Sunday, October 24, 2010

Boys being Boys

Our house has become a lot more masculine since all three of our girls have moved out. We're down to just the two boys, and despite their age gap (23 and 11) they manage to find something to argue about pretty much constantly. The latest being Halloween costumes.

As you know if you've followed this blog, Brandon is an actor. Big time drama, drama, drama actor. He sings, he dances, and he plays pretend. He's also a planner. Birthday plans for April start in about May. Christmas starts in January. As a result I've made a rule that I don't want to hear a word about Halloween costumes until October 1st. So, of course, on Oct. 1st, it became VERY urgent that we come up with a Halloween costume THAT DAY!!!! All other activities and interests ceased to exist until a costume was figured out.

And it was no surprise that the costume theme was SPIES. Because SPIES are the biggest, most important thing in the entire world. There is a piece of paper taped to the door that leads under the stairs that says SKI CLUB. In tiny (I'm talking so tiny you need a magnifying glass) letters underneath the big SKI, it says 'spy kids incorporated'. I once asked Brandon what his SKI club was about, and he was delighted that he'd fooled me. Behind the door of this club is every gadget he's managed to finagle from me or his dad or Santa or his grandma, which means tons. Spy glasses, spy spears, spy cars, spy cases--you name it and he's probably got it.

So come October first, otherwise known as Costume Day, we did a search for spy costumes to get some ideas. I noticed one spy who was wearing a tan leather jacket, and pointed out that his sister has one just like it. He found the jacket, and also found a hat that matched. He stuffed the jacket with all his spy gear, made himself a mustache, found one of my old wigs and voila! a spy was born.

He proceeded to put on this outfit on the 2nd of October, and the 3rd, and the 4th. You get the idea.

But after several days of exuberant spy-costume wearing, Daniel lost his patience. "You don't look like a spy. You look like a girl. Those are girl clothes."

Brandon came to me, deflated. "Is it true? Are these girl clothes?"

I confirmed that yes, it was his sister's jacket. But he knew that. And it was my hat. And wig. But he knew that too. But it didn't really matter, as long as when you put them together you look like a spy. Which he did. And he shouldn't listen to mean 'ol Daniel anyway. I did this while leering with all the loathing I could manage at Daniel. But it was too late. He discarded the outfit and began plans for another one. I told Daniel he could pay for whatever a new outfit cost, but that didn't go over too well. He said he didn't care what he wore, as long as they were never seen together. Mean Daniel. Mean, mean Daniel.

The outfit stayed in a heap just outside his bedroom door for a couple days. But then one day he put it on again. When I asked about it, he told me he'd talked to his friend, who is also going as a spy, and they decided together that it was perfect, no matter what mean ol' Daniel said. Because, he continued, his eyes bright and enthusiastic, this wasn't just one costume, it was two. He then ripped off the coat and hat (dramatically of course) to show me his "blending in" costume.

"Blending in?" I asked.

He rolled his eyes. As if I was born yesterday. "All spies have blending in outfits. Haven't you watched anything on TV?"

That is obviously one brilliant kid. Now if I can just figure out how to keep him from growing up.

A fine day for a walk...

My daughters (well, two of them, one was too far away and busy with college) and the grandbaby took me walking...for a cure.

Couldn't this be a poster for the American Cancer Society? Jen has another picture, after it popped, where he looks a little like Eeyore. So adorable.

It was a beautiful day. Ethan made it half way. But when we saw a marker that said we'd gone two miles, and he was out of the stroller wanting to walk, and it was a five-mile route, we knew we were in trouble. But he was a trooper!

We're not sure what blue chips (they were passing them out on the route) have to do with a pink cause, but the red hair (supposed to be pink) added to the blue tongue made for...I'm not sure what. But we it was hilarious at the time.

I didn't get the picture with Jen, she was behind the camera with this one, but she was there, carrying Ethan most of the way! Thanks girls!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Party Crasher

Today was supposed to be my big, huge, final day of treatment. After a full year of Herceptin by IV every three weeks, today was supposed to be the last. I've been talking about it and looking forward to it for weeks. Even had a party planned.

But instead, I'm doing this:

Yes, there is something wrong with this picture. And no, that is not me in the hospital gown. Note to my children: The next time I spend the night in the hospital, I want to be the one in the bed. I really do prefer it that way.

This turn of events started on Monday evening. Daniel was in stomach agony when he arrived home from work. As any parent knows, there are plenty of times that you have to go with your gut when it comes to kids and illnesses. There are three basic options when they come to you with a complaint. You can tell them to toughen up and ignore it. (Without really letting on that that's your plan of course. "Oh I'm so sorry your tummy hurts. I bet you just need some rest. Why don't you go lie down? wink wink") Or you can turn to the medicine cabinet and start playing Doctor Mom with whatever drugs you happen to have on hand. Or you can load up the car and head to the doctor.

Normally I start with method one, go to number two if the complaints continue, and only move on to option three as an absolute last resort. But lately my gut instinct has been a little out of whack. I won't embarrass myself or my children by listing the minor issues that have sent me to the emergency room in the last year. Let's just say that they probably roll their eyes when they see me coming. My recent brush with the dramatic has made every little bump and lump seem like a good reason to panic.

So I didn't hesitate to tell Daniel to get into the car when he came upstairs pale, sweating, and in extreme pain. It wasn't until I was sitting in a dark parking lot so he could throw up into a bush that it occurred to me that once again I'd skipped right over steps one and two and headed straight to step three. I hadn't even offered him some of that amazing Earl Grey Tea that had done wonders with my nausea during chemo. But when he climbed back into the car, slightly green and moaning, I doubted if he'd be pleased with the idea of going back home for some tea. So we forged ahead. To heck with medical bills. And sleep.

Well it turns out (several hours into the night later) that it was his pancreas. Pancreatitis. Who would have thought?

For the record, I am totally patting myself on the back for making that emergency room call. Apparently the pancreas is a really important organ. And it hurts really bad when it's inflamed, which happens (very rarely) when a gall stone travels in a totally wrong direction and blocks it. But the good news is that he's out of surgery and doing great. The doc expects a full recovery. So tomorrow we can get back to normal things like my big last-day-of-chemo celebration.