Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home, for everyone

Thank you to everyone who has sent their well wishes, thoughts and prayers for my Dad. We are all thankful that after a 10-day stay in the hospital (and our family's MOST unusual Christmas ever) that he was able to come home on Sunday. So he is home and recovering and will start chemo in a month. I am home with the kids now for New Years, but my heart is with my mom & dad and will be until this ordeal is over.

I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year's!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


My dad's surgery went well. Unfortunately, the tumor was large -- the size of an apple!!!!!! -- and it had completely breached the colon wall. It had engulfed his urethra and was resting on his sacrum (tailbone). So the removal itself was a lot more involved. They had a urologist come in to re-attach the urethra, but they had to scrape the tailbone which causes significant pain. They won't know until Tuesday if the cancer has spread into the bones, but right now it doesn't look like the liver, kidneys or any other organ is involved. He will definitely need chemo.

The upside? He'll be able to eat again by Sunday. Also, because the tumor was so high up he won't need any "accessories" down the road. His colon should function fine. Now he needs to get his strength back up for the chemo.

It has all happened so suddenly -- I woke up this morning thinking it wasn't real.

We're heading to Naples this morning.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now what?

That stress from the other day? The one where I was wondering how I was going to get everything done? And had presents to make/wrap? And was still thinking of more things to do? That stress?

That was nothing.

Yesterday my wonderful, loving Dad was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. As I type this he is being prepped for surgery.

NOW I'm stressed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mom is maxxed

I'm feeling the Countdown to Christmas stress right now, that feeling like you want to do so much more, but you know you're not going to get around to it. So if you don't get a tin of cookies this year, I'm so sorry but we we've been playing Candy Land for hours every day and it really cuts into my ability to get things done. But I'm thinking of you!

I might even wimp all the way out and pick up dinner from Let's Eat or Foodies - you know those places that might as well be called "Mom Gave Up on Cooking But Doesn't Want to Order a Pizza." Nothing wrong with that, right? I mean, when it comes down to it what's better: a homemade meal of grilled cheese and apple slices or picking up a frozen tray of chicken marsala? Oh hell, I don't even have to think about it to know that the kids would eat neither meal. Whatever. Cheerios it is. Maybe I can talk M into getting Pei Wei.

I love the concept of those dinner places though. Very handy. Some of their choices even look like things the kids would at least try (at least D. Not so much A.) Too bad they don't have one called "Your Kids are Ready!" which would deliver your children to the breakfast table in their school clothes, faces scrubbed, hair & teeth brushed, bed made, lunch/snack made, backpacks packed, ON TIME. The amount of nagging it takes to get them to breakfast by 7:15 is incredible. I don't have any idea AT ALL how my mom did it with five kids.

*NOTE: My dad & my aunt are scheduled to have major medical procedures this week. If you are a praying sort of person, please say one for them. Thanks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

This old house, part 24203

Note to self: If you have any desire whatsoever to go to bed in a cozy house on a cold night, you must turn the boiler on before 5:00 pm. Especially if your house is an un-insulated, leaky-windowed, 85 year old. With only an ancient boiler/radiator system for heat.

The Christmas spirit

Take one rainy, chilly, grey morning. Add a toddler. Subtract two humongous outdoor shopping malls, three Targets, two Michaels, one Bed Bath & Beyond. Multiply by one Starbuck's Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (ohmygoodnessyum) and a donut.

Add an impossible-to-find mini-bundt Cake Pan (which I've spent hours* searching for):

The result? Christmas Spirit!!

It may also have something to do with looking forward to getting our tree tonight, and decorating this weekend, and M & I have a party to go to tomorrow. YAY Christmas is almost here!

*Most of the hours I spent searching for this pan are a direct result of 1) my failure to secure said pan well before the Christmas baking rush and 2) the young, male customer service guys at Target who have NO IDEA AT ALL what I meant by "mini-Bundt." One dude even asked me if it was something for a car. So when one guy at a store told me he had found it and was holding it for me and when I showed up it was actually a pan for oversize muffins, I wasn't too surprised. But I was a bit miffed that I had spent an hour driving in pouring rain to a Target that is practically in another county.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We are home from our wonderful ski vacation and boy did we have a great time! Park City was so cool, the weather was perfect and M got in three straight days of skiing. There was just a bit of snow in PC, so we ended up skiing Snowbird and Alta. M declared Alta "perfect." At one point there, he was gone for about two hours straight. Since I didn't know about things like mid-mountain lifts, I thought he was lying dead in some snow covered ditch and was just about to get worried when he came back down.

And can I call myself a skier now? I don't know 'bout that -- but I did have two lessons (I probably need two more) and managed to ride a chairlift and ski down a hill. I freaked out on the chairlift and let out quite a yelp, shriek, screech, terrified scream when I got off. But it was great fun and I'm already looking forward to doing it again.

But now.... I've got a house to decorate, groceries to buy, cookies to make, presents to wrap, and 28,000 loads of laundry. I love vacations!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Do they show SEC football in Utah?

Oooh I hope so. I just realized we'll be in Utah for the SEC championship game. I will probably have to go directly from dinner to a sports bar and hope they have a CBS satellite feed. Otherwise I'll be the chick in the Salt Lake City airport at 6:00 a.m. Sunday running around asking people if the Gators beat the Tide.

When we lived in Pittsburgh I got burned many times watching SEC football, only to have it rudely, suddenly preempted by something local. Big East. Whatever. Ugh.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What am I DOING?

What do you do before you go on a trip? A little laundry? Last minute errands? Pack?

Yeah, me too. BUT I also clean the whole house top to bottom like the Queen Mum herself was coming to tea. AND I still have to do errands, laundry and pack. But not until my rugs are washed, darn it.