Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Toying around

Today I went to visit the plastic surgeon to discuss my reconstruction. I felt rather uncomfortable walking into a plastic surgery suite. I wanted to shout to everyone, “I have breast cancer…that’s why I’m here …not because I want to look like some Playboy model.” (Which was really ridiculous because my reason for being there doesn’t make me any better of a person, especially since I can’t tell you how many times I’ve longed for bigger boobs).

Everyone there was very nice. The nurse talked to me for a long time and basically explained that they would take muscle flaps from my back, flip them under my arm and use that muscle for form a new breast and insert an implant. She said sometimes they take tissue from the stomach to do the same thing, but that I’m too small for that. I had to laugh and said, “Are you sure? Because I beg to differ on my ‘small’ stomach.”

She also took out two different implants for me to feel, one was silicone and one was saline. It was quite strange holding them, as they felt rather heavy. I’m not used to any weight on my chest. I quickly put them down because they kinda gave me the creeps. But then as soon as the nurse left the room, I just had to pick them up again.. The saline one was like those water wiggles the novelty stores used to sell. The ones where you pick them up, and they slip right out of your hand, but you can’t help but continually pick them up over and over again. Seriously, I couldn't stop palying with the thing. Made me wonder, “Is this why guys like breasts so much?”

The funniest part of this visit, however, was not how the implants felt, but the initial meeting of my doctor. If she didn’t introduce herself as the doctor, I would have NEVER believed it was her. The lady had a ponytail on the very top of her head…almost up to her forehead, with a big black scrunchie in it. It was like I had traveled back to the late 80s/ early 90s. At first it was really hard for me not to laugh. Seriously, this is how I wear my hair at night when I’m trying to get it out of my face, but NEVER out in public that way. In all honesty though, it actually suited this very petite, spunky lady quite well. I really liked her, and she came highly recommended. She told me all about how her mother, who was also an 8th grade English teacher, had breast cancer, and although she expressed her sadness, she was very upbeat and encouraging…telling me not to worry. Assuring me that she’d make me pretty! And she said she’d be thinking and praying for me. How nice to hear a doctor say that!

I did get some bad news while I was there. Originally I thought I’d only be a misshapen maiden for 6 months…that I could do reconstruction as soon as the radiation was done. Doing the math, I figured I’d be ready to sport the bikini for next summer. But actually the reconstruction should not be done for about 6 to 8 months after I’m all finished with the radiation…when the skin is better healed. And that totally sucks!

As I left, I picked up a few brochures…one for restilin, one for botox, a couple for some skin care products. Because you just never know!

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Details and Requests

So here’s the news:

Surgery next Friday. I think it’s around noonish. (My husband set up the appointment, so I can’t remember the exact time he told me).

I will have a mastectomy of my left breast. I think the doctor also might take out some lymph nodes…I can’t remember. I was in a bit of a daze during part of our meeting, especially when my husband turned into doctor mode and starting discussing all this stuff that I had no clue about. I just let them have their “doctor chat” until they were ready to include me.

The tumor I have is a “triple negative,” and I could go look up what I wrote in my notes, but this involved more “doctor chatting” and I can just tell you that the ramifications of this is that it cannot be treated with hormone therapy.

Unfortunately, due to my age and location of the tumor, which is right up against my muscle, I am going to need to have radiation. This means that I canNOT have reconstructive surgery until after the radiation is over. Which means I will look like some freak for about six months or so.

About three weeks after the surgery I will start chemotherapy, and then radiation after that.

But THEN, after about six months, I can have reconstruction and get what my friend calls, an “upgrade.” At the time of my reconstruction, I might even opt to have my right breast removed so that I don’t have to worry about cancer popping up there as well. I meet with a plastic surgeon tomorrow to discuss all this. And if I’m lucky, she’ll assure me that she can make me look like this:

(except I'd prefer that my belly button not be airbrushed out!)

Now everyone keeps e-mailing me asking what they can do.

I have two requests.

If you know of any place that sells really cool head scarves, or really funky wigs, please let me know. Because I’m not walking around showing off this lumpy head of mine!

