Friday, May 31, 2013

Turd grade

Today was the last day of second grade for WCK! She is now officially in third grade! I remember a lot of things about third grade, but the main thing I keep remembering is my cousin Mikey telling me I was in "turd grade." (Mikey was a grade younger, so it wasn't a bullying thing; it was more like a second-grade empowerment thing. I think.) Now that I've remembered this, I cannot stop calling it "turd grade" in my head, and I have to fight myself to keep from saying it out loud. I know if I slip and say it out loud, WCK will not stop talking about "turd grade" until, well, the end of turd third grade.

Must not say turd. Must not say turd. Must not say turd.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let me guess: Is it a potty?

Every year I volunteer to help with field day at WCK's school. I don't think I'm really cut out for field day, but I try. The past two years I have been stationed out in the blazing sun at the following stations:

Year One: The "Let's All 'Accidentally' Throw Tennis Balls Into the Woods" game.
Year Two: Some kind of relay race involving giant buckets of water. My mind has repressed all other details of this.

This year I was thrilled -- thrilled -- to be stationed in the dry, air-conditioned indoors at the Pictionary station. Yes, Pictionary is now an official field day event. Field day is much more elaborate at WCK's school than it was at my school back in the '80s. I vaguely remember running around a track and perhaps jumping. These days, there are about 1,000* events at an elementary school field day. There could have been a Partridge Family Board Game station somewhere in there for all I know.  I was extremely focused on the Pictionary, so I'm not sure what all of the other events were. I could see a mini-golf station across from me, and I was right in front of the "Dance Party U.S.A." station, which kept playing "Party Rock Anthem" over and over. And over.

Still, I really enjoyed the Pictionary station. It was both frustrating and joyfully hilarious at the same time. The smallest kids didn't seem to understand that the object of the game is to get your team to guess the picture quickly. When their team would guess, they'd get upset because they wanted to finish drawing the picture. And I learned that when boys ask if they can draw a picture that's not listed on the card, they will draw a potty. Every dang time.

*This is possibly not the correct number

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Silly homework

It's the last week of school, so WCK's class is done with "real" homework. Instead, they get "silly homework" every night this week. Last night's silly assignment was this: "Follow a pet around the house for ten minutes, writing down everything they do. If you do not have a pet, politely follow a family member. If Mom or Dad asks you to stop, please stop."

Jay and I had to laugh at the last sentence. I wonder if there were issues with this silly assignment in previous years. "But Mom, my teacher said I had to observe you lying around watching The Bachelor!"

Anyway. WCK was very excited about the pet assignment. Garland was not so excited. Then again, she is 16 years old and doesn't get excited about much these days. Here is the report:

Garland the Cat

Licking her face. Sleeping. Looking at me weirdly. Looking at a tuft of fur. Sleeping. Getting curled up in a ball. Sleeping. Sleeping. Squirms in her sleep. Waking up. Starting to get mad. Looking at me weirdly. Starting to fall asleep. Stretching and yawning. Meowing. Meowing at my dad. Scratching. Looking at me. Itching her ear.

I almost think she embellished this to make it even more exciting, because this sounds a little wild for Garland.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Myeloma Mom

In case you can't get enough Cancer Girl in your life, I'm now the newest columnist at the Myeloma Beacon web site. They publish lots of columns written by myeloma patients (which you should also read), and I finally decided to apply for a spot. Apparently, someone over there believed that I'd write about something somewhat factual instead of posting shirtless Bon Jovi photos, and my first column came out today! It's called "Myeloma Mom". Please go read it and leave me a comment. My column is scheduled to appear on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Here's the link:

Monday, May 27, 2013

When animals attack

Because we've pretty much run out of major appliances to break down here at the House of Pain, we now face a new foe. Our house is under constant attack by wildlife.

Less than 24 hours after the Snake Encounter, WCK told me she "heard a spider" in her closet. Of course, I hadn't bothered to learn anything from the Snake Encounter, so I thought she was exaggerating. I went into her closet and I immediately heard a very loud, very scary "scratchy scratchy" noise. I would find out in a minute it wasn't really a "scratchy scratchy" noise; it was a "flappy flappy" noise.

Our house has a crawl space that we use for storage. The entrance to the crawl space is in WCK's closet, and it's blocked off by a large piece of wood that's nailed to the wall. I realized the "scratchy/flappy" noise was coming from the crawl space, and then I noticed an angry orange beak sticking out of a crack in the wood.

There was a beak in my house! A beak! If you don't think beaks are scary, you have never seen one pointing at you accusingly from your child's closet.

