a half cake and a half card. I hope she finds this funny:



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Caution

Whenever I bring WCK home from her monthly Girl Scout meeting, I also bring home one of her good friends who lives near us, and who has been WCK's friend since they were both babies. The first time I picked them up and asked them, "What did you do at the meeting today?" they both thought it was hilarious to come up with outlandish Girl Scout activities to tell me about. They rode on purple elephants and giraffes. They jumped in a bouncy castle. The Girl Scout leader brought in a giant merry-go-round!

Now, every time I drive them home, they see what they can come up with. I always pretend to believe them, which they find even more hilarious.

Yesterday, WCK's friend told me that the whole troop went on a field trip to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. "And we rode on the really, really big roller coaster!"

Then I heard WCK whispering in the back seat. "Hey, I don't want to go on the big roller coaster! I get carsick!"

Even in her wildest fantasies, WCK is still cautious.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Super Pooper

We've had a big spider living in the corner of our garage door for a good month or so. When the weather was warm, he/she would weave really cool webs, somehow allowing just enough room for our car to drive in and out of the garage without messing the web up. When we'd arrive home and raise the garage door, the spider would get really excited (and/or terrified) and wave his/her little arms at us. On days when the weather was colder, he/she would curl up in a little ball and wait it out. Sometimes, we'd get worried that the unmoving ball-of-spider had gone to that Giant Web in the Sky, but then the weather would warm up again, and he/she would come to life again and weave another web.

We got really attached to the spider. WCK named him/her Super Pooper.*

This morning as we left for school, we did our usual check on Super Pooper and found that he** was gone! I like to think that he wandered off to find a warmer place to sleep for the winter; WCK thinks he got squashed. I never found the body, though, so I like to think that Super Pooper is OK and that he'll be back again someday. Godspeed, Super Pooper. Godspeed.


*Why you should never ask a six-year-old, "What should we name the spider?"

**I'll just go ahead and call the spider "he", because isn't Super Pooper more of a boy's name?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Now you know what she looks like!

Yesterday we got family photos taken for our church directory, and the photographer said WCK reminded her of Ramona Quimby. I have to agree:




Saturday, November 12, 2011

Law of the Universe

I've discovered a new Law of the Universe: Whenever WCK has a much coveted, highly delicious, one-of-a-kind food item that cannot be replaced, she will drop that item on the floor before she eats it.

And I will pick it up off the ground and just let her keep eating it, because it is one-of-a-kind.

Example One: The first- and second-grade drama club had a little "cast party" after their last play. The teacher made a point in telling us that there were only 10 cupcakes -- highly delicious chocolate cupcakes with blindingly colorful frosting -- which meant that there was exactly one cupcake per child. After you got your one cupcake, there are no more cupcakes.

And WCK promptly dropped hers on the carpet, frosting-side down.

And I promptly leapt to the rescue, invoked the two-second rule, and let her keep eating it, right in front of some School Parents I'd just met. Mother of the Year!

Example Two: We were at a kids' cooking class at a local grocery store this morning. WCK spent an hour toiling over a homemade Pop-Tart with chocolate filling. The Pop-Tarts came out of the oven. WCK carefully frosted it, and then the big moment arrived: It was time to eat the Pop-Tart.

And WCK promptly dropped it on the floor.

I scooped it up, this time in front of people who I've known for a long time, people who don't judge me for feeding my kid Floor Food. The class instructor did reassure me that the floor had just been mopped right before the class started. If the floor had been filthy, though, would that have stopped me? I don't know. I don't know. I'm not sure if I can challenge a Law of the Universe.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy dreams

I've never heard of anyone laughing in their sleep, but WCK did it last night. She wasn't just giggling, either. I could hear her laughing hysterically all the way down the hall. I assumed that she'd gotten out of bed and was playing in her room, even though she'd supposedly gone to sleep hours earlier. I walked into her room, expecting to find her out of bed in a pile of toys. Instead, she was tucked in bed, eyes half shut .... laughing out loud.

"WCK?" I said. "What's going on? Why are you laughing?"

"Everything is so funny!" she said. And then she promptly went back to sleep.

This morning she had no memory of laughing in her sleep, but she thought it was pretty funny that she did it, and she started laughing again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Low Leaf Worm

I love Richard Scarry books. When I was in second grade, we had write a letter to our favorite author, and I wrote to Richard Scarry. After about a year, he actually wrote back to me and included a little drawing of Lowly Worm on the letter. I have no idea where that letter is now, but I wish I had it to show to WCK, because she loves Richard Scarry, too.

When I found a Richard Scarry Thanksgiving book used on Amazon.com for about five bucks, I had to get it for WCK:




Now, I read some customer reviews of this book on Amazon, so I knew what to expect, and WCK likes it. Still, I have to say it is the strangest Richard Scarry book I have ever seen.

When you hear "Richard Scarry Thanksgiving book", you think it's going to be filled with the crazy misadventures of animals wearing funny hats. You think Mr. Frumble is going to get a Thanksgiving turkey stuck on his head, take off in his Pickle Car, and crash into Bananas Gorilla! Sergeant Murphy to the rescue! Pure hilarity!