Secondly, and I’m trying to say this as politely as possible.....please do not critique how I’m dealing with all this. Lately I’ve had good friends, family members, strangers, etc. allude to the fact that I’m too happy. That maybe I’m masking how I really feel and that I must feel like I need to put up some happy front around them or when I talk to them on the phone. But in all honesty, it is no front. I have complete faith in God and in my doctors that all of this is going to be fine. And I’m not trying to be some person of super strength, or some martyr. Really, I am very encouraged and happy when I am around my friends. Being around people makes me feel good…period! Any connection with people talking about all our regular stuff just cheers me up. I must confess that I check my e-mail and blog about 20 times a day hoping for a message or comment…for the mere fact that it makes me feel good. And one must admit, there are some things that are just funny about this whole ordeal, so why not joke and laugh about it.

Besides, I'm not jolly all the time. There are times lately when I am just sad, and I let the answering machine pick up the phone, or I complain about everything because I'm just really grouchy. And I have NO problems shedding tears (my husband can attest to this). I am a really good crier…when I’m sad, or hurt, or even mad. And I’m sure when it comes time to having this surgery, the tears will be falling, because the reality of the surgery really scares me. And the 6 months after the surgery, when I’m walking around feeling like some mutant with one breast, an awful looking scar, no hair, and dealing with whatever other side effects of the treatment occur, I KNOW I won’t be some jolly happy camper.

But the reality is that life goes on. I have kids and a husband who need me. This cancer was caught early, and my prognosis is good. I’m surrounded by amazing friends, family, neighbors and others who have offered so much help it’s overwhelming. For all this, I’m happy and extremely thankful. So please let me be this way.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No attachments

You know what the most ridiculous thing is about ME getting breast cancer?

I don’t have breasts!

No really. Any miniature mounds you see underneath my clothing are due to my super padded miracle bras.

The lady doing the mammogram seemed to be having a really hard time smushing anything of significance, and the MRI ladies just kept pushing my back down so that they could get some sort of proper scan. It’s comical really.

When we met with the general surgeon the first time, he discussed some possible surgery and reconstructive options. He commented that some options really depends on how attached I am to my breasts.

Me attached to these microscopic things? HA! I have no attachment whatsoever…and they’ve caused me nothing but trouble. In middle school and high school, these tiny things led to teasing, leading to major self-esteem issues. Bathing suit shopping is an absolute joke. When nursing Cameron, I developed an infection that felt like a needle was jabbing into my skin every time Cameron latched on. When nursing Ella, I had quite a few episodes of clogged ducts and major pain. And now this cancer.

Attached? Not at all. Please take them away…far far away!

But make sure I get some bigger and better ones in return!

Update: Surgery Next week...mastectomy of my left breast. I'll give more details tomorrow.

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The usual mess

Whenever I decide to get a shower after the kids are already awake, it’s always a gamble that I’m taking. I never know what I’m going to come down to. Today was no exception. While I was in the shower, Cameron carried Ella into the bathroom, kicking and screaming, and said, “You’re not going to believe what Ella did!”

“Now what?” I asked with fear and fatigue. She had already taken off her diaper and peed on the carpet this morning.

“Oh, you don’t want to know.”

“Just tell me.”

He then went on to explain that when Max woke up, he was getting him some Trix cereal. He gave Ella some to try as well. After he poured Max a bowl, Ella grabbed the brand new box from him and dumped the whole thing onto the table and floor.

I lingered in the shower, not wanting to face the disaster in the kitchen. But I was pleasantly surprised when I came downstairs to Max and Cameron trying to clean up Ella’s mess.

Max said, “Ella made a REALLY BIG MESS!”

“Yea,” said Cameron. “She really needs a time out.”

To which Max agreed, and they continued to discuss Ella’s naughtiness and how I should proceed in punishing her.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another good one

Today I had an MRI. Right before they gave me the test, they told me it would be really loud. I thought to myself: It can’t be any louder than the screams of my 3 year old when my 6 year old chases him around the house, terrorizing the poor kid.

But I was wrong. It was beyond loud. Think of your child’s most annoying noisemaking toy. No, change that, think of FIVE different annoying noisemaking toys. Make sure you include one that makes a machine gun sound, one that does a pulsing buzz, one that hammers, one that drills, etc. And then put the toy next to your ear and turn it on and up to full volume.

And now imagine it being ten times louder. That’s what my MRI was like.

Needless to say, there was no napping during this test.

But the results were good. There was no other cancer found. So praise God for that!!!!!