All I saw was the beak, but I'm pretty sure the rest of the animal looked like this:

WCK and I immediately fled the scene. Fortunately, Jay was home this time, and I told him he needed to get the bird/velociraptor out of the crawl space. Clothed in protective gear (hat, gloves, goggles) and armed with a tennis racket, Jay entered the crawl space and found ... nothing. He then went up to the attic and again found nothing. Either the velociraptor made a quick getaway or it was huddled in the corner, breathing quietly, wearing an invisibility cloak. 

With our luck, I know it has to be the cloak, which is probably also hiding a few dozen hissing cockroaches and bats. Just wait.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Snakes alive!

Earlier today, exactly two seconds after Jay left the house to go see the new Star Trek movie, WCK came running inside, screaming that there was a snake in the yard. I went outside and stood on the front step with her, and I noticed a long tree branch in the front yard.

"WCK," I said in my most reassuring, motherly tone, "that is just a tree branch."

And then the tree branch stuck out its tongue and started slithering toward us. I may or may not have said a bad word (in a reassuring, motherly tone, of course), but WCK didn't hear me because she was already back inside the house, screaming. I ran inside to get my phone so I could take a photo of the thing because a) I wanted to try to identify it and b)  if you have something terrifying in your yard, you are legally required to post a photo of it on Facebook immediately.

By the time I got back outside, the snake was gone, so I went searching for it in the yard. All the while WCK was standing in the front door, screaming that I was going to get myself killed and that she was never going to set foot in the front yard again. I finally located the snake hiding in a rose bush, but I realized it wouldn't come out as long as we were out there, especially with all the screaming. Both of us were alternating between feelings of fascination and horror, so we went inside, watched the bush from the window, and waited for the snake to reappear. Once it did,  I went back out with my camera until the snake went back into the bush. We repeated this process for the better part of an hour.

In the meantime, I was texting Jay photos of the snake with thoughtful commentary. Actual text of my text: "Sweet merciful crap!!!"


Sweet merciful crap.

It gets better. During one of my final photo missions, a second Sweet Merciful Crap Viper slithered across the yard and cuddled up with its friend:

Reunited and it feels so good.
OK. That was it. I loaded WCK into the car and we went to the grocery store. It was turning into Raiders of the Lost Ark out there.

Once we got home from the store, the snakes were gone, as far as we could tell. We spent some time Googling Missouri snakes and identified them as Eastern yellow-bellied racers, which are non-venomous. My snake ID was later validated by a retired science teacher after I posted the photo on Facebook. Score!

Anyway. We haven't seen a sign of the snakes for hours. I'm sure after we left for the store, the two snakes had a chat and decided it was not worth living near the crazy, screaming, camera-phone family, and they decided to go somewhere very, very far away.

And if they did decide to stay, I'm sure they decided they would never ever have a giant nest of babies.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I'm one of those runners who always wants to be alone. I don't want to run with a friend or in a group; I just want to listen to my music and think deep thoughts.

Except the thoughts I think while I'm running aren't really that deep. Most of the time, I get to the end of a run and I can't even remember what I thought about. Other times, I realize that things I thought were fabulous ideas right around mile 6 are actually really stupid. For example, yesterday my hat kept blowing off in the wind. I spent a long time trying to think of ways I could keep it on. Could I make some kind of chin strap? (Just wait; that's not even the stupidest thing that I thought of. It's coming up.) Could I wear a different style of hat? Oh, I know! I could run in a sunbonnet like Laura Ingalls!

I actually thought this was a good idea for a brief time, but then I finally rejected it because the sunbonnet would get too sweaty. Now, if I could find a sunbonnet made from moisture wicking material, I might be on to something.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Take a step that is new ....

I've been going through some old photos, and I noticed something. Whenever a race photographer takes my picture as I'm crossing the finish line, I don't even look like I'm running. I look like I'm standing there, balanced on one foot, just like Replacement Chrissy in the opening credits of Three's Company. 

Exhibit A.


Come and knock on our door ...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hold the Mayo

When I posted my M-spike update yesterday, I completely forgot to post a Mayo update.

Not this kind of Mayo. The kind that is healthy for you.

I started going to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota a couple of weeks after my official diagnosis in 2005. I wanted a second opinion, because a doctor here (not my current doctor) wanted me to have a stem-cell transplant ASAP. Going to Mayo turned out to be a great move, because I was able to postpone the transplant. I still haven't needed one -- so far. Yay, Mayo!