This book is not like that at all. Yes, it has the adorable kitties and piggies wearing hats, but the adorable kitties and piggies wish to convey a deadly serious view of life in the 1600s. Here are a bunch of Native Americans dying of plague:



And here they are being enslaved:


And finally, Pilgrims dying:



Would you ever expect to see a fresh grave in a Richard Scarry book? I don't think "grave digger" was one of the occupations explored in "What Do People Do All Day", but maybe I need to re-read that one.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Baby, baby, baby, OH! Baby, baby, baby, OH!

One of WCK's spelling words this week is "just".

"Oh, I just haaaaaaate this word!" she exclaimed. When I asked her why, she said, "Because it reminds me of Justin Bieber, and I haaaaaaaate him!"

Oh, that makes me laugh. It turns out that most of the girls in WCK's class are in love with Justin Bieber, but WCK is standing her ground. I guess I can see his appeal, although, as far as I can tell, he has just one song, and that one song has just one word in it. (Unless you count "oh" as a word. Then it has two.) At the same time, I'm awfully proud of WCK for refusing to get swept up into the frenzy, especially when you consider her high-risk family history with things like this:




Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Eat my dust!

The results from my race are in. My time was 1:07:37, and I placed fifth in my age group. That sounds really impressive, until you consider that there were only nine women in my age group. Still, that means that there are four women aged 35 to 39 who had to eat my dust! Ha ha ha, you four anonymous 35-to-39-year-old women! Perhaps next year I will make five people eat my dust.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Give us this day our daily paprika

WCK goes to a Catholic school, and for the last few weeks the first-graders have been learning the Our Father prayer. They made a little book where they illustrated each phrase of the prayer. I'm sure you'll agree, no matter what your religious beliefs, that my child has turned the Our Father into the most darling prayer of all time. You will never hear the Our Father again without thinking of the drawings and going, "Awwww!" in your head. Here are just a few examples of the darling-ness.

See how darling?


Even more darling!



Oh, super-darling!



WCK explained to me that in the above "Thy will be done" picture, everyone had to draw themselves doing a good deed. Here, she is helping Jay shovel snow, which is certainly a good deed for Mommy, who is most likely inside the warm house, quietly checking Facebook. When I asked her why she always draws Jay with gray hair (because she's done it before), she said, "Because the white crayon won't show up!"

HAHAHA! OK, I shouldn't laugh. Jay is a year younger than I am.

Anyway, the page in the book that really made me laugh was "Give us this day our daily bread." They were supposed to find magazine photos of "daily bread", which I'm guessing meant daily necessities, such as food or clothing:



So, according to my child, daily necessities include paprika, a sparkly shirt covered in sequins, and canned ravioli. But it's not just any canned ravioli, it is "BIG" ravioli. Our God is a generous god.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

That girl's a runnin' fool

This morning I ran my first 10k. It went very well, in that I still felt fairly OK at the end and didn't feel like falling down and dying. "Not falling down and dying" was my main 10k goal. I didn't even feel like throwing up. "Not throwing up" was my second goal. Although I didn't have the fastest time in the world, I did not have to stop to walk, and I did not come in last. I swear there were still a few people behind me! Yes!

I think one of the best parts about running a race is the free t-shirt. It's a nice, obnoxious-yet-subtle way to tell everyone, "Yes, I ran a race." You get to wear it casually to the grocery store or wherever and hope you run into someone you know. "Oh, this old t-shirt? Yes, I ran a race." I don't understand the people who wear their free race t-shirt to the actual race. You're here! We already know you're running a race! You don't need to impress us! You're getting your obnoxious-yet-subtle piece of advertising all sweaty and gross! Because, really, the very best part of running a race is coming home, taking a shower, and then putting on your nice, clean, comfortable race t-shirt and wearing it for the rest of the day and feeling all cozy and satisfied that you ran the race. I'm wearing mine right now. Ahh. I think I need to go to the grocery store.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Meet the Princess

Back when I was in college, I thought Disney Princesses were The Cause of All of Society's Ills, and I vowed that if I ever had a daughter, I would never let her within 100 yards of a Disney Princess. I was 10 years away from having a child, and I therefore knew everything there was to know about having a child.

Fast forward about 10 years to when I actually gave birth to a daughter, and I realized that there are more important things to worry about when raising a child, such as keeping said child alive on a day-to-day basis, blah blah blah blah. I decided that Disney Princesses have never turned anyone into a deranged psychopath, as far as I know, so I relaxed a bit. Now the princesses can pretty much do whatever they want with my child. I don't care. Mother of the Year!

Now, compared to some other little girls, WCK isn't usually a huge princess fan. She has a bunch of princess dresses and some dolls, she thinks princesses are OK, but she'd rather play with her toy dinosaurs. Sometimes she does put tiny princess dresses on the dinosaurs, though.

A few months ago, though, she got invited to a princess-themed birthday party. Rapunzel showed up and gave all of the little girls makeovers. I dropped her off at this party, so I didn't get to see everything that happened. According to the birthday girl's mom, WCK had the time of her life and would not stop talking to Rapunzel and -- according to several other eye-witness reports -- dancing for her. Fortunately, Rapunzel was a good sport and put up with my child pestering her. I wonder if Rapunzel is available for baby-sitting.

Anyway, when I heard about a "Meet the Princess" event at our church, I signed WCK up right away. The girls dressed up in their little princess dresses and got makeovers from Belle and Cinderella. Apparently, a makeover -- featuring large quantities of glitter-- is a requirement for any princess meeting. Do these princesses go around making over everyone they meet? "Really, officer, I wasn't speeding. Here, have some glitter hairspray."

