Sunday, April 28, 2013


Today I was sending out some invitations for my son's third birthday party -THIRD birthday! And then I started thinking how it was last year around his birthday when I started noticing the mass, and assumed it was hormonal changes from the pregnancy, and how a few weeks after that - well, you know. Amazing. Even though I realize that May will be a loooooong month of radiation, in all actuality it will probably go by before I know it. Soon my boy will be three, and I will look back on the past year with so many conflicting emotions. I have gone through hell and back and by the grace of God, maybe won't have to go there again. Through the worst crap of my life, I've watched my baby boy grow up before my eyes, and had another baby on top of that. I am here. Here to celebrate another year that my boy is on this earth, making his mark, finding his way, learning who he is and what life is. Here to celebrate with him, here for him to learn who I am and what I want for him, here to try to convey even one ounce of the weight of my love for him, here to be his mama.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You might be a redneck...

If your neck is actually red because you are apparently radiosensitive and start turning red after the third treatment! Go me! I asked my tech on Tuesday, "umm, so is it normal to start turning red already?" and he laughed and said, "nooo, we usually don't see skin changes until after week two (ten treatments). But that means you are radiosenstitive so this should all be working really really well on you!" Fabulous! I'll have no skin left, but awesome! Ugh.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

6 Months.

Realized I forgot to post a picture of my beautiful little outcome of this whole mess...six whole months old! Where does the time go? (Although it does seem to go simultaneously quicker and much slower - at 4 in the morning when she won't go back to sleep and wants to party)

My big little tiny girl...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I am finally starting radiation tomorrow...not that I want to. I think if I had trepidation about any part of this process, this would be what concerned me the most. But, we do what we must, and I must get irradiated like a crispy critter. So, 33 business days from tomorrow I shall be done with this part of the process and I will dance a jig. I didn't get as many tattoos as I thought I was going to get, and they are in far different places than I expected, but I did get drawn on today like a battle plan gone awry. I'm waiting for someone tomorrow to tell me I have a little something on my neck, sort of like people have told me I have a little dirt on my forehead when I have ashes on Ash Wednesday.

Off to an early morning of zappy zaps.

Monday, April 15, 2013


This is what I woke up to this morning. Late last night, we heard what I thought was someone dropping something heavy into the back of a pickup truck. What happened was a guy on the next street, who had many mental issues and was very much the oddball in the neighborhood - think a suburban unabomber - blew himself up (not known whether intentionally or accidentally) and left other unexploded pipe bombs around his house. All of my neighbors across the street were evacuated last night and police, fire, hazmat, FBI, and news trucks covered our neighborhood all day long. A police car was parked directly in front of my house, blocking the street, for the better part of today.

Then, after the kids went down for their nap, and right after our neighborhood drama had started to subside, I started seeing facebook posts about the Boston Marathon. Literally 15 minutes after I saw my brother post pictures of the marathon as he and his family sat watching on part of the course, I saw posts about the bombings. And watched the news with a growing sickening feeling all afternoon long. It was a horror movie on a loop.  
When women are pregnant, they are often asked 'How can you bring a child into this world, with all of this hate, madness, destruction, war, etc. etc?' It is a legitimate question I think, one that I have posited to myself on occasion. And occasions like today certainly validate the question, and give me pause.
 I obviously do not regret having my kids, but how do I protect them from things like this? And I have to realize, I don't, and I don't want to. I don't want a hair on their heads to ever be touched, but this crap, this madness - it's a part of this world. They will know it exists, but they will also know that abounding goodness exists, that some people are evil, but most people are amazing. I want them to know that while events like these will make their heart hurt, their heart will hurt from wonderful things also, from having too much love and pride and joy to hold. I want them to learn that while their eyes will see ugliness that they didn't know existed, their eyes will also make them gasp at a dazzlingly white snow covered forest, or an ocean that falls off the end of the earth, or the sky right after a rainstorm, or the first red leaf of fall, or their first look at their children.
I can bring kids into this world because within three hours after this horrific event, there were over 700 people offering rooms, sofas, futons, food, water, car rides, whatever, to strangers in need. I can bring kids into this world because there will always, always, be more people running towards chaos to help then people running away. I can bring kids into this world because runners ran right through the finish line and on toward the hospital to give blood. I can bring kids into this world because even before little girl was born, there were mamas lining up to feed her, to help people they didn't know. I can bring kids into this world because now I know, after this past year, that there is so much blinding beauty to behold, that there is more love than hate, that there is magic.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blue skies....