After that first visit, I went there every few months, then every six months (and sometime in there I had a three-week stay for my harvest), and then just once a year. Jay and I debated going/not going last year, but my doctor stopped seeing patients in the clinic and I wanted to meet my new doctor. This year, I called to make my usual summer appointment, and there were very few time slots open. I don't know if I waited too long or if there just aren't many appointments available to begin with. None of the open appointment times worked with our summer schedule, so we finally decided to just skip my checkup this year.

I asked my nurse practitioner about it, and she said skipping the checkup would be totally fine. She didn't even have to stop to think about it.

Still, I feel a little weird; this will be the longest I've been away from Mayo in over seven and a half years. It's a good weird, though, knowing that I'm healthy enough to miss it. Best of all, no Pee Pod! Woo hoo!

See you later, Mayo! I'll be back sometime. Just not this summer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He's a cowboy ...

This month's results are in, and they're good! My M-spike is again completely stable at 1.5. 

I tried to find a picture of Bon Jovi in a stable, but this was the best I could do. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Yes, it's come to this.

Yes, it's the latest NKOTB video. No need to thank me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor ...

WCK made this Batman card for Jay's birthday today ...

... and it reminded me of something that happened at the cancer center this morning. I was sitting in the crowded waiting area, waiting for a nurse to pop through the door and call my name. A nurse popped out  and called, "Bruce?" A split second later, the nurse right behind her called out, "Alfred?"

I looked around to see if anyone else noticed how awesome that was, but nobody seemed to care. Then again, maybe HIPAA regulations require us to ignore Batman in a medical setting.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Wolf Lodge

Usually we have a big party filled with screaming wonderful children to celebrate WCK's birthday. Those parties were starting to wear on me, so I suggested the three of us spend a night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City instead of throwing a party. The Great Wolf Lodge is one of WCK's favorite places on earth, so she quickly agreed. We hadn't been there in a couple of years, so I'd forgotten a lot about the Great Wolf Lodge. Mostly, I'd forgotten how The Great Wolf Corporation has found wildly creative ways to just suck the money right out of you.

If the Great Wolf Lodge can charge you a fee, they will charge you a fee. WCK likes to play a game called "Magic Quest", where kids use plastic magic wands to interact with objects around the hotel. (I blogged about that a few years ago.) We still have the magic wand she purchased back then, so we tried using it again. It was a fully functional wand, but when we tried to use it at one of the computer stations, we were told it had run out of magic. We had to take it to the magic wand store to get the "magic" "replaced" for $13.

Yes, you can put a price on magic. It costs $13.

Later, we were waiting in line to fight a giant computer-animated dragon on a screen, something we had tried to do a few times before with little success. The dragon kept killing us. A little girl in front of me showed me her magic wand. It was much fancier than WCK's and had a big plastic dragon on the top. "It's an insta-kill," she told me, matter-of-factly.

Apparently, if you go to the magic wand store and pay extra, you can buy a special wand that will allow you to kill the dragon instantly, instead of, you know, working hard. We were trying to kill him through perseverance and skill, like suckers! All we needed to do was fork over more money!

Anyway. I think the tipping point for Jay was when he was charged a "processing fee" to play the video games at the arcade. 

When the Great Wolf Lodge had finished sucking away our money, we returned home to find we now have three pregnant Sea Monkeys and two new babies. Looks like the Sea Monkeys had a wild weekend while we were away.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Free shirtless Joe doll with purchase

There was a suggestion on my Facebook page that I sell my Partridge Family game to a rich Baby Boomer and use the money to buy a New Kids on the Block board game. Oh my goodness, I thought. Is there such a thing?

A quick Google search revealed ...


Hours of fun!

Plus, it's for ages eight and up, so WCK could play with me. I know she would be super thrilled.

It's an antique from 1990. Prices range from as high as $100 for a pristine, unopened game that you aren't supposed to play with (and what fun is that?) to $15 for games that have a bit of wear. I think my favorite one was this $15 game I saw on Etsy, because the seller is throwing in a free Joe doll. Joe comes with his original jeans and hat, but the seller doesn't know what happened to his shirt.

We all know this is the best $15 I could ever spend.
So if you're a rich Baby Boomer who would like to purchase my Partridge Family game so I can justify purchasing a NKOTB game, please let me know. Shirtless Joe Doll could use a good home.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy birthday, WCK!

Today is WCK's eighth birthday, and she told me it was her best birthday ever. She had her drama club play after school, and her drama teacher surprised her with chocolate ice cream and balloons. Then she got to pick where we'd eat dinner, so we went to IHOP for pancakes. Then we came home to discover -- yes -- we have a brand new baby Sea Monkey! How can you top a birthday like this?