After the makeover, the girls got tiaras, and they got to have a little tea party with pink cupcakes. It was very well-done. It was so well-done, in fact, that I didn't really realize that WCK thought she had met the real Belle and Cinderella until we got home. She showed a photo to Jay, and he said, "Oh, she looks really familiar. Does she go to our church?"

"Oh, maybe she does," I said, studying the photo.

WCK looked at us like we were both morons. "What are you talking about?" she said, "That's Belle. Maybe she looks familiar because you saw her when you went to Disney World!"

Oh, of course. I must have had glitter hairspray in my eye.


Friday, November 04, 2011

What are you, a comedian?

Each week, WCK's teacher picks one kid to be the class comedian. Every day for a week, the comedian tells/reads a joke to the class at the end of the day. Last week was WCK's turn, so the teacher e-mailed me to let me know WCK would need to bring in five jokes. We spent some time searching the Internet, and these are the ones we chose:

What did the boy ghost say to the girl ghost?
You sure are BOO-tiful!

What is a scarecrow's favorite fruit?
STRAW-berries!

What does a bird say at Halloween?
Trick or TWEET!

Then, WCK made up two of her own original jokes:

How does a frog carry his library books?
In a TOAD bag!

When do reptiles fall from the sky?
During a bil-LIZARD!

When I asked WCK if the kids laughed at her jokes, she said, "No, but that's OK. Nobody EVER laughs at the jokes during comedian time."

Wow. Who knew first-graders were such a tough crowd? I mean, "Toad Bag" alone is comic gold. Maybe they just haven't had enough beer.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Stable!

This month's results are in, and my M-spike is holding steady at 2.2. Woo hoo!

I posted a photo of a Bon Jovi tie last month, so I wondered what other Bon Jovi products were out there. After a little Googling, I came upon this t-shirt, which I think is just perfect for me:






Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Skull Guy

So, we had a Halloween party at our house for about 20 kids and their parents. The story of the party would probably take up an entirely different post. I remember the party being pretty fun, but I'm wondering if my brain is treating this party like childbirth -- remembering only the good parts and blocking out the messy, painful parts -- so that I will continue to host kids' parties and not let my party-planning gene die out.

It's like my brain is going, "Well, yeah, kids were throwing brownies at each other and grinding the crumbs into our carpet, but it really wasn't that bad. You just breathe through the pain." I've already volunteered to host a Thanksgiving party.

Anyway. WCK was beyond excited about this party, and we spent a whole day decorating. Then Jay got in on the decorating and decided that he and WCK would make a Pumpkin Guy to sit out on the porch and greet our guests:


I love how he's just hanging out and having a nice cup of coffee before he goes to his job as a ... what? He's wearing a tie, so he obviously has some kind of supervisory role, but he also gets to wear jeans, hiking boots, and gloves. I'm guessing he's some kind of pumpkin-patch inspector.

So the party was a wild success. (Sugar cookies in the carpet? Oh, it's the kind of mess you forget!) WCK and Jay brought the Pumpkin Guy inside, and then they decided to change his head and give him a fake skull instead, which made him look quite a bit creepier. I'm not sure where Jay first purchased the fake skull, but it was in his dorm room when I met him. A few years ago, it became one of WCK's most cherished toys. Yeah. The child who thinks "The Tinkerbell Movie" is "scary" keeps a grinning skull in her room. I know that's confusing, but so is the fact that I married a guy who purchased a fake skull. Human beings don't always make sense.

Anyway. They put Skull Guy casually on the couch. Later that afternoon, I went into the living room to get a library book and nearly peed myself. After I complained to Jay about Skull Guy hanging out in the living room, he promptly removed him from the couch. Later, I innocently walked into our bedroom, and ...





Oh, my husband is hilarious!!

Right then, I started quietly hatching a plan. As soon as Jay fell asleep, I would put Skull Guy in his car, ready to greet him when he left for work on Monday morning. MWA HA HA HA!

Unfortunately, shortly after the bed trick, Jay dismantled Skull Guy and put him away.

"Dang it!" I said. "I was going to put him in your car!"

I could tell Jay instantly regretted dismantling Skull Guy.

"Aw, man," he said, genuinely disappointed. "That would have been so funny."

Yes, yes it would have. There's always next year.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo!

It's Nov. 1, and once again I've signed up for National Blog Posting Month (or "NaBloPoMo", for those among us who are too cool to say/write entire words). If I post something on my blog every day in November, I have a chance to win a prize. This is the third year that I've entered, and I've never won a prize. For the last two years, the prizes have been a little lame. One year one of the "good" prizes was a zombie doll made out of socks. Still, I really wanted that sock zombie, because it was a prize. I guess am not much different from my first-grader.

This year, however, NaBloPoMo has partnered with BlogHer (whatever that means), so the prizes are actually good prizes. Like, $50-Visa-gift-card good. Now I really have motivation to blog my buns off.

I have many things to say about our Halloween, but I will try to space them out in case I run out of topics by Nov. 3. For now, here is a photo of the pumpkin I carved, which is an evil, giant pumpkin eating a poor, terrified baby pumpkin. It made WCK a little nervous. I shall submit this photo to the Mother of the Year Committee, of course.



Sunday, October 09, 2011

It's a tie!