My goodness, the sky was just an absolutely brilliant blue today. Believe me, I love a beautiful slate grey, threatening, cloudy sky, but really - who can argue with this?
USS Iowa

I mean, that's textbook California blue right there...

San Pedro harbor
The harbor water even looks amazing....
Can't argue with this handsome face, although he's learning to argue with me quite well as he speeds towards three...

Actually not terrible but as my hair - and subsequently my grey - grows out I need to get some henna going stat!

Overall, an awesome, fun day with the family visiting the USS Iowa. Tomorrow I am off to get mapped, which means I will be having another CT scan to determine where the radiation beams will go and will be tattooed in those spots. Not the next tattoo I was looking forward to, but nonetheless...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What we need.


God gives us what we need, not what we want.

I never wanted a girl. To paraphrase a song I've never heard - never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever was I having a girl. Ever since I myself was small, or whenever I first started entertaining the juvenile desire to be a mother, I was adamant that I wanted boys. ONLY. Maybe it was because I grew up in a female-only household and was pretty much sick of the raging estrogen and resultant lunacy, maybe it was because most of the kids I grew up with, including the cousins I was closest to, were boys, maybe it was because I knew what shits girls could be and didn't ever want to have to deal with that.

As time went on, I amended my wish to be having a boy first. I desperately wanted a boy first, I think because I had harbored a unbridled desire from early childhood for an older brother (which when I was 35 I found out I actually had! and a younger sister! But that is an entirely different chapter in this book. Feel free to pre-order now.) Lo and behold Jack showed up as a VERY pronounced boy at my 20 week ultrasound and I was ecstatic. I remember driving back to work from the US and texting my friend "I have a penis in me!!!!" And I was blessed with a giant, beautiful, smart, funny, and extremely energetic little boy who tests me every day, who forces me to face my faults, who makes me desperately want to be a better mother, who made me a mama, who truly is my heart.

When we attempted to add number two to the family, my husband was already certain we would have a girl. In fact, before Jack, he was certain we would have a boy, then a girl, no matter what happened, what I wanted, whatever. That was it, that was the way it was to be. So, during my 13 week US, the Dr said "It's pretty obvious what it is if you want to know" which I automatically took to mean a boy, I mean, pretty obvious, right? He said, "Yep, pretty obvious it's a girl." The 20 week US confirmed it, although the tech was pretty pissed actually when we said, oh yeah, we know it's a girl. She was a little bent that her surprise factor was usurped. Oh well, the trials we live with. Obviously, you know what happens next - mama gets diagnosed with cancer and to be perfectly honest, as I've mentioned before, the whole "whoohoo, we're having a baby" excitement sort of fell by the wayside. We even, for a few days, did not know if we would be able to keep her.

But then the ground started to solidify again, and I started to breath, and she came. And all of a sudden, this not-quite-tomboy-but never-a-girly-girl started buying ruffly, frilly clothes in sizes that she won't wear for many many months, and that I desperately hunger to see her in. This little girl, who tenously climbed a mountain with me before she was even born, gave me more than she will ever ever know, she gave me another reason to believe. This little girl, who I only met five + months ago, gave me tangible visions of a future, of manis and pedis and dancing and tutus and glitter. This little girl, with her cornflower blue eyes a thread connecting her to her ancestors, a mirror image of me otherwise, puts her powder-soft hands on my face and twists my heart. I need this little girl to know that even though I didn't know that I wanted a girl, she was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right time.