"Now I'm ready for some eight-year-old adventures!" she said.

Yeah, me too!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

C'mon get happy!

WCK turns eight tomorrow. Every year on her birthday, she asks me to go to the closet and get out the board games that she is old enough to now play "legally." This year is a big year, because both Monopoly and Clue are for ages eight and up. (Don't tell anyone, but I already taught her how to play Monopoly earlier this year, even though she was underage. She totally kicked my butt.)

Last year, however, WCK was a little bit horrified when I could only find one game in the closet for ages seven and up:

This game is actually in our house! Why do I own this game? Why? Why?

I have a vague memory of finding this game at a thrift store in high school or maybe college and thinking it was pretty hilarious. I suppose that is understandable. What I don't really understand is why, after 20 years, a marriage, a child, and at least half a dozen moves, it is still with me. Why did I never get rid of it?

Needless to say, WCK refused to play this. Today when I was in the closet looking at the eight-and-up board games, I decided to pull out the Partridge Family Game and have a look.

Yes, you're really seeing this.
Whoever wrote the instructions either a) had just recently learned to speak English or b) was on drugs.  According to the copyright, the game was made in 1971, which is that vague era between Mad Men and when I was born, so I have absolutely no idea what was going on. Maybe it was a popular pastime to do drugs and then write board game instructions back in 1971. Here is a direct quote from the inside of the box:

As on TV, many happenings occur to the Partridge Family, this game describes one of them. They have finished playing at a local arena and must hurry from there to their BUS to get traveling again. On the way they may have some delays. THE OBJECT OF THE GAME is to be the first member of the Family to reach the Bus.

You roll the dice, and if you land on a "Partridge space", you draw a "Partridge card" and do what it says. For example:

As I looked through the cards, I realized they were, well, extremely sexist. For example, Danny is rewarded for doing all kinds of crazy things:

But don't you hate it when a female tries to use her brain? Move back two spaces, Laurie! In fact, you're out of the band!

Meanwhile, Chris gets rewarded for his big appetite. Eat those pancakes and move forward, Chris!

But Tracy apparently doesn't care that pink lemonade will go straight to her hips! 

You're out of the band, too! And you should have seen this coming, since there isn't even a little game marker with your head on it! True, Chris doesn't have one, either, but he's busy eating his pancakes!

And how does this one even make sense? How can Keith move six spaces closer to the bus if he's in the Grand Canyon? It just goes to show that if you're Keith Partridge, you can do whatever you want:

So why is this game still in my closet after all these years? I have no idea. I'm wondering if it has magical powers. I'm a little scared to get rid of it now. Now I kind of want to see how long it is going to stick around. I'd express more curiosity, but I don't want to have to move back two spaces.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Name the Sea Monkeys!

Yesterday I got a comment on my Sea Monkey post asking me what their names are. That is an excellent question!

After I noticed there were five of them, I secretly named them after the members of the New Kids on the Block. I didn't tell anyone, because I knew WCK would yell at me, and it was a nice secret between me and the Sea Monkeys. Then Donnie turned up pregnant, so that whole secret plan was ruined.

Then last night, WCK said the pregnant one's name is "Mama." Then this morning, she announced she had changed Mama's name to "Pouchy." I can't bear to break this news to Mama/Pouchy, because I'm sure she's pretty emotional and would probably cry if she found out we'd named her Pouchy.

So now I'm asking all of you. Can you come up with a name better than Pouchy? Or Donnie? Please post your names in the comment section here or on my Facebook page. (And speaking of the Facebook page, if you don't "like" it yet, why not? Why? I like you.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sea Monkey mania!

WCK's grandma bought her some Sea Monkeys. I had Sea Monkeys when I was a kid, so I was pretty excited. If you're not familiar with Sea Monkeys, they are teeny, tiny brine shrimp that you raise in a little tank. The kit comes with a little packet of eggs. You pour the eggs into the water, and bam! Instant pets! Then you feed them and watch them grow from really, really, really tiny to just kinda tiny.

The only downside to Sea Monkeys is that they don't actually look like this:

How does the mom get her hair to stay so nice under the water?

No, they actually look like this:

Their hair is not so nice.

Actually, this is probably a good thing. If they looked like the family in the first photo, I would get way too emotionally attached to them, and we all know that someday they'll join our two betta fish in The Big Plastic Tank in the Sky.