My M-spike is stable this month at 2.3. Last month it was 2.2, but it's been hovering anywhere between 2.2 and 2.5 for several months now. Anyway, last month I posted a photo of Bon Jovi in a tie, so I thought I'd post a photo of him in a completely different tie this month. When I Googled "Bon Jovi tie", however, I discovered that you can actually buy a tie with a picture of Jon Bon Jovi on it! What an age we live in! I think Jay really needs one of these to wear to church.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

All for me grog

Very long story short: When my sister and I were teenagers in Iowa, our family had a booth at the local Renaissance Festival. My sister would walk around and talk to people in a fake British accent while I mostly hid out in the back eating cinnamon-coated almonds and hoping nobody from high school walked by. Our booth was right next to the stage, so we watched the different performers all day, including a group of singing pirates called the Jolly Rogers. Now, at first we sort of rolled our eyes and tried to ignore the sea shanties coming from the stage nearly every hour. Singing pirates. How lame.

After hearing the same songs, like, eight times a day for several days, however, something happened to our brains. We grew to love the singing pirates. We knew all of the words. We became obsessed with the Jolly Rogers. We bought their tape (because hardly anyone owned CDs yet -- that's how long ago this was).

When I went on a spring break road trip in college, I made my friends listen to "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum" in the car. They are still my friends. I don't know why.

Well, twenty-ish years later, the Jolly Rogers are still around and performing at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival:


I was pretty excited to take WCK to the festival and introduce her to the Jolly Rogers. I checked the schedule and made sure we got to their stage in plenty of time. We bought a little bag of cinnamon-coated almonds. It was the early '90s all over again.

Then, right before the show started, I noticed the Jolly Rogers had set up a large, hand-painted sign that said "PG-13" in big black letters. What? Why? Oh, yeah. It was all coming back to me, a little too late.

They launched into their hit song, "All For Me Grog." If Renaissance Festival pirates can have a hit song, a song that makes the crowd want to go, "Woooo!" and hold up their lighters, "All For Me Grog" would be theirs. Here are some of the lyrics, which I'd sort of forgotten:

Where is me bed?
Me noggin', noggin' bed?
All gone for beer and tobacco!
Well, I lent it to a whore, now the sheets they is all tore
And the springs are lookin' out for better weather! Hey!

Wait, wait, wait, Mother of the Year Committee! Don't start filling out my award just yet! Wait until you hear the next verse!

And where is me wench?
Me noggin', noggin' wench?
All gone for beer and tobacco!
Well her (clap) is worn out, and her (clap) is knocked about, and her (clap) is lookin' out for better weather! Hey!

Yes. NOW you may send me the Mother of the Year Award.

For another song, they turned the sign around so it said, "PG-31", because that song was even worse.

Fortunately, WCK did not understand any of the jokes. A few times, she whispered to me, "Mommy, I don't get that joke," and I'd pretend that I didn't get the joke either. (I did get it, though, and it was hilarious.) My conclusion is that the PG-13-rated Jolly Rogers are fairly safe until your kid actually reaches the age of 13 and finally understands what they're talking about.

At the end, WCK put a dollar donation in one of the pirate's hats, to insure that we'll be able to see the Jolly Rogers perform for many more years to come. Or at least until she's 13.



Monday, October 03, 2011

Girl Scouts vs. The Zoo

Saturday was Girl Scout Day at the Kansas City Zoo. Now, when you hear the words "Girl Scout Day at the Zoo", you no doubt envision a fun, whimsical time, with adorable little girls laughing and frolicking among sweet, cuddly animals.

It was hell, I tell you. Absolute fricking hell.

The hellishness was not, in any way, the fault of the Girl Scouts. What we didn't know before we set out for what we believed would be a cuddly day of frolicking was that it was also

1) a day when all residents of Kansas City got into the zoo for free and
2) Meet Curious George Day.

Apparently, every single resident of Kansas City heard about Free Zoo Day and decided, collectively as a city, to descend upon the zoo. And we all know that fans of Curious George are drunken party animals. The zoo was an absolute madhouse. For those of you familiar with the Kansas City Zoo, I will tell you this: We were there for over three hours and didn't make it much farther than the carousel, which is right up front.

After about 15 minutes, right around the time we were fighting our way through the drunken mob to meet Curious George, I could tell that Jay was on the verge of throwing himself into the polar bear enclosure. I told him that it was too late for me, but he should save himself.

Jay fled the zoo and went directly to the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings. No doubt the staff realized he was a zoo refugee and granted him sanctuary, nursing him back to health via televised football games and beer.

I'm sure at some point, maybe in between bites of tasty wings or during commercial breaks, Jay felt kind of bad. At least, that's what I told myself while I was spending 45 minutes in an unmoving lunch line located right in the middle of the World's Largest and Scariest Bee Population. Did I mention that my child becomes completely Rain-Man-Won't-Get-on-the-Plane hysterical when she sees a single bee? Good times.

But in the end, WCK earned a patch for her time at the zoo, and Jay returned from chicken-wing paradise to pick us up. I got into the car and said, "Let us never speak of this again."

I'm wondering if the Girl Scouts are planning another day at the zoo next year. May God have mercy on their souls.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hey, Baby!

My favorite running trail ended up underneath the Missouri river for most of the summer, so I've had to search around the area for new trails. I just found a new one, and the two times I've been there, I've found myself passing these two little old men who are walking together. They're always talking to each other very loudly in Italian, complete with big, dramatic hand gestures.

