Monday, January 31, 2011

When spiders attack

A couple of weeks ago, when WCK had the day off of school for Martin Luther King Day, I thought it would be fun to take her to Chuck E. Cheese with some friends from our stay-at-home moms' group. Apparently, every parent in the Kansas City metro area had this same idea, because CEC was about five times more insane than the most insane I've ever seen it. Shortly before noon, they ran out of ice and Diet Coke, which is the magic elixir my brain requires to stay alive. This non-alive brain is probably why I remained at Chuck E. Cheese throughout the afternoon instead of running into the parking lot screaming, like a person with a working brain would do. Somehow, though, we managed to survive, and WCK earned 90 tickets, which was enough to cash in for the greatest prize ever -- a giant plastic spider:

After we got home, WCK thought it would be hilarious -- and I agreed -- if we tried to scare Daddy with the giant plastic spider. We decided to set the spider on top of the peanut butter jar, and then we lay in wait until Jay came home from work.

WCK met him at the door with an evil grin.

"Daddy, don't you want some ... peanut butter?"

Jay was confused and said that he did not want some peanut butter, but I finally convinced him to at least go look at the peanut butter, because it was important.

Jay saw the spider and let out a really good fake blood-curdling scream, which was everything WCK had dreamed of when she'd set the spider upon the peanut butter. Later that night, when WCK wasn't looking, Jay put the spider on her pillow.

"AAAAAAAAAAA!" fake-shrieked WCK, and she ran to put the spider on his pillow.

And so began the Spider Game, which is still going on to this day. The only rules are that you have to fake scream when you see the spider, and then you have to go revenge-hide it for the family member you believe hid it for you. It's been on my hair dryer and Jay's contact case. It's been inside one of my running shoes and in WCK's pajama drawer. One day, WCK came home from school, and her favorite stuffed frog was sitting calmly at the kitchen table, holding the spider.

Where will the spider end up next? I have no ide .... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


WCK told me that all of the kids in her kindergarten class really like my purse. Finally, for the first time in my life, I've made a fashion choice that is the envy of all!

Or at least the envy of all five-year-olds:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Somebody wants a spankin'

I found out last week that my M-spike, quite unexpectedly, decided to freak out. It pretty much went crazy, stripped off all of its clothes, and went running naked through the neighborhood, hooting at passers by while chugging beer. In other words, it went up to 3.3.

Yeah. What the fudge?*

*"Fudge" is not the actual word I used.

I spent the whole weekend psyching myself up for the dexamethasone prescription that I knew I'd get today. Honestly, I wanted some dex. I can't allow my M-spike to run around naked.

This afternoon, Dr. GPO called me himself. (Himself! I got in to see the wizard!) He said that all of my other numbers are perfect -- things like albumin, beta-2, kidney function, and so on -- so this is not an emergency, and we still have some room to mess around with the Revlimid dose. We've been messing with the dose and the medication schedule the past two cycles because of low white counts. Apparently 25 mg is too high, because it lowers my white count, and 15 mg is too low, because it raises my M-spike, and taking an extra week off per cycle doesn't help matters at all. Dr. GPO gave me two choices: Take dex, or move the Rev up to 20 mg for one cycle to see what happens. I selected the 20 mg of Rev option.

If that doesn't work, I'll take dex after this cycle. And that's fine. Dex is not my friend, but letting my myeloma careen out of control is less of my friend.

Dr. GPO was not at all worried, though. "Your myeloma is just talking to us," he said. "It's talking, and it's saying, 'You just need to spank me a little harder!'"

I'm going to be laughing about that for days, if not for the rest of my life. M-spike, get ready for a spankin'.

On the up side, at least we all get to look at this again for a while:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow Day Number Three

Some progress has been made. Give me a couple more blizzards, and I'll finish it up:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Well, excuuuuuuuse me, Cupid!

A few nights ago, Jay, WCK, and I were flipping channels on the TV and came across an old episode of Saturday Night Live. Steve Martin was performing a stand-up act with his banjo and an arrow through his head, and we all sat and watched for a few minutes. Yesterday, WCK came home from kindergarten and handed me this drawing:

Once I finished laughing and wiping the tears from my eyes and making plans to get this drawing professionally framed, I told her that was an awesome picture of Steve Martin. WCK got mad and insisted -- very firmly -- that it was NOT Steve Martin. It was a "Valentine angel." I guess by "Valentine angel" she means Cupid. I suppose Cupid could have an arrow through his head. That wild and crazy cupid!

Still, I have doubts about this "Valentine angel" claim. Cupid or Steve Martin? You be the judge.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And the countdown begins ...

Today has been a good day so far. First, my friend Abigail and I now have our tickets to see NKOTBSB in July. It looks like we'll be a lot closer to the stage this time. All that is left to do is sit around and wait for six months and two days. Six months!! How am I going to pass the time? By posting videos, of course. Here is the video of all of them on New Year's Eve:

As soon as I ordered the tickets, I had to rush out the door for my monthly checkup with Dr. GPO. My hemoglobin is still a little too low, but it has improved a little bit, and my white count has improved a lot. Today it was 3.o, which is still too low, but last month it was 1.3. Yikes! I asked about last month's M-spike rise, and Dr. GPO said he was not the least bit concerned. Then we had a conversation that went like this:

ME: What if my M-spike goes up again?

DR. GPO: It won't.

ME: OK. But what if ...


ME: But ...


