Friday, April 29, 2016

Five for Friday - Welcome Back Edition

Hello?  Is this thing on? Anyone out there reading this?   Whew, I took a little hiatus from writing and I hated it. I figured the best way to jump back in was to do my favorite "Five for Friday" format.  Here are five thoughts rolling around in my head.

1.  I'm passionate about this organization, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR Rescue).  Not the most pleasant topic, but sex trafficking is an issue that we can not turn our back on.  The people at OUR Rescue are making a difference and saving lives.  I am thrilled to have been able to screen the documentary "The Abolitionist".   It's a must see movie for every adult to understand how we can help put an end to sex trafficking.  Join me on May 16, 2016 to watch the movie "The Abolitionist" at a theater near you.


2.  Just a heads up, in California it's illegal to hold your cell phone in your hand while you are driving.  So hypothetically, if you are holding your phone in your hand, face down on your lap while stopped in traffic, and a cop happens to roll by on a motorcycle and look in your window,  they can give you a ticket. Someone learned that lesson the hard way, but I'm not naming names.

3.  Also, if you are driving in California, it is legal to eat a big, fat burger and drive.  Your other hand might even be holding a giant drink and you are using your knees to steer.  As long as you aren't veering into other lanes of traffic, no ticket.  Also, if you are driving and using tweezers to pluck your eyebrows, no worries! No ticket for you.  These are all things I witnessed people doing while I sat on the side of the road waiting for the police officer to finish writing a ticket for holding my cell phone in my lap.

4.  The summer countdown is on, less than 30 days until our Ultimate Super Mega Summer.  This summer is kind of a mess, other than a tiny trip there are no concrete plans.  I've got to hunker down and figure it out. I'm open to suggestions!

5.   I'm still a little bit bitter about #3 and #4.   Can you tell? 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Accidental Terrorist

Sometimes I get caught up in an idea and never really stop and think, "Wait.. it's an idea, but is it a GOOD idea?"
 
My Christmas Cards are a great example of this. This year I accidentally sent out Terrorist Christmas Cards.

It all started two years ago, when in my holiday panic I grew increasingly frustrated with our attempts at a family picture.  After five separate failed attempts to get a picture with everyone looking at the camera, I gave up.  So I sent out a holiday card with a picture from the Christmas before.  We were all wearing our new hoodies on Christmas Day, it was hilarious and it made me laugh.
Then I had this idea that maybe we should take our hoodies with us on vacations and take pictures of us in our hoodies at exotic locations.  It would solve the problem of trying to get everyone to smile and look at the camera.   But it doesn't really translate, case in point, our 2015 Christmas Card.
 All that is missing from the pic is some guns and we are full fledged terrorists.   I had this realization after I had the card designed and paid a couple hundred dollars for printing.   I was the one who said, "Yes, this is the pic I want on the front!!!"  I'm in love with the design, I'm always a sucker for Blue and White, and I thought our picture on the front was hilarious.  Then after I started to address them, I realized... "Oh my goodness, Aunt Edna is going to think we are terrorist."   Then I wondered... what if everyone is going to think we are terrorist!   

But I sent them anyway...  I just added a note:  PS We are not terrorists.  

Monday, November 09, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015

I swear having a little girl is like having your own Barbie doll to dress up.  Last year when she told me she wanted to be Mary Poppins for Halloween, I jumped at the chance, because c'mon she is ridiculously adorable.
 She loved all the posing, she loved dressing up, and she loved singing Mary Poppins songs while wearing her costume.  
 As for Mr. Boy, he is too cool for most stuff these days, except he loved this loose interpretation of his favorite condiment, A Sriracha Bottle. 
As for the dogs, this year I wrestled them into costumes that made me laugh, but they hated them. 
 
I swear Zeena Warrior Princess is going to eat my face off.  Zoey seemed pretty happy to be a football player, but she did not need the extra padding, she's got plenty of her own padding.
  
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Five for Friday: Tumor Humor

I did it, survived surgery on my brain.   The whole magnitude of what I had done really didn't hit me until yesterday.   I'm still a little freaked out that I had people messing around inside my head.   The tumor was removed successfully, it was bigger than anticipated, but all is well.  Pathology results in a week or two.

Here are five thoughts rolling around my head:

1.  I've had surgery multiple times, it's awful every single time.  Painkillers are my new best friend and rehab sounds like a luxury vacation.  The downside of painkillers is that it makes me feel like I have a brain cloud.  I can't think straight and I've had a good time reading through my texts that I sent those first few days.  Here is my blanket apology for everything I said, "I'm sorry for the things I said while on painkillers."    You know the pain is bad when you decide that pants are "too heavy" and you just step out of your pants and leave them all over the house.  Also, this is the worst puzzle to do while on painkillers.  It's holographic and it made me so mad, I cried and tried to throw it away.  I think maybe I was projecting my frustration on the puzzle a little bit.

2.  Highlights of this last week has been getting daily texts and videos from friends and family.  It's been my favorite and I love watching them over and over.   This is the best part of living in 2015.

3.  I tend to be an overachiever in multiple areas of my life.  So when the Neurosurgeon gives you a timeline for recovery, I figured that I'd be able to a super star and recover about the half the time.   Turns out I'm just average at healing and healing right on the doctor's timeline.

4.  Right after I woke up from surgery, I was convinced that I was in an airport.  No one could convince me otherwise.   I was so mad at myself for having brain surgery at an airport kiosk and kept thinking, "The guy over there is selling Chips and Soda.   I really should be more responsible and make better choices.   No one should have surgery in an airport, responsible people have surgery in a hospital."  
5.    I'm incredibly lucky and have never felt so loved.  My house looks like a flower shop and we have had meals brought in every night.  I'm so incredibly lucky and have been surrounded by so many great people.  I think Stacey Kramer summed it up best.   Watch this four minute TED talk, that pretty much sums up how I feel. 