For now, though, they are thriving. Yesterday I noticed that one of the monkeys had an odd-looking growth near its tail. I started wondering if he/she had some kind of Sea Monkey cancer or a fungus or was simply deformed or something, so I started Googling Sea Monkeys. (And just because I spend a lot of my day watching the Sea Monkeys and Googling their health conditions does not mean I'm emotionally attached! It does not!) It turns out the odd-looking growth is an egg sac, which means we have a pregnant female Sea Monkey! Congratulations, Sea Monkeys! Not that I am emotionally attached!

So we have five Sea Monkeys total. One is the pregnant lady, two are males, and two are still too small to tell what they are. This means we don't know who is the father of the baby (babies?). I guess we'll have to wait until the birth and see who it looks like.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy birthday, sweet sixteen

In March, our cat, Garland, turned 16. The average lifespan of a cat is 15 - 20 years, so I figure a sixteenth birthday for a cat is a pretty rare event, and it needs to be celebrated ... with a balloon.

So WCK and I went to the grocery store and picked out a "Happy 16th B-Day" balloon. The lady behind the counter at the floral department asked me if the balloon was for a boy or a girl, so she'd know what color ribbon to put on. (By the way, does any 16-year-old care what color the ribbon is on his/her balloon? Do 16-year-olds even care about balloons? Aren't they just going to look at it and grunt?)  I said, "Uh, it's for a cat." The floral department ladies thought this was hilarious, and I waited for my seven-year-old to back me up on the cat-balloon thing so that I could give the floral department ladies a knowing look, like, "This was all the seven-year-old's idea! Ha ha!" Of course, the seven-year-old was hiding behind a balloon display, so I just looked like a crazy cat lady.

Then I got in the checkout line with the balloon, a bag of cat nip, and a little cake (for the humans), and the lady ahead of me in line said, "Oh, is someone getting ready to drive?"

I should have just said, "Yes." Not only could I have avoided follow-up questions, but the mental image of Garland driving was pretty awesome. Instead, I had to explain the cat thing again. Again, my seven-year-old did not back me up.

But we got home and showed Garland the balloon. I think she was about as interested as a 16-year-old human would be. Then we ate her cake. Finally, she got to celebrate with a fresh bag of 'nip, and I think that's when Garland realized it was the Best. Birthday. Ever.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Many hats

WCK made me a Mother's Day book at school. Every page is shaped like a hat and has a prompt for WCK to fill in the blank:

And here is what is says:

My mom wears many hats in our family. My mom is a teacher. She taught me to read chapter books and tie my shoelaces.

My mom is a nurse. She always makes me feel better when she gives me Sprite and crackers.

My mom is a sanitation worker. When she sees my room, she says, "It looks like a tornado went there!"

My mom is a cook. I love it when she makes me chicken, eggs, and soup.

My mom is a chauffeur. She drives me to school, swimming pools, and everywhere.

My mom is the best mom ever!

The End

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Princess Vader

What's worse: The fact that we happen to have a life-size cardboard cutout of Darth Vader standing around our house, or the fact that the second my back is turned, someone dresses him up like a princess? I especially like the shoes.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Taper worm

As I mentioned in my last post, I ran my second half-marathon last month. After running two half-marathons, I have decided that the most difficult part of the race doesn't happen during the race itself. It's not even the post-race soreness. The most difficult part of the race, for me, is the taper.

When you train for a marathon or a half marathon, you spend months building up the mileage that you run each week. Right after you do your longest run ever, you then start "tapering" or cutting way back on your mileage for a few weeks. When you get to the week right before the race, you're barely running at all. The idea is that you want to get to the race well rested and injury-free and all full of carbs. In theory, the taper sounds like the greatest thing ever: I get to quit all of this crazy running! And just sit around! And eat carbs! Pass the carbs!

In reality, the taper turns me into a Complete. Raving. Lunatic.

First of all, I honestly think my body gets ticked off at me because it's in running withdrawal. (Running withdrawal! Really! Who knew?) Then, I have a bunch more free time because I'm not running for hours every day, so I have plenty of time to fixate on every little twinge in my body and then go Google it and convince myself that the slight pain in my shin is, in fact, a broken leg. I can also check the weather for race day about 10 times an hour and closely evaluate an elevation map of the race course and then have a breakdown because the race description clearly said it was a "flat course", and I can clearly see a slight hill.

Eventually I end up curled into a little ball of whimpering self-doubt. "I know I ran 13 miles a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think I can do it again. My legs feel like pirate peg legs. I will never make it! Why do I bother? I suck! I suck!"