Finally, I got him to admit that there might exist some far-off, imaginary, fantasy universe where frogs wear tiny little hats, and maybe, my M-spike might, hypothetically, maybe, perhaps, go up again. In that case, he said I might need to adjust my dose again and/or go back on Dex (which I had been thinking about for the past month, so I was not shocked). However, he said that first we would do everything we possibly could before turning to the Dex as a last resort. In the far-off, imaginary, fantasy universe. So that's good to hear.

OK, stop reading this and watch the video. You know you want to.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow emergency

WCK is back at school after two snow days in a row. These were the first snow days of the school year, and I have to admit that the first snow day was pretty fun. We played about 100 games of Go Fish, plus multiple rounds of every board game that WCK owns (and the child has a lot of board games). We played in the snow, drank hot cocoa and ate Girl Scout cookies, read books, and watched a lot of Max & Ruby. It was a good time.

By late morning on Day Two, however, I was starting to get a little wild-eyed. I wasn't sure how much more Go Fish I could take. I was running out of things to do, and the situation was looking grim. Suddenly, I knew. It was time. I had to break out something I had saved for decades -- decades, people -- for an emergency such as this one.

I present to you ... The Emergency Jigsaw Puzzle:

Now, I have no idea where this came from originally. About a year or so ago, my parents found it in their house and for some odd reason assumed it belonged to me. For some other odd reason, they also wanted it out of their home. I don't remember buying it or getting it as a gift, but, yeah, I guess it's probably mine. The box was still sealed. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I stuck it in the storage area in the basement and walked away. This puzzle had been untouched for at least twenty years until I sliced open the box yesterday.

WCK was amazed that they even make puzzles with FIVE HUNDRED PIECES, and she was pretty enthusiastic about the new project. It sparked lots of interesting conversation, such as, "Mommy! I found Danny's ear!" We got in about an hour on it before she realized it was "boring" and wanted to go upstairs and build a tent. So we built a tent, crawled inside, and ... played Go Fish.

Here's how far we got. I will update if we make any more progress:

Just some observations:

1) It must have been a really long day of jigsaw-puzzle-photo shooting, because all of them, except for Joe, look pretty irritated. Donnie looks hungover. Maybe they were out all night the night before celebrating their big multi-million-dollar jigsaw-puzzle deal. Except Joe, who was underage.

2) Is it a little scary that I can look at a puzzle piece that has, say, half an eyeball on it, and immediately identify which member of New Kids on the Block it belongs to? Don't answer that.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Do-it-yourself project

Yesterday I had a 45-minute wait at the dentist's office, and I ended up reading Parents Magazine. I generally try to avoid Parents Magazine, because the articles generally focus on 1) what a terrible parent you are and 2) all of the different ways your child will die.

Sounds awful, but it's true. I used to subscribe, and each issue had at least one child-death or near-death story in it. This month the killer was H1N1.

Anyway. I ended up reading an article about how you need to let kids do things for themselves, which, assumed the article, I'm probably not doing, because I'm a terrible parent. Otherwise I would not need the advice of Parents Magazine.

Later that day, WCK wanted to open the wood blinds on our living room windows. Now, I could have done this for her in about two seconds with a flick of my wrist, but I could still feel Parents Magazine judging me, so I decided to let her do it herself.

She could not reach the twisty thing (I'm not sure what you call it, so I'm calling it "twisty thing"), so she got a stool and climbed up on it. She still couldn't reach it, so she decided she needed some type of instrument that could twist the twisty thing for her. Her first choice was a pair of scissors. Don't tell Parents Magazine, but I felt I needed to step in at this point and tell her not to use a pair of scissors on the wood blinds. She thought about it some more, and decided the perfect instrument for twisty-thing grabbing would be her Abraham Lincoln on a stick, which we purchased from the Lincoln Museum in Illinois some time back. Here's a photo, in case you've forgotten:

She went upstairs, and there followed a good 15 to 20 minutes of screaming and crying and carrying on that she COULD NOT FIND MR. LINCOLN ANYWHERE!!!!! Don't tell Parents Magazine, but I finally went upstairs and located Mr. Lincoln under a pile of dress-up clothes. By then, WCK had to take a potty break, and then she came back downstairs and started playing with something else for another 15 to 20 minutes until she remembered she had been trying to open those blinds.

There followed a brief moment of panic when she realized that, once again, she COULD NOT FIND MR. LINCOLN!!!

I reminded her that he was still upstairs. Back upstairs to fetch Mr. Lincoln. Back downstairs to try to use him to grab the twisty thing. Several moments of trying to use Abraham Lincoln to open the blinds to no avail.

Don't tell Parents Magazine, but I stepped in and tried to shove the twisty thing into Mr. Lincoln's mouth while WCK held the stick. Didn't work.

Finally, I opened the blinds for her in about two seconds with a flick of my wrist.

How I've failed. I'm sure she'll grow up to have a confidence problem, or, at the very least, a lack of trust in Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


All right. Listen up, M-spike. I don't like you, and you don't like me. But I need you to simmer down in there, sit your butt down, and agree to not sicken and/or kill me before July 16. Why? Yesterday, a friend e-mailed me some important news with the following headline:

NKOTBSB Invade Sprint Center on July 16
Tickets go on sale Jan. 15

That's right, M-spike. If you're nice to me, I'll take you to the concert. On July 17, you can do whatever you want. I'll probably be so full of Kahlua milkshakes that I'll want to die anyway, so it'll be fine.