It's only a one-mile trail, so I pass them a lot. Finally, one of them called out to me very loudly -- either because that's just the way he talks or because he could sense I had Bon Jovi blaring into my ears -- "Hey! How many mile you gonna do?" He held up his fingers. "Four? Five?"

I held up five fingers, even though I'd only gone four miles and was ready to give up. Italian Guy seemed impressed. Then I realized I was going to have to finish the five miles, because I didn't want to let the Italian Guys down.

I finished, and I think all three of us were pretty happy. I saw them again as I walked to my car, and the same guy said -- again, very loudly -- "You-a have a good day, Baby!"

Baby. I'm still laughing about that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One tomato

I'm really bad with plants. In college, I once killed a cactus because I didn't water it enough. I've always really wanted to be good with plants, but it's never worked out. I think most plants want to scream and run away when they see me coming. Of course, they can't go anywhere. They're plants. All they can do is silently pray for their souls and hope their loved ones are well looked after. And then I kill them.

But for some reason, last spring I became wildly optimistic about my ability to grow some tomato plants in containers on the back deck.

Photo illustration of my wild optimism about tomato-growing:


Well, it didn't take long for my wild optimism to turn to crap:



Here's why. Squirrels were eating my tomatoes. I try to frighten them away, but they don't even care. I was even able to get some photos of one of them caught in the act.



At this very moment, there is a squirrel out there on the deck again. Seriously. As I reflect on this, I think maybe the universe sent the squirrels to help put the plants out of their misery and to let me know that I should never, ever try to grow plants again. Fine, universe. Fine. Fine!

So far I've gathered exactly one teeny, teeny tiny red tomato. It had fallen from the plant; perhaps a squirrel knocked it down and then felt guilty after a summer of wild tomato-ravaging so he left it for me. The tomato was probably the size of a jelly bean. I brought it inside, cut it in half, and WCK and I both feasted upon the bountiful harvest. Mmmmm.

I hope my child treasures this memory of eating home-grown food, because it's probably the only one she's going to have.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Scratchy scratchy

I was home alone yesterday when I heard a distinct "scratchy scratchy" sound. I thought maybe Garland had shut herself in a closet or bathroom, so I went to investigate. I realized the "scratchy scratchy" sound was not coming from a closet; it was coming from underneath Garland's scratching post. This means that whatever was going "scratchy scratchy" was a) small enough to fit under a scratching post, but b) large enough to make a loud "scratchy scratchy" sound that could be heard from across the room. I'd never stopped to think about this before, but small + mysterious + scratchy = bad.

Now, if my life were a movie, this is the part where the audience starts screaming at me not to move the scratching post, for the love of God! Of course, I ignored the audience and lifted the scratching post, only to find ....

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!


It was a scene out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! We! Are! Going! To! Die!

OK, OK, fine, it was one beetle. He was about an inch long. Although I've never been too squeamish about bugs, it was still a little disturbing to find in my house. He looked kinda like this:




I tried to think of a way to gently usher him outside, but then I realized that WCK would probably want to see him before he was released into the wilderness. I went to her room and got her bug-collecting kit, which consists of an enormous pair of plastic tweezers and a see-through plastic "bug house". I gently lifted the beetle inside the bug house, and then The Bug and I had to sit there together for the rest of the afternoon.

After a while, I wondered if The Bug was uncomfortable or hungry, so I Googled him. Based on the photos I found, he was a "ground beetle", and ground beetles are predators. Of course. What else would you eat in the Temple of Doom? Fresh plants? No. You're going to eat monkey brains. So The Bug just had to starve until WCK got home from school.

WCK was pretty impressed. She named him Fred. As we prepared to release Fred into the wild, we noticed that he appeared to have, well, passed away. WCK announced that we were going to have an elaborate burial for Fred, and just as I was thinking, "We still need to do homework and cook dinner, and I do not want to hold a frigging funeral for an insect," Fred weakly waved one of his many arms.

Thank God. Because I was concerned for him.

I suggested that Fred was merely weak from hunger, and that he'd feel better when he could be out in the grass. We released him into the yard, where I hope he was able to meet some other nice beetles who gave him directions back to the Temple of Doom.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cotton candy

Last Saturday, I took WCK downtown to see the circus. This was the first time she'd been. When I announced last month that I'd bought tickets to the circus, WCK's eyes lit up -- not at the thought of seeing elephants or clowns or trapeze artists -- but because the circus is where you get cotton candy. WCK had never had cotton candy before, but she'd heard The Legend of the Cotton Candy from other children.

She talked about the cotton candy all month long. As we approached the Sprint Center, she could see a cotton candy display through the window from about a block away and nearly passed out. She willingly bypassed a circus-themed bouncy castle in front of the Sprint Center so that we could get inside to the cotton candy as quickly as possible. I knew now that if I did not purchase the cotton candy, my child would either collapse and die from disappointment or -- on the ever-so-slight chance she survived -- have to enter therapy.

And the therapist would blame me for everything.

We finally made it to the cotton candy display, only to discover that a bag of cotton candy cost $12. I typed that right. Twelve. But I forked over the money without batting an eye, because of the month of longing and the dying and the therapist and everything. On the plus side, each bag of cotton candy came with a funny-looking hat, sort of a Cat-in-the-Hat-type hat that says "GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH" on the top of it. So I justified the $12 cotton candy by telling myself that our family would treasure this hat -- surely hand-crafted by skilled circus artisans -- for generations. WCK's going to wear it in her wedding.