I’ll have more info tomorrow when I meet with the doctor tomorrow afternoon. Then I’ll know more about our plan of action and I’ll update then.

Again, a heartfelt thanks to everyone!

And now for a little chuckle, completely unrelated to anything about me or my family, if you're looking to waste time and just want to read some very useless but bizarre article, check out this one about the sex lives of beetles.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Scan was good

You know why people lose so much weight on the Atkins Diet? Because they can’t eat ANYTHING!!!!!

I had to have a PET Scan today, which is a scan on my entire body. To prep for it, I couldn’t drink any caffeine on Sunday or today, and I had to be low on the carbs. Since coffee and carbs are two of the three staples in my diet, this was not an easy task. (Wine would be the third staple..which I allowed myself to indulge in since I wasn’t told otherwise!).

All day yesterday I was hungry, but couldn’t find anything in my house that didn’t have major carbs in them. I don’t like vegetables, and most meat requires that you take the time to prepare and cook it. No wonder I’ve lost like 4 pounds in the past 2 days! This morning I couldn’t eat past 8:00 (my appt was at noon). I woke up at 6:30 so that I could feast on something, only to find myself staring at a full pantry with nothing to consume. Everything has carbs! From cereal to yogurt to waffles! I don’t like eggs, and the thought of having to cook bacon so early in the morning made me want to vomit.

Add my lack of food to my lack of caffeine and you can imagine how pleasant I was. When I finally was able to consume something….the thick, sweet, milky drink that the tech said tasted like a pina colada…I actually kind of enjoyed it, even though it tasted NOTHING like the tropical drink. I actually had to sit for an hour and just relax, while sipping on my mocktail. Except for the needle puncture where the radioactive liquid was injected, and except for my choice of reading material (trying to actually do that homework the doctor assigned), I was in heaven…just sitting and relaxing for an hour. I can’t remember when the last time was that I had the chance to do that!

Then it got better. I actually had to just lie down for 30 minutes, with no interruptions! Okay, it was a little strange being in this big tube. And the moment the tech said I couldn’t move, I suddenly felt itches all over my body that I wasn’t allowed to scratch. But aside from the initial discomfort, I was all swaddled up and with the hum of the machine and the faint sound of music in the background, I quickly fell fast asleep.

Now these kinds of tests, yes, I can handle them. Anything that is painless and allows me to relax giving me a slight break from the whines and screams that beckon me throughout the day, I’ll take any day.

I already have the results back, and the doctor said that there was no other sign of cancerous activity in my body, except for the slight activity around the lymph nodes, but that is probably due to the trauma experienced when having the biopsy done.

Tomorrow I have an MRI. I specifically asked if I could drink my caffeine and eat my carbs and they assured me that it was okay. So right now I’m snacking on the ultimate carb…chocolate chip cookies. But not just any chip kind, but rather Sweet Martha’s cookies, from the State Fair. If you’re a Minnesotan, you know exactly what I’m talking about it! YUMMY!!!!

Again, I’d like to thank everyone for all the well wishes and prayers. The outpouring of care and concern has been quite overwhelming for me, as I’m one who doesn’t like to be the center of attention. But it is great to know that I’m loved. The advice offered from those “anonymous” folks and those near and dear to me is most appreciated. For all those offering help, I’m not even sure what to ask for. Life goes on as usual around here, at least until the surgery occurs. Then I’m sure I’ll be calling for some help. Because although my kids will be elated to eat cereal every night for dinner, I don’t think my husband will be too thrilled. Again, thank you so much everyone! Your words of encouragement really help keep my spirits up.

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Other Things

So, life still goes on, and there’s more to write about than just my cancer stuff.

First the good things:

My mother in law is engaged. And I’m sure I’m not the first one to say, It’s about time! She’s been with her boyfriend Leslie for over 20 years! I’m very happy for her and looking forward to all the celebrations!

Ella is talking up a storm. Yesterday we went to a local parade and the lady sitting next to us called her a parrot. She repeats everything and anything you say. Guess I better watch what comes out of my mouth.

Max is really starting to take strides toward being more independent. He finally has learned to click his own carseat, dresses himself (even concerned about whether his clothes are on backwards) and he has started to do his own buttons. It takes him FOREVER, but he’s determined to do it by himself. Unfortunately, he often starts this without my help aligning the button to the hole properly, and his shirt is all lopsided. But the grin on his face when he accomplishes these things is priceless with those double, sometimes triple, dimples!

