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February 2011
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April 2011

This is the last post in the More Birthdays campaign, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. I imagine it's pretty obvious by now that I didn't really have a plan or theme for this "series," but just sat down each time and started typing and hoped that I'd stumble upon a point or insight somewhere along the way. Honestly, most of the time I just crossed my fingers that I wouldn't get an ominous phone call in between the draft stage and the publish button. I guess, as usual, the best place to start is with the dry, basic facts: The doctors told my dad it was time to stop the chemotherapy. He opted...not to take that advice, and got his oncologist to concede that as long as he kept his blood count numbers just above a bargain-basement level, he could probably continue with chemo. He heard: There's still hope. The cancer has spread to his lymph nodes. But not as much as the doctors thought. His spleen is enlarged. But not as enlarged as it could be. Again, he heard: Hope. After multiple cancellations, at least one infection, some antibiotics and I don't even know how many transfusions, he's... Read more →

The Red Drank Diaries

7:43 am. Ezra appears at the side of my bed, just at eye level. "MOMMY! WAKE UP!" 7:44 am. When I fail to WAKE UP in an adequately enthusiastic fashion, he beans me in the head with a small rubber SPÖKA nightlight. "MOMMY! KITTY SAY WAKE UP!" 7:45 am. I wake up. We bought two of those suckers at IKEA this weekend, and they make deceptively good weapons. 7:50 am. Both boys are in bed with me. Noah has brought along a ROTERA lantern that he's grown incredibly attached to and a blanket that is actually an Invibbability Cloak and is talking about Harry Potter, at least Harry Potter According To A Child Who Saw 20 Minutes Of The First Movie And Plays The LEGO Game Version On The Xbox And Thus Maybe Has Some Of His Facts Wrong. 7:55 am. We all hide under the Invibbability Cloak from Lord Baltimort. Or a bear, depending on which kid is currently steering the narrative. 7:59 am. My brain joins the rest of my body in WAKE UP VILLE and I remember the bottle of awful sugary bright red liquid sitting in the fridge that I'm supposed to spend the next five... Read more →


Noah started swimming lessons this week. So did Ezra, but Noah's class kicked off first. Jason took him, so I could stay home with Ezra and preserve his little toddler-sense of fairness and gloss over the fact that Noah gets to do EVERYTHING FUN with the help of some chocolate-chip cookies. Jason videotaped the session for me, though, so I could watch. We alternate karate nights too, so we've both gotten plenty of chances to watch that as well. But it took the video for me to really see. It was exactly what I've been seeing at karate, and what I've been seeing at home. What the babysitter has been reporting, what's between the lines of the teacher's notes home, and what I've been reporting every Thursday morning to his occupational therapist, even though I didn't really KNOW what I was reporting, other than, "help, we're struggling again, and I don't know what's going on this time, because the stuff that worked before isn't working anymore." I went through our pantry and re-read ingredient lists, just to make sure I wasn't missing something. I tried re-instituting naptime, in case he was just plain worn out from the bump in his... Read more →

I took the boys to the dentist this morning. Because that's what you do, right? You have children. You take them to the dentist. And then afterwards you come home and lie down in bed and stare at the ceiling, utterly exhausted, brutally aware of every stressed-out muscle and amped-up nerve running through your core. All because you took your children to the dentist. Or maybe that's just me. Everybody's teeth are just fine, though I have passed on BOTH of my own mouth weirdness issues to the boys -- one issue for each kid. Ezra's got the overbite, Noah's got the insanely crowded mouth with teeth wedged up next to each *likethis.* Perhaps the new baby will get my special trick of growing adult teeth underneath my gums, completely sideways. YOU'RE WELCOME, KIDS. But still. I am beat. We were late! There were forms! Then more forms! A misplaced insurance card! Wrangling in the waiting room! All this AND MORE, before we even got into the exam room where there was honest-to-God potential for BITING. Ezra was a dream, as usual, once we acquiesced to his raging dislike of the paper-towel bib, anyway. He chose a dinosaur finger puppet... Read more →

The theme song for weeks 25 and 26 of this pregnancy have been Lady Gaga's Poker Face, which I oh-so-super-cleverly renamed and reworked as Pizza Face: Can't clear my, can't clear my, No I can't clear up my pizza face. (I have zits like no one's business.) I am a regular goddamned Weird Al, right? I mean, I could be, once I figure out more lyrics than just those three lines. I sort-of came up with a verse about burritos and Indian food where I was able to swap "fart" for "heart" but then I stopped. Because of the DIGNITY. WHICH I TOTALLY STILL HAVE. I also do totally have gas. And a bladder that wakes me up at least two times a night. And a slutbitch of a sciatic nerve. After a breakneck buying spree attack of the baby shopping, I'm feeling much more prepared than I was even just a week ago. Realizing that you somehow own 14 designer swaddling blankets will do the trick, apparently. As does discovering an entire forgotten stash of baby gifts you bought for friends' newborns but never managed to wrap up and send, and since said newborns are now toddlers, said gifts... Read more →