To make things even worse this time around, about a week into the taper I got a cough. A bad cough. A cough so severe that I thought my lungs were going to leap out of my body, run out the door, flip me the bird while screaming, "F.U.!", and ride off on the back of a motorcycle to a commune for rebellious, wayward lungs. Then I started running a fever, and I'm supposed to call the cancer center whenever I run a fever, because I have, like, two white blood cells in my body.* I was put on antibiotics right away, and I started getting a little better, but then I started constantly Googling the antibiotics I was on and discovered that, in certain rare cases, these antibiotics have caused people's legs to fall off.**

So I did the sensible thing*** and refused to call the doctor to ask about the potential legs-falling-off side effect, because I was afraid the doctor would tell me not to run.

And in the meantime, I went to the Bon Jovi concert all jacked up on cough medicine and then screamed for three hours, which really did not help things at all.

But in the end I recovered, from the cough and from the mental scars of the taper, and the race went very well. I ran with the 2:20 pacers instead of the 2:25 pacers, which seemed like a big achievement. I'm sure the taper for the full marathon will be a piece of cake.****

*This may not be a scientifically accurate description of my medical condition.

** Again, this may not be scientifically accurate description. If you've found this blog because you're Googling "my legs fell off", please get off the computer and get to a doctor. I realize it will be challenging, because your legs have fallen off.

*** Not the sensible thing.


Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Crazy Thing I Did

So I haven't told you about The Crazy Thing I Did while I was away from the blog.

I ran my second half-marathon in April. That's not the Crazy Thing, although I will need to blog about the race. Some half-marathon training plans tell you not to run more than 10 miles in training. The one I follow (from the book "Train Like A Mother") gives you to option to run 11 to 13 miles in your final, great big training run. I always like to do the full 13.1 in training, because it makes me feel more confident that I can run the real race. (That's still not the Crazy Thing. I'm getting there.)

So just before Easter, I went out there and ran 13.1, and I ran it in the best time ever, one minute faster than I ended up running the actual race, and I decided that I was super awesome. (This is still not the Crazy Thing, but it is leading into the Crazy Thing.)

So I spent the rest of the day wrapped in this fog of super awesomeness. I was all, "I just ran 13.1 and I'm not even sore and I don't even have to sit down and rest and I will just take a really quick shower and take WCK to an Easter egg hunt and I'm still not sitting down because I am super awesome and I can do anything! ANYTHING!! Hahahahahahaha!"

When the awesomeness fog lifted the next morning, I wasn't feeling quite so awesome.  I was, in fact, feeling like the Tin Man right before Dorothy and the Scarecrow find the oil can. It was then that I had to come to grips with The Crazy Thing I Did while under the influence of my own perceived awesomeness.

I registered for a full marathon. 

And, worse, I ordered the car magnet, which is starting at me accusingly from the refrigerator.

That's the distance from the Iowa border to Vermillion, South Dakota, if that means anything to you. It means something to me, and it makes me want to throw up a tiny bit.

The race is Oct. 19. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Big, fat Revlimid

Jay and some of his co-workers won a fitness competition at work the other day, and he brought home some fabulous ("fabulous") prizes, including a water bottle and one of those squishy stress-ball-type things shaped like a giant pill. The first thing I thought was, goodness, it's a giant Revlimid.

Mother and child reunion!

A mutant Revlimid has taken over the city! We must flee!

We gave the pill to WCK to play with (the big, fat, pretend pill, not any of the real pills!). A short while later, I walked past the goose and discovered he/she is now taking Giant Revlimid. We're hoping for a complete response.

I don't know how on earth I'm going to swallow this pill. At least my hat is cute.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Peanut Butter Toast Incident

WCK has always been very advanced, dentally, and she's already ready for orthodontic work. She got an expander put in the top of her mouth a couple of weeks ago. Here she is, super thrilled  a) to be at the orthodontist in the first place and b) to be having her picture taken:

I was worried the expander would hurt. Fortunately, it doesn't. Instead, the expander traps food. For the first week or so, this really freaked out WCK. Jay was on a business trip when she got the thing put in, so he missed the first day or two of Dramatic Removal of Trapped Food. His introduction to the expander happened early one morning when we had what I will forever call The Peanut Butter Toast Incident. Pay attention, because I am never going to talk about this again.