Now the not so good things:

We’re still trying to figure out what to do about Cameron’s epilepsy. His 2nd opinion with a neurologist is not until the middle of September. Until then, we’re keeping him on the medicine the doctor prescribed. However, he’s been very moody and overly sensitive and whiny lately. Now the hard thing to know is, is this because of the medicine, or is this usual 6 year old behavior? He hasn’t had another seizure…that we know of. I guess technically he could have them at night and we’d never know. But the bedwetting still continues. Ever try to change sheets on the top bunk? Incredibly annoying!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kid reactions

Yesterday I tried to explain a little bit to my oldest son Cameron about what was going to be happening with me. He really didn’t seem interested until I told him that I was going to have to take some medicine that would make all my hair fall out. This made him laugh. When I told him my eyebrows would fall out too, he laughed even harder, and asked if my eyelashes would be gone as well. I told him that I didn’t really know, but any hair on my body was going to fall out. He laughed again and then said, “But Mommy, then you won’t be a mammal anymore!”

I assured him that I’d still be a mammal even though I wouldn’t have any hair, however, later on that night at the fair I saw a completely bald lady, and reptile-like is the word that came to mind. Seeing her kind of freaked me out a bit. I really don’t think I could do the bald thing.

Max’s reaction to me telling him about losing my hair was quite the opposite as Cameron’s. He actually screamed, “NO! I don’t want you have no hair!” I told him that it will be okay, and that I could get a wig. “Should I get a pink one or a purple one?” “No!” he laughed. “You have to get a yellow one. Purple would be silly!”

I actually have to be careful with how literal he takes everything. Today I said I needed some medicine because I had a headache, and he looked at me and said, “And then your hair will fall out?” I assured him that this medicine will not do that, and most medicines won’t do that, especially any medicine that he takes.

I don’t know if it’s good or bad that I can’t explain anything to Ella.

Melvin actually stopped at two bookstores and picked up two picture books to read to the kids about cancer. I haven’t looked at them yet, but I thought that was very sweet of him to do this. And when he came home he told me to take a nap, and he cleaned up the kitchen, and he put the kids to bed…now this I could get used to this!

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

A briefing...what's to come.

I went to see a wonderful surgeon today who took time out of his weekend to meet with Melvin and me to talk all about my breast cancer.

Dr. Sanan was absolutely amazing. He first asked me if I knew much biology. I laughed and said that the only bio class I took in college was freshman year, Introduction to Life. We had three tests, I pulled an all nighter before each test, aced the class, and didn’t learn a damn thing! He then drew a circle on a piece of paper and told me that was a cell. “You do know that your body is made up of cells?” I giggled, and informed him that Yes, this I knew, but to continue explaining everything as simple as he could, because I really didn’t know much else.

He explained it all very well, without making me feel stupid. He had wonderful analogies and drew great pictures, and even though my mind still wandered sometimes despite the fact that he was a whole three feet in front of me, I still understood almost all of what he said. But please don’t ask me to explain it, because understanding what he said and reiterating what he said are two different levels of comprehension. And I’m not at that higher level.

But this is what I can tell you.

Despite the fact that I’m 34 and don’t have a history of it in my family, I have breast cancer, called Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma.

On Monday they are doing a PET scan, which involves me drinking some radioactive glucose and then having a scan of my whole body done. Did you get that…radioactive material! Look out Fantastic Four, you might have a fifth mutant on board soon.

Then on Tuesday they’re doing an MRI.

After these tests are done, the doctors will know how exactly to proceed.

But basically Dr. Sahan told me that either at the end of this week or early next week I’ll have surgery. I could have a lumpectomy, but the way he was talking, it will most likely be a mastectomy. Whether it will be a single or a double, the tests will show.

Then because of my age, most likely 3 to 4 weeks later I will start chemotherapy...I think, if I heard it correctly, it could last up to a year.

Whether I will need radiation or hormone therapy will be decided after the tests.

Whether or not I will have reconstructive surgery right away, a couple days later, or months later, if at all, will be determined by the tests this week and whatever I decide.

So that’s what’s going on.

He sent me home with some book on breast cancer, as “homework.” And told me of another book to purchase and read.