And with the hat damaging my brain, I allowed us to step over to the souvenir stand, and I told WCK she could pick out one of those whirly, light-up things. I always wanted one of these whirly-light-up things when I went to the circus as a child, but my parents always said no, because they were sensible people who were saving money for food, shelter, and my college education. But doesn't this look way more fun than college? And way more practical than an English degree?



But I'm not going to publish the price of the whirly, light-up thing, because this time my husband would collapse and die and/or have to go to therapy. And the therapist would blame me for everything.

Friday, September 09, 2011

All right, all right, ALL RIGHT!

All of my many readers (OK, like, two people) started giving me a bad time about slacking off on the blog. As always, I don't have a good excuse, other than the fact that I'm a big slacker. We've been having a good August/early September around here. WCK was a flower girl in a wedding and she started first grade. I'm not sure how that happened; about two seconds ago she weighed seven pounds and was confused by her own hands.

Anyway, I'm such a big slacker that I didn't even post my test results last month. I'm glad to say that my white cells returned to normal (well, "normal" for me, low for a "normal" person), so I was allowed to go back on the regular Revlimid schedule without any more extra weeks off. My M-spike remained stable. This month, the white cells are still good and Spike is down to 2.2! Woo! It's time for a respectable jacket and tie:



Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My kid jumped!

Last Friday was a big day for WCK. It was her last day of swimming lessons. She passed the Penguin level (which means she's a Walrus now), and she went off the diving board.

The diving board is a huge deal. I never expected her to go off the diving board, simply because my own childhood diving-board wussiness is legendary. When I was WCK's age, I refused to approach the diving board, make direct eye contact with the diving board, or even admit that diving boards existed anywhere in the universe. When I finally did end up on the top of it (not by choice), I refused to jump. I had to be pried loose by two swimming teachers, who lowered me down into the water.

WCK, however, is turning out to be much braver than I was. When swimming lessons started, she ended up in the Penguin/Walrus group with three enormous boys. Granted, these boys were probably, like, seven or eight years old, but they seemed enormous to me. Despite the fact that WCK was about half the size of the Enormous Boys, she quickly befriended them. When the swimming teacher was working with someone else, I'd see tiny WCK chatting away with one or two Enormous Boys, having the time of her life.

When it came time to go off the diving board, WCK slowly walked to the edge. She bent her knees. She straightened up. She bent her knees. Straightened. Bent. She thought about it a little more. Took off her goggles. Bent. Straightened. I figured this would be the moment where she'd turn and run out of the pool area, just like the Cowardly Lion running away from the Great and Powerful Oz.

Then the group of Enormous Boys started cheering for her. And WCK jumped.

My kid! My kid jumped!

She swam back over to the side, and one of the Enormous Boys walked over and gave her a high five. It was so sweet. His mother raised him right.

The next girl in line approached the diving board. And then she turned and did the Cowardly Lion Run out of the pool area.

But not my kid. My kid jumped!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stacy needs your stem cells

I copied and pasted this information about Stacy from the Minnesota Myeloma blog. Please feel free to copy this to your own blog, Facebook page, etc. Stacy is in her 30s with two little girls, close to WCK's age.

Stacy Needs Your Stem Cells

Stacy is a young Minnesota mother with myeloma. She has tried just about every treatment, including an autologous transplant, but her aggressive myeloma will not relent. She has a Caring Bridge site.

Stacy's doctors want to do an allogeneic transplant, hoping that stem cells from another person, a donor, will give her a brand new immune system which will view her myeloma cells as invaders and will destroy them. This is called the "graft versus myeloma effect" and can sometimes provide a long-term remission.

So far, though, the doctors have found no matching donor.

The web site
www.marrow.org gives guidance for registering, and information about the actual process of donating stem cells.

From the web site, some of the donor requirements:
  • Age 18 to 60.
  • Good health, including NO CANCER.
We who have myeloma are not eligible, but many of our caregivers, relatives, and friends may be.

According to the web site, the registration procedure involves a swab of cheek cells, to be done at home. Once registered, a person could be "matched" to anyone with a need. If an opportunity to donate is presented, a person can accept or decline it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cole!

Jay bought himself a Wii for his birthday in May. I had previously been very anti-video games, but I'm finding myself enjoying the Wii. With the days being so hot, Jay and WCK and I have been spending most of our after-dinner-but-before-bedtime time down in the basement playing Wii Sports Resort. We love table tennis. Actually, we love to hate table tennis, because we always have to play a little pretend Wii person named "Cole", and we can never manage to beat him.

Oooooh, Cole. We hate Cole. He is so cocky and smug and wears annoying sunglasses. When we see Cole come on the screen, we say, "Cole!" in the exact tone that Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Newman!" Then Cole kicks one of our butts. Our extreme hatred of Cole binds us together as a family.

WCK is especially good at trash-talking to Cole. "I DO NOT LIKE YOUR WICKED GRIN!" she will say.

Tonight she had a really good one: "LISTEN, COLE! I AM GOING TO TAKE YOU TO A RESTAURANT ... AND THEN I AM GOING TO ORDER YOU A FOOD YOU DO NOT LIKE!"