The Peanut Butter Toast Incident

I insisted WCK eat her normal breakfast of peanut butter toast because, dang it, she's going to have this expander in for up to six months, and she might as well get used to it. WCK complained. I told her to quit complaining. This was one of those rare times when I was trying super hard to not be a helicopter parent and get my child to toughen up, because if I keep on feeding her oatmeal when she's capable of eating toast, she'll turn into a serial killer who lives in our basement until she's 35, blah blah blah. Long story short, she ended up with what looked like an entire piece of peanut butter toast jammed between the expander and the roof of her mouth. The three of us ended up in the bathroom, armed with all different kinds of toothbrushes and toothpicks, yelling at each other "discussing" how to best remove the peanut butter toast without WCK throwing up, which she kept dramatically threatening to do.

Then there was some lively "discussion" about how the child was NEVER HAVING PEANUT BUTTER TOAST AGAIN and how HER LUNCH NEEDED TO BE TOTALLY LIQUID.

Jay rarely, rarely speaks in all capital letters, but that expander pushed him over the edge.

We finally got the toast out with just minutes to spare before the final bell rang at school, and I realized we didn't have enough yogurt, etc., to put together a soft lunch for WCK. I dropped her off at school and then ran to Price Chopper to purchase Spaghetti-os and applesauce and then brought her lunch to the school's front desk. I might have imagined it, but I swear the secretary gave me a look, like I'm one of those moms who isn't organized enough to remember her child's lunch. I didn't have the energy to explain -- or the mental toughness to re-live -- The Peanut Butter Toast Incident, so I just let her think I'm scatterbrained. It's easier.

I returned home and Jay and I, now done "discussing" and fully united in hatred toward the expander, charged off to Target and bought a Water Pik, which, frankly, has saved our marriage.

Things have calmed down now, and WCK has adjusted to eating with the expander and using the Water Pik. I give her oatmeal and eggs for breakfast, and perhaps she will become a serial killer at age 35, but that's a price I am willing to pay.

And we shall never discuss The Peanut Butter Toast Incident again.

The End

Monday, May 06, 2013

Strep tease

WCK had strep throat twice over the winter. Both times, she told me right away that her throat hurt, and I was all, "Oh, flibbidy floo. You're not really sick. Now, get in the car so we can go to swimming lessons!" And, of course, both times she ended up being really sick and needing antibiotics. She also had to spend two days on the couch watching "A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids", which is my name for all of the sitcoms on the Disney Channel.

So today when she got into the car after school and told me her throat hurt, my motherly instincts told me right away that she had strep throat. I drove directly to urgent care, because I knew if I waited an extra day to get her into the regular pediatrician, I was looking at at least 48 hours of Disney Channel sitcoms, and I was not going to let that happen.

We got to urgent care and sat in the waiting room watching, of course,  "A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids." Well, it didn't matter. I was an excellent mother! A proactive mother! A vigilant mother! I had seen this bout of strep coming a mile away! The doctors would be all, "Ooooooh! We've never seen a mother spot strep throat so early! Let's all gather in the waiting room and give her a standing ovation! Let's climb up on the chairs and call her, 'O Captain! My Captain!'"

Except it wasn't strep.

And that's good. It's "Hallelujah!"-type good. It is good that she doesn't have a bad disease, and also very, very good that she gets to go to school instead of watching the Disney Channel. I'm just wondering when my motherly instincts will ever be correct. All of the moms on "A Bunch of Smart-Mouthed Kids" make it look so easy. Then again, most of them have talking dogs and nannies to help them.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Apostrophe Patrol never rest's

Three years ago, we went to a Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium. I took a photo of a sign that contained an incorrect apostrophe, and I even posted it on this blog. The sign read, "Kid's Store". Is only one kid allowed to shop there? Who is the lucky kid? Why do I care so deeply about these things? I have an illness. Don't judge me.*

A few months later, the Kansas City Star asked readers to send in examples of typos from around town. I sent in my "Kid's Store" photo. The reporter working on the story called me right away, and he was equally horrified that the Royals would allow this. My photo appeared in the paper. I figured the public shaming in the Kansas City Star would cause the Royals to fix the sign ASAP.

I went to another game today, three years later, and I checked the sign. At first I was horrified because I thought there had been no change. Now that I compare the photos from 2010 and today, I see that, yes, they did, technically, remove the apostrophe!

See? It's just a faint outline of an apostrophe where the raised-up apostrophe used to be:

Now, I don't want to be too hard on the Royals, because it does appear that they're trying, but

a) you can still clearly see the evidence of the shameful apostrophe placement and
b) the sign is still incorrect, because they still need to scoot the "s" over and put the apostrophe on the other side.
c) Plus, why is the "s" lower case when the rest of the letters are upper case? I know. I know. I'll pick my battles.

Still. Progress. Was it because of my vigilance and my reporting to the newspaper? I like to think that it was.