Tonight, after spending a couple hours outside with the kids while Melvin got some sleep after a very busy night on call, we headed to the “Great Minnesota Get-together” otherwise known as the “State Fair.” Afterwards, I really wanted nothing to do but take a bath and relax, which usually involves reading a book. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my “homework” that the doctor wanted me to educate myself with. But come on, did I really want to read a book about cancer while trying to relax? Because my other option was Love, Stargirl, the YA sequel to Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl, which I taught a few years ago and absolutely loved. I was torn. I could be the good “student” that I usually was, or I could just say “screw it” my husband’s a doctor and basically no matter how “informed” I am, I’m just going to ask him his opinion and probably just do what he says anyhow.

“Screw it” won out, and now I’m immersed in the life of the unique but adorable Stargirl as she writes in diary form to her former, and hopefully future love, Leo. It might be hard for me to pick up my assigned homework until this novel is finished. And yet, I don’t think this is an assignment I can turn in late!

Thank you to everyone for your very kind words, thoughts, prayers and abundant offers for help. If I don’t respond to you, please don’t think I’m ignoring you. It’s all so much right now. But please know that right now I feel so loved and surrounded by such amazing family, friends and cyberfriends!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Week from Hell

It rains...it pours...and then sometimes it floods.

It's cancer.

Meeting with the doctor tomorrow.

Will update then.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

When it Rains it Pours!

Medical Summary of this week

Has a seizure Monday morning.
Gets an MRI and EEG.
Is diagnosed with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy.
Acts as if nothing ever happened.

Wednesday morning I feel a large lump in my left breast.
Thursday morning I go in for a Mammogram and Ultrasound.
Doctors decide to do a biopsy...
Probably Fibroadenoma...will eventually have to be surgically removed.
Full results in a day or two.

Wednesday he complains of his tongue hurting
I find a simple bump on the side of it.
I give him Ambesol, but I don’t think he’ll ever let me do that again.
Thursday he still has the bump.

Of all three of our “medical” issues, guess which one is causing the most commotion in our household!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The envelope please...

With all the medical whirlwind of this week (and more to come that I'll explain tomorrow), I haven't even posted my decision about whether or not to take on a 2nd class to teach.

I took both jobs.

So now I'm .4...that's almost 1/2 a job!

And today I met with the second principal, who immediately offered me a laptop to use.

Needless to say, so far, I'm glad I accepted.

I also received a phone call today from the same district who wanted to know if I would accept a temporary English teaching position. They didn't know that I was already hired to teach at the middle schools.

Needless to say, I turned them down. But it sure feels good to be wanted.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another gross one

Yesterday I found Ella standing IN the toilet.

Today while riding in the car, Ella decided to explore the poop sitting in her diaper, mushing it between her fingers, rubbing it on her legs and smearing it on her carseat!

And then…

Right before her bath tonight, I took her clothes off and started to run the water. I found her standing on the other side of the wall, reaching into her diaper and piling up some little hard turds on the ground!

I never though I’d hear myself saying, “Don’t touch your poop!” “Yucky!” No hands in poop!”

To which Ella just grins broadly and responds, “ucky!” with a little giggle.

How can something so cute do something so disgusting!

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Monday, August 20, 2007


Starting my day with a call to 911 was not on my newly created “To Do” list or marked on my recently-hung calendar to help keep me organized this year. But I don’t believe ones usually very healthy six year old having a seizure is something you can actually predict and plan for.

At about 5:30 AM, I was awakened by Cameron twitching next to me. (He had crawled into our bed a couple hours earlier due to yet another nightly accident in his own bunk).

Cameron’s right leg, arm, hand and his head was twitching. His eyes were open, which was very eerie, but he wasn’t coherent at all. I immediately woke up my husband, who tried to get him to stop, but quickly instructed me to call 911. The operator sent out an ambulance (although it was actually an SUV and a bunch of cop cars that showed up much later than I would have imagined), but by the time everyone arrived, he had stopped seizing, was coherent, and was acting normal again.

Because the other two kids were still sleeping, Melvin took Cameron to the hospital while I stayed home. I had a few people tell me that I should have called them and they would have come over so that I could have gone as well. But honestly, I’m glad I wasn’t there for the blood drawing and IV insertion. Oh, and he vomited a couple times on the way to the hospital and while he was there as well. Although him puking in the car doesn’t sound very humorous, but later Cameron and I had a big laugh about this. Because he barfed in his DADDY’s car. Not mine, which smells like puke anyhow, but in his daddy’s precious SUV that no one can eat, drink, or wear shoes in (wouldn’t want shoe marks on the back of the chairs would we!).