That's right. You don't mess with WCK.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sneaking around

Jay's mom is staying with us this week, which means lots of fun activities for WCK, homemade baked goods, and -- woo hoo! -- free babysitting! Jay and I were going to go out to dinner and a movie, but we couldn't decide on a movie. I wanted to see Harry Potter, but Jay pointed out that we hadn't seen Deathly Hallows Part One, and he didn't want to watch them out of order.

Why haven't we seen Deathly Hallows Part One? Because we never get to see anything. We never even get to watch movies at home, because by the time we're done putting WCK to bed, and by the time she's done getting out of the bed and interrupting our movie 100 times, I promptly lie down on the couch and fall asleep. Seriously. I haven't been able to stay awake through an entire non-kids' movie in years.

Until tonight. The Night of the Brilliant Plan.

We went out to dinner early. Then we went to Blockbuster. Then, around 7 p.m., while Grandma had WCK distracted, we quietly returned home, sneaked around the back of the house to the basement door, and watched all of The Social Network in our own basement without WCK knowing that we were even home.

So that's what it's like to watch an entire movie at once. It's all coming back to me.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Duck skipper

Swimming lessons have started again. As I reported last summer, kids at WCK's swimming lessons are put into groups based on their swimming ability, and each group is named after an aquatic animal. The first level is Turtle, then Duck, then Penguin, then Walrus, and so on, all the way up to Whale. WCK passed the Turtle level last year, so I expected she'd be a Duck this year. WCK was tested on the first day, and she was thrilled when she was allowed to skip past Duck right to Penguin and join a Penguin/Walrus class.

I'm impressed, because I have no swimming ability. I don't think I could hack it in a Penguin/Walrus class. Just think; this time next year, I could be the proud mother of a Walrus.

And with WCK swimming lessons come the infamous Swimming Lesson Coloring Sheets:



I wonder what is going on with the frog in the upper left-hand corner. Apparently, this lake had no mandatory drug testing during the lifeguard hiring process:



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post-concert letdown

So the concert was last night. The wonderful, sparkly, amazing, firework-booming, flames-shooting, confetti-dropping, screaming-every-two-seconds concert. Where bottles of water cost $5, Backstreet Boys would magically pop out of nowhere, Donnie walked into the audience to drink someone's beer, the guys changed outfits for every song, and nothing was ever as it seemed. When the lights came up, my throat was raw and I couldn't hear a thing. Thanks to my summer research project, I could sing along with nearly all of the Backstreet Boys songs. And now it's all over, and nothing exciting will ever, ever, ever happen to me ever again in my entire life. I mean, what do I possibly have to look forward to now? Friends? Family? The love of my husband? The laughter of my child? I mean, how does that compare to NKOTB rising up out of a fog-machined stage singing Hangin' Tough while wearing bedazzled Boston Celtics jerseys? It can't, my friends. It can't.

I mean, they were sparkly jerseys with their last names on the back of them.

Now all I can do is lie around listlessly in my NKOTBSB concert t-shirt and absentmindedly doodle "Mrs. Donnie Walhberg" on scraps of paper while I wait for them to release an overpriced concert DVD. Which I will pre-order and watch on the very day it is released.

Here's a very blurry, far-away photo of Donnie singing the best rendition of Cover Girl I've ever seen. You're welcome.




Monday, July 11, 2011

Bonus Backstreet Boy

This is Kevin, but he dropped out of the group in 2006 and is therefore dead to us:





Backstreet Boy of the Week

Finally, here is the youngest Backstreet Boy, Nick:



Here are the many interesting things I have learned:

1. His middle name is Gene.
2. He's been arrested a couple of times.
3. He's locked in a bitter rivalry with Justin Timberlake, which started when Nick beat out JT for the title of Cosmogirl Magazine's "Sexiest Man in the World" in 2002.

Oh, Cosmogirl Magazine! How many lives do you need to destroy during your unending reign of terror?

Friday, July 08, 2011

In the potty

M-spike is stable at 2.4. Last month it was 2.3, the month before it was 2.4, and now it's 2.4 again. That's very stable. My white cells, however, decided to take a nosedive. When Jay asked how my appointment went, I said, "Well, my white cells are in the toilet."

WCK didn't know what to make of this statement. "YOUR WHITE CELLS ARE IN THE POTTY????" she said.

Yes. My white cells are in the potty. I'm taking two weeks off the Revlimid this month to help them recover and drag themselves out of the potty. It makes me a little nervous, because the last time I had to take two weeks off, it was the start of the Great M-Spike Uprising of 2010. We all remember how fun that was.

I'm sure it'll be fine, though. Just nobody sneeze on me or anything.

I decided to post a picture of Bon Jovi in a bright white t-shirt to encourage those white cells.




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My sorrows are undone

I've gotten a little behind in posting the Backstreet Boy of the Week. I know everyone must be getting pretty impatient for the next installment. In my defense, we were on vacation in South Dakota for about 10 days and didn't have WiFi much of the time. Don't worry; I'm still hard at work on my research project. Just last night I downloaded about $7 worth of Backstreet Boys songs from iTunes and listened to them all afternoon, even while WCK voiced her irritation: "WHEN ARE WE GOING TO STOP LISTENING TO THE BACKSTREET BOYS, MOMMY? THEY ARE BOTHERING ME!"

I did not give in. Nothing will keep me from my valuable research. Nothing!