Thank you everyone for the well wishes. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On this week's episdoe of "Tumor Talk"

I'm supposed to be having Brain Surgery today, but unfortunately or fortunately, it was postponed for a few more weeks.  I've been absent from my virtual life lately because I've been really busy trying to live my life to the fullest as one is prone to do when they were convinced they were dying.

Confused?   Let me back up...  I have a bump on my forehead that never went away.  I didn't think much of it until I realized that it's tender to the touch and it is growing.   I knew something was not right because at every cat scan or x-ray, a crowd would form in the observation area and you could see the techs mouthing the words, "What is that?" to each other.  Some would come in and touch my forehead and then look at the scans and try to compare them. 

Unfortunately, I have what they consider to be a brain tumor, but it really is a skull tumor.  It's a tumor in my skull growing out from my forehead (a horn! a unicorn horn!)  and is growing out from my skull into my brain.  If it wasn't growing both outwardly and inwardly, I'd be tempted to keep my horn around.

It explains a lot, I've had some headaches and some symptoms that I'm hoping will go away.  No one in the medical field will actually admit it's a Unicorn Horn, but I think we all know that a bony mass protruding from one's forehead is really a horn. I can't wait for my magical powers to show up.

The unfortunate thing about this tumor is the fact that the original CT scan suggested this was a secondary tumor from Metastatic Breast Cancer, which is the same disease that stole my mom. For five days I was convinced I was dying and I'm not going to lie it was terrifying.  Bottom line it's not breast cancer, and for that I'm incredibly grateful.  I still don't think I've recovered from that week. 
There are many good things that have come out of this, one of them is that Mr. Man has been my rock through all of it.  We have utilized the phrase, "Let's pretend that tomorrow doesn't matter."  and gone on adventures.  One night it led us to a last minute concert where we danced and sang our troubles away with a favorite band.   Another night it led us out to dinner and ordered Lobster, the most expensive item on the menu.  There is a lot of small stuff in our life and it's true, we don't really need to sweat most it.
I refer to my brain tumor as "my horn," and feel in some ways like I'm a host.  I've taken my tumor out to fancy dinners, to the beach, and to Alaska.   I kind of feel like I should make a scrapbook and present it to my Neurosurgeon and tell him, "I made a scrapbook of all the places I took my tumor!"

Humor is the only way I know how to cope with all of this, so I'm cracking jokes to everyone's dismay.  I'm going to be fine, I know it.   I'm supposed to be having brain surgery today, but since I'm not, I'm going to take my tumor on another adventure.  After all life is short and some days you have to live like tomorrow doesn't matter.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Our Ultimate Super Mega Summer Hit List

We are well into our Ultimate Super Mega Summer, though it has been a rather sleepy summer as Mr. Boy undergoes treatment.  We have an average of five doc appointments a week and so our list isn't as outlandish as it could be.

Summer Bucket List
Eat:
Crab
Donuts on the Beach
Go to Robin’s Basket  (aka Baskin Robbins)
Eat Pizza at a Pizza Place (No delivery!)
Randy’s Donuts

See: 
Jurassic World
Inside Out
Minions
Fantastic Four
Ant Man
Pan

Host: 
A Pool Party
A Beach Day
West Side Story Movie Night
Our Cousins
 Visit: 
A Mission
Chandelier Tree
Bid Farewell to the Silver Lake Reservoir
Natural History Museum
Discovery Cube LA
Lolli and Pops
Siracha Factory


Do:
Ride Bikes
S’mores
ReDo Mr. Boy's Room
Drink Butterbeer and Read Harry Potter
Put in a Swing
Bake a Pie
Watch Deadliest Catch

Find:
The Best Donuts in Los Angeles

Take:
The Trip of a Lifetime!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

You gotta try this! Best Neapolitan Pizza in LA - Midici



14612 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

We have found our new favorite place to eat in Los Angeles!  We loved this place so much we have been back twice and it's where Mr. Boy wants to go for his Birthday Dinner! 

To read my full review...   Click on over here to BurbankMom.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sisyphus

According to Greek Mythology, Sisyphus, was punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action forever.

My son is my personal hero.  My son has very painful arthritis yet, for the most part, many folks wouldn't necessarily realize just how sick he is.  He puts on a good show, he hides his stiff hands, masks his pain, and stretches his sore and stiff limbs discreetly.  It affects his everyday life greatly, it takes him a lot longer to do simple things, and he is unable to tie his own shoes anymore.  His hands won't cooperate.
A few weeks ago, he walked into the doctor's office and pronounced he had enough of monkeying around with medications, he looked right at the doctor and said, "Pull out the big guns, I want you to give me your best stuff."

So they did, and Mr. Boy started chemo treatment.  It's been rough, he is exhausted all the time and falls asleep mid sentence sometimes. The hardest part is just when he feels better, it's time for another dose.  He takes it every week and it is beginning to feel like groundhog's day around here.  It's a constant cycle and it's a mental game to keep him going, keep us going, and do it week after week.
The good news is that is working, we see little improvements here and there, and today they could actually see a measurable improvement in his mobility.  We joke that he is Sisyphus, pushing a boulder up a hill all week long and just when he reaches the top and pauses to take a deep breath and enjoy the view, the boulder is back down at the bottom of the hill.  Time to start pushing it back up the hill, but we are hoping one day we can stop pushing that boulder up the hill and enjoy the view at the top of the hill for the rest of our lives.   We have hope for the first time in a long time, and that is a gift, to have hope that we can,  Hang On Pain Ends.