Sara ended up being able to come early today, and I made it to the hospital a few hours later as Cameron was sleeping while getting an MRI done. When he saw me, instead of an excited, “Mommy!” I thought I might hear, I was instead greeted with, “Where’s Max?”

We then hung out a little more, waited forever for some gross hospital lunch that was over an hour late, and then Cameron had an EEG, which involved a lot of wires glued to his head, some psychedelic flashing lights and a very odd technician whose own brain just might have been altered by such constant flashing.

Then it was back to the hospital room, where I managed to get in about a 15 minute nap while Cameron finished watching a “sympathy” movie. Meaning his dad felt so bad about what he was going through that he allowed him to watch the movie he’s been begging to see but which we had already told him he wasn’t old enough for and plus he had to read the books before he was allowed to watch the film. I’m talking Harry Potter here. It was definitely over his head, and he spent half the time playing with the bed controls making himself rise and fall with the push of a button, but he was thrilled to finally be able to see it nonetheless.

Next dinner came, and just as we were setting up one of Cameron’s favorite board games to play, the neurologist came and ended up telling us that his MRI was fine…which is good. That meant no lesions or tumors on the brain, which was my huge fear. But he then said that his EEG was abnormal and because of what Cameron experienced with the seizure and the printout of the EEG, he diagnosed him with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy.

According to the neurologist, it’s not supposed to affect his cognitive or physical abilities. He may continue to have seizures, or not. They often begin around the age of 6 and kids usually outgrow it by adolescence. Until we get a second opinion, he’ll be taking the medicine prescribed to him twice a day. It’s not supposed to have any side effects according to the doctor, but the literature my husband looked up states otherwise. So we’re very nervous about this and seeking several other opinions before we commit to this prescribed treatment.

And if a seizure does occur again, we have a syringe to pump up his rear!

This kind of epilepsy is more common in kids who have close relatives with epilepsy. So for all of you family members who read this blog…any closet epileptics out there?

After waiting for the discharge beaurocracy to go through and the meds to be available in the pharmacy, is was after 7:00 when we finally left that building.

Cameron couldn’t wait to get home to see Max…who had a called a handful of times wanting to know when his big brother was going to be home. They were literally hugging each other when watching Tom & Jerry tonight.

Thank you to all those who had us in your prayers today. I’m so grateful to our Lord, as things could have been much worse. Now we just pray for the proper choice of medical intervention and no more seizures.

So a tumultuous day it was and a lot to think and worry about. I do believe a glass of wine is in order now.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rock the Vote!

It started out as an interview, and soon turned into a job. One class a day, English to 7th graders. Just right for me and for my family.

But on Friday I was presented with an option.

My principal referred a principal of another middle school in the district to me. His school also needs an English teacher to teach just one class. It's one the way to my new school. I could teach 5th period at one school, and then 7th period at the next school.

Except it's two different courses...8th English and 7th English.

I initially turned the offer down, because that means preparing for a completely different class. Which means a lot more work. But this weekend I've been battling my decision. And the principal told me to think about it over the weekend and call on Monday if I change my mind.

I'm starting to change my mind.

--I know I'm in a very fortunate situation.

--I don't need the money, so I don't have to take the extra class for financial reasons.
Although I'd like to justify a little more having a nanny. By teaching two classes I would be able to pay for Max's preschool and contribute to our nanny's salary. This actually means something to me.

--But I also feel like I'm being put up on a pedestal. Honestly, my new principal is bragging about me all over the place, when really, she doesn't know anything about me except what's on paper. What if I disappoint?

--This district wants us to use the textbook...the BORING textbook .....80% of the time. I did not realize this when I took the job...because I am NOT a textbook teacher. I use it as a resource, along with many other resources at my disposal, but never as the sole source of information.

--Also, when I turned down the principal, he seemed so disappointed, and I feel bad about this. He's really hoping I change my mind this weekend. That pleasing issue I have...haunts me all the time.