It turns out that I actually like most of their songs. The tunes are so catchy that it's easy to overlook awkward lyrics such as, "I'll be the one, I'll be the one, who will make all your sorrows undone!"

Anyway, here is the BSBOTW: Brian!



He is another elderly one, six weeks older than I am. He's a born-again Christian and was born with a heart defect which required surgery in 1998. After that, he started a foundation for kids with heart problems. Aw. That's nice.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Top Ten!

I just found out that my blog is on this list of top-10 myeloma blogs! Woo hoo! The description does say that my blog is "not hugely informative." What? Photos of Bon Jovi with no shirt on are not considered hugely informative? What's wrong with society?

Checking in

I saw Dr. H at Mayo on Thursday. I hadn't been to Mayo for a year, so it was nice to check in with her. I could have done without the vile, vile, vile, vile Pee Pod, although it turns out that my pee is just fine. Thank goodness, because I don't want to do that test any more than I have to.

Anyway, Dr. H is really happy with how things are going. She said that if nothing changes, I don't need to come back any earlier than another year if I don't want to. She said I could even skip the yearly checkup, but Jay and I agree that we want to check in at least once a year. My M-spike was 2.7 at Mayo (it was 2.3 last week in Kansas City), but Dr. H said that you can't compare it with the one from Kansas City, since the tests were done in two different labs. She's not concerned. Once again, she emphasized that the size of the M-spike doesn't matter, as long as it's not causing any problems.

"If you want to go ahead and live 50 years with a 2.7 M-spike, that's fine with me," she said.

Yeah, that's fine with me, too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Locked out

Early this morning, I took some cans out to the recycling bin in the garage, turned around, and discovered that the door that leads from the garage to the kitchen had locked behind me. I ended up standing on our front porch in my pajamas (NKOTB concert t-shirt and baggy pink plaid pants) ringing the doorbell repeatedly in hopes that my loving family would come rescue me.

For a long, long, long time, the only member of my loving family who responded to my doorbell ringing was, of course, Garland. She ran to the door and then stared at me through the window. For a few seconds, I had foolish hopes that maybe she'd rush off to get help, Lassie-style. Of course, she did not. It didn't even occur to her to go get help. Garland is a cat. Cats don't know how to be helpful.

Finally, after the doorbell had been ringing continually for about 10 minutes, WCK sensed that maybe something was amiss, and she went to get Jay. I'm back inside the house, no thanks to the cat. I hope the neighbors understand.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Peaceful

I've come to realize that the moment the FedEx guy puts the puffy envelope of Revlimid pills into my hands is the most peaceful moment of my month. That very moment marks the longest possible time between the next time I'll have to go through the annoying monthly process of getting more Revlimid. For three long weeks I have no doctor visits, no needle sticks, no phone calls, no phone calls, no phone calls, no worrying the Rev is not going to get delivered in time, and no waiting for the delivery guy.

Peaceful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Partly sonny

WCK and I spent last week at Vacation Bible School. WCK, of course, was in one of the first-grader groups, and I volunteered to watch the other volunteers' babies in the nursery. Both of us had a fun time. WCK is already asking when Vacation Bible School starts next year, and all of the babies went home happy, without any emotional scars. As far as I know.

My only quibble with Vacation Bible School is with the National Vacation Bible School Corporation (That's not its real name, but it should be) that comes up with the themes for Vacation Bible School. The first year we participated, it had a camping theme and was called Son Rock Kid Camp. Then it was Son Quest Rain Forest. This year, it was called Son Surf Beach Bash. I found the web site for the National Vacation Bible School Corporation, and other themes include SonHarvest County Fair, and Kingdom of the Son.

Jay kept forgetting the name of this year's theme and called it all kinds of weird things, but my favorite was "Kid Rock's Son Camp", which I think would be a very different thing entirely.

Anyway, every year NVBS Corp. comes up with a theme, finds an awkward place to stick the word "sun" and then changes it to "son". Get it? Because the sun is out in the summertime and the camp is about the son of God? It works on two levels!

I have nothing against puns. I really enjoy puns. I think the world should have more puns in it, actually. I just wonder how long NVBS Corp. can keep milking this "son" thing. Eventually, it's going to stop making any sense whatsoever (I mean, even less sense than "SonHarvest"). I'm picturing an endless Creative Team meeting at NVBS Corp. International Headquarters that lasts into the wee hours of the night. No one is allowed to leave the room until somebody comes up with a son pun. Finally, someone suggests a dermatological-themed Vacation Bible School called "Son Exposure Gives You Wrinkles", and everyone agrees, because they've been there all night and they just want to get home. Before sonrise.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Backstreet Boy of the Week

This guy is named A.J. For bonus points, I know that stands for Alexander James. Thank you, Wikipedia! Also from Wikipedia: A.J. just got out of rehab for the third time. The first time he entered rehab, all of The Backstreet Boys had to stage an intervention for him. He also proposed to his girlfriend at the Hard Rock Cafe with a ring he had purchased ... at the Hard Rock Cafe. (Really??! They have rings there?) Anyway, he's out of rehab and I think he's feeling much better now.



Hmm. Well, so far Howie is still my favorite one. Other things I have learned about Howie: He is the most elderly of The Backstreet Boys (The man is 37!!! How do they let him up on the stage at such an advanced age??), he's Puerto Rican, his sister died of lupus and he now raises money for a lupus foundation. Now that's the Howie that I've always loved, ever since I first heard about him one week ago.