*But if you use an apostrophe incorrectly, I will judge you.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Day Three: May the Fourth be with you

WCK, Jay, and I have observed Star Wars Day on May the Fourth every year for the past few years. Last year, I went all out and cooked a special meal: Boba Fett-uccini, Qui Gon Jinn-ger fruit salad, Yoda Soda, and Wookiee Cookies. WCK, Picky Eater Champion of the World, only ate the Wookiee Cookies. She even rejected the Yoda Soda because, and I quote, "It was green." Then she spent a year reminding me often that she did not care for the Boba Fett-uccini. (My opinion: It was as tasty as it was cleverly named.)

This year I was less than motivated to search for special Star Wars recipes, so I kept putting it off. This morning, WCK started asking me what our Star Wars meal was going to be, and I realized that I hadn't planned one. So I just gave Star Wars names to what I'd planned to make anyway (Chewbacca chicken casserole, Greedo green beans, and Boba Fett fruit salad). For dessert, we had ice cream cones, but I called them "Ice Cream Clones." I bought chocolate and vanilla ice cream, so we could choose between Dark Side ice cream and Light Side ice cream. Then Jay pointed out to me that there really is no Light Side of the Force, that it's just The Force. Fine. Jay and WCK had Dark Side ice cream; I had The Force ice cream.

WCK insisted that we dress up for dinner. She was Princess Leia, and she used the Halloween costume that she wore when she was five months old. I know it sounds physically impossible, but with a pair of white leggings, she actually pulled it off. Jay stuffed a pillow inside his shirt and said he was Jabba the Hutt's nephew.

Now, I had just spent minutes microwaving the Chewbacca casserole, so I was worn out and didn't feel like coming up with a costume. Then it hit me: I finally had an excuse to wear the Cat Hat.

Remember the time I posted a photo of my grandma wearing a cat outfit? My aunt still had the hat, and she sewed me a new tail and gave them both to me for Christmas. Of course, I posed for photos in the hat on Christmas Day, but I hadn't had the opportunity to wear it again ... until today, when I realized it would make the perfect Ewok costume.

So today we ate dinner in the dining room, WCK clothed in a dress meant for an infant, Jay's shirt bulging with a pillow inside, and me sporting a fuzzy black cat hat. Jay and I prayed that nobody would ring the doorbell, and nobody did. The Force was with us.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Day Two: Just faux fun

The other day at exercise class, we worked out to an odd, sped-up, dance-mix version of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." Later that day, my friend Lauri, who is also a Bon Jovi fan and who is also in the exercise class, texted me to tell me she had to rush home and listen to real Bon Jovi to get the faux Bon Jovi out of her head.

It took me almost an entire day, but then it dawned on me that someday I will manage a Bon Jovi cover band, and I will call it ... wait for it ...

Bon Faux-vi.

Although Bon Faux-vi was perhaps the greatest idea I'd ever had, Lauri told me her husband wants to start a Bon Jovi cover band where they all play banjos, and he will call it Banjo-vi. I have to admit, Banjo-vi is even better than Bon Faux-vi because, well, it has banjos.

There is a Bon Jovi cover band based in the Kansas City area called Bob Jovi. I tried to go see them play at an outdoor concert last summer. If you'll recall, last summer we were in the middle of the worst drought that Missouri has seen in at least 10,000 years*, but right in the middle of the Bob Jovi concert the heavens opened wide and we were all instantly drenched right in the middle of "It's My Life." The band had to quit and seek shelter for their '80s hairstyles, and we had to sprint through the rain to our cars. Did this happen because God was punishing Bob Jovi for failing to call themselves Bon Faux-vi? Or because they failed to play banjos? It's impossible to know. The Lord moves in mysterious ways.

*I'm estimating. There's a chance this might not be the correct number of years.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Day One: Thirty-two days of blogging

First of all, my M-spike remained the same this month at 1.5, which means the Revlimid is still succeeding at kicking some M-spike butt.

Ha ha ha, M-spike! I am laughing at you!

Second of all, I know I have not blogged in a super long time. It's been 32 days, to be exact. I don't have a good excuse at all. I continued to put off the blog, and then tons and tons of people (or, to be more exact, two people) asked about it. Today I decided I needed to start it back up again. To make up for all of the days I missed, I have decided to punish challenge myself with a 32 Day Blogathon. I will post to the blog every day for 32 days in a row. For 32 days, I will push myself to come up with something fun and witty and informative, unless, of course, I get really lazy and decide to post a New Kids on the Block video. We all need to rest sometime, right?