--And working in two schools is somewhat inintriguing to me. They're different demographics, so that in itself would make it interesting to compare how things are run. And then I'd have an "in" at 2 schools, in case I'd like to do more in the future. But then it's also a lot of rushing around to get things in order for each class, and then dealing with meetings and conferences and such for each school.

So what's your vote? Should I take the extra position or drop it? Let your voice be heard!

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Another smell.

“Mom! It smells like wet sheets in here!” Cameron screamed from the bathroom.

What the hell is he talking about? I thought to myself. The only kind of wet sheets he knows about are the ones that he wakes up on in the morning as he once again would have another “accident.”

“Do you mean the wet sheets that you peed on?”

“Yeah!” he hollered.

So I walked into the bathroom, just as Cameron was drying his hands, to see who might have missed the toilet.

“Cameron, I don’t see any pee anywhere.”

“Well, when you stick your head down to the toilet it smells like wet sheets.”

After my initial shudder of the thought of him sticking his head into the toilet, I hesitated to ask the next question, but knew that I had to.

“And was the toilet flushed when you stuck your head near it.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

No wonder it smelled like wet sheets.

Brilliant my 6 year old is…just brilliant.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just a few hair accessories

Back to Minnesota.
Back to the usual wake-up routine.
Back to the regular chaos we call life.

Today Max and Ella were playing in what the kids call our “woods.” It’s really just a line of very large trees that separates our yard from the “arboretum” of our neighborhood.

Because I wanted to get a few more pages of Harry Potter read (yes, I’m still not done yet), I wasn’t paying too much attention to what they were doing. They were in my eye sight, and I heard no screaming, so I figured all was well.

After about 10 minutes, Max and Ella ran over to me. Max wanted to show me that he had made “buttons” on his shirt. They had obviously stumbled across a few sticker bushes, as he had used the burrs to pinch together the front of his shirt to make it look like he had buttons. Pretty creative I thought.

But then I noticed that Ella was pulling at the back of her hair and whining. Max apparently decided to make buttons in Ella’s fine curly hair as well. She had about six or seven burrs matted into her hair. Max thought it was funny, and when I told him it hurt to have those in your hair, he promptly put some in his own hair to show me that “See Mom, it NOT hurt!”

Doesn’t hurt? Tell that to Ella. Think of it this way. When you were younger, did you ever take a skinny round brush and try to use it as a “curling iron,” getting it completely mangled in your locks? No? Well I did, and it hurt like hell to get it out.

Now I could have used some scissors to help loosen those burrs in Ella’s hair. But she has my dream locks…..and I’m not about to shear off any of them off. So she had to endure quite a bit of pain as I worked those burrs out of her hair.

Oh, and speaking of hair, while on vacation, my boys were jealous of Ella’s cutie pie pigtails. At their request, Sara gave them a few of their own.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Salivate and/or vomit.

Any headway I've made with losing weight over these past few weeks with my marathon training (actually I don't think I made any anyhow), but if I had, all would be lost...or should I say gained...during this vacation in the South.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that everything here is sweet, fried or drenched in butter. From the sweet tea and captain crunch coated chicken fingers to the crunchy hush puppies and fried macaroni and cheese wedges.

All soooo good.....and yet soooooo bad!!!!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's a good cause.

My brother is running a race to benefit the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If you'd like to donate, you can go here: http://www.firstgiving.com/scottspitz.

Every little bit count!

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hot Hot Hot

We're in Panama City Beach for a few days.

It's HOT!

How hot is it?

Today it was in the mid 90s, with a heat index of 107....very humid!

Tomorrow it's supposed to be record high temperatures.

When I walk outside from the air conditioning into the heat, my glasses fog up immediately.

But we've managed to keep pretty cool in at the various beaches and pools.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy BD bro!

Happy Belated Birthday to my little brother...Scotty Potty. When he asked Cameron how old he thought he was, Cameron told him 16. Thirty-one is his actual age, but it doesn't surprise me that my son thought he was a teenager.

And today Cameron asked me if I had bought Uncle Scott the plane ticket to come visit us in Florida...which is apparently what he told Cameron he wanted for his birthday. I told him "No!" quite emphatically, as plane tickets are way too expensive.

Cameron's response, "But that's what he said he wanted, so you should buy it for him."

Interesting philosophy.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

What a way to spend the day

Thanks to Northwest Airlines, instead of spending the day basking in the Florida sun, floating in the Gulf and collecting seashells, we spent our time trying to occupy ourselves for 4 1/2 hours at the Memphis Airport. And this was during essential napping hours after a 4:30 AM wake up call to my little lovelies for a very early morning flight.

HOWEVER, despite the fact that when we landed in Memphis, we were told our flight was already gone and we had no choice but to rebook on this afternoon flight, somehow, by some devine miracle obviously because surely they wouldn't lie, somehow our luggage made it on the flight that they said was already gone.

I hate Northwest...and only use them because the Twin Cities is a major hub for them.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Start to my days

Because cereal tastes sooo much better when smeared all over the table first.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Verdict is In

Thanks to this outfit (shown on the size zero Ann Taylor Loft model...not me!).... just an hour and a half after the interview....I was offered the job.

Okay, maybe my portfolio, experience, education, references etc. helped a little as well.

More info to follow tomorrow, when I actually talk to the principal about the offer (I wasn't home when she called, so she left a message).

Thanks to everyone for your prayers, positive vibes and well wishes!


Monday, August 06, 2007

The next step

So you know that job opening that I wrote about last week....I have an interview.....

Much to do, much to do.

Certification paper work to get in order.
Portfolio to update.
Questions to consider.
Answers to mentally rehearse.

And the most important....an interview outfit to purchase! I don't think my usual attire of t-shirts and capris will be that impressive.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

A little vampire

Last week we went to visit a friend of mine who I used to work with. She now has an adorable and fun little boy who is a couple months younger than Ella.

Because he's an only child, I don't think he's used to sharing his toys with other kids. And he's teething. So it really wasn't a surprise when Ella had something that he wanted, he went to bite her. He didn't actually get her, but having bitten her brothers before to show her anger, she knew what little Caleb was up to. And she did not like it.

The rest of the time, she was afraid to go near him. And everytime he motioned anywhere near her, she ran to me like she does whenever she sees a dog. It was quite comical actually.

Because of her fear, I barely managed to get this picture of the two of them together. Note how unhappy she looks.

I always joke about my friends' sons being Ella's little boyfriends. But I don't think she will tolerate this forced love connection....at least not until he's had all his rabie shots!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Danger...very tired mother...apparently

When I was awakened this morning at 4:30 AM by a little 3 year old who refused to eat his dinner last night, and now was crying out for food, I really had little choice but to feed him. Especially since Ella was lying right beside me in bed from when she woke up at 2 AM, and I certainly didn’t want her to awake as well. I already had a headache from the previous day, and his whining and screaming was not making it any better. I figured I could get Max some breakfast, and then put him back to sleep. But he had other plans.

After spending almost 20 minutes trying to figure out what he would eat, since I refused to give him the oatmeal crème pie he insisted (unsuccessfully) on having at bedtime last night. Finally he decided on some cereal without milk. As he ate, I tried to snooze on the couch. But then he wanted a drink. And then he wanted to watch TV. And then he didn’t like the show that was on. And then he wanted some vitamins. So my slumber was interrupted over and over and over again. Until it was about 6:30, and then Cameron was awake. And soon after that was Ella, who crawled out of my bed and eventually made her way downstairs.

At some point this morning Melvin got up, showered, and headed out the door. However, after I had no choice but to pull my butt off the couch and get my other kids some grub, Melvin came back home. Again…surprising me. When I asked what he was doing back home, he said that I looked so pathetic this morning, and since I wasn’t feeling well the night before, that he figured I needed his help…so he cancelled some training session playing with dead bodies that day.

Now one would think I’d be happy about this. But despite how I was feeling last night, and earlier that morning, I really was okay. And I didn’t want him to think I was pathetic and couldn’t handle things. It felt like an insult. So as I’m sorta arguing with him to go to his cadaver session, he finally coaxed me up the stairs and as I’m telling him I’m fine and can take care of things on my own, we both saw that at the top of the steps there was a steak knife just sitting there on the ground.

What could I say? Obviously, I was as pathetic as I looked, and that morning, obviously I did need the help…or who knows what else would have happened! I just succumbed to reality…and went back to bed….until 10 AM.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

We're okay.

I've had a lot of relatives call from New Jersey and Detroit today to check up on us after they heard about the bridge collapse. Just letting you know that we're all okay. We so appreciate your love and concern. Please pray for all those involved in this tragedy.