Friday, August 26, 2016

One Heck of a Day....

La la la.....I go into today for my planning appointment and think everything is great.  CT done.  Back support done.  Imagining done, but........the doc in the office (who is SUPER conservative and cautious beyond reasonableness) comes in and says......, "Well, we can clearly see part of the tumor, but we cannot see the other because your liver is in the way.  (Aren't all my organs in the way?!?!?!) So, in this case, we would treat the area, but I believe that the risk of bad pneumonia is far too great, so I think we should do markers."  These are gold markers.  They hurt to put in, they are not guaranteed.  They are honestly, in my humble, but not humble opinion, not worth it over pneumonia.  I have had pneumonia like eighteen times.....seriously?!??!?!  Threatening me with pneumonia?  I would try something like cancer....opps, have that, maybe something mysterious like Guillain-Barre.  Okay. Frick.  Timeline blown again, ablation doc is also my marker doc.  He has an opening on Tuesday am.  EARLY.  I take it.  Then I have to be very quiet for three days.  Little movement etc, so that they can "heal in place".  So, then they check me on the 7th and we start a week later.  So, here is the interesting part, I have to flip everything.  I can't do anything after the markers are put in.  Then, I can for a bit.  Then, I am in treatment which I now remember the difficulty of that now being still, awake, breathing normally - what the frick is normal?!?!?!, for 55 mins without so much as more than a blink.

So, I am delayed again.....this is fine especially with the odds of 97%, like come on, I would really have to screw something up to not have those work?!?!?!?!?!

Meals are perfect.  I will need them more than ever during the markers and healing. Thank you.  

Happy Weekend, Ang

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Things that I have learned since my relapse.....

#1 - Spend more than $6 on replacement toilet seats.  I chose to go as cheap as I could and have spent $4700 in gas returning all the broken ones - okay maybe $12.  The best comment I got was at Walmart with an older woman who said, "Oh dear, we can't have you lopsided on the seat - that doesn't work.  And by the way, I don't sit on those wooden one ANYMORE, one pinched me!"  I can't make this up.  I actually think cyber knife will be easier than all the return and installs that I did with toilet seats.

#2 - Sometimes you just need time and get hammered!  Enough said.  See below.

#3 - People are amazing.  People that care for me - amazing.  I cry once a week.  My neighbors, my friends, my family, amazing.

Things that I am thankful for...

Jamberry because no matter what state I am in, I can have beautiful toes.  I do find them on the cats sometimes which may have something to do with #2.

Friends and family.....they get me.  Sometimes I need time, sometimes I need a stupid movie. Sometimes I need my lawn mowed.  See below.....

So, this weekend, I was SUPPOSED to be dropping Mason off in Kelowna for hockey camp. Because of everything, Grant and I decided that I should stay home just in case they call with an opening.  Friday Grant and Mason leave.  Friday, Beckey, a girlfriend, and I have plans to go out, but I have Nolan.  Mom takes Nolan.  I go out and do #2 - not POOP....God, look above and follow along!!!!  If God can follow this, you can too!  Oh, we also saw Bad Moms AGAIN!  We went to Mexican afterwards.  We sat in the bar, not because we had to, but because we could!  NO KIDS!  I order a Margarita as big as my head.  The guys across were funny....not weird, I was dressed in my grey t-shirt, spandex that has NEVER seen a gym and my hair is still wet.  Just a good time.  Saturday I wake up and I am like, "I drank last night.  UGH."  But there was no one to ask for breakfast, cuddle with me (which I missed, but I didn't....I am a BAD Mom.), I ate breakfast in bed, watched Netflix and petted my cats and slept with my cats until lunch with my Mom and Aunt.  Came home.  Heather, my neighbor/boss/friend/co-padre was leaving town and I am taking care of the house (I always have and I always will), she brings me dinner, dessert, extra stuff.  Okay, but she hugs me.  PAUSE.  Heather's hugs are healing, calm, sweet, and mine.  She loves me and I love her.  Dinner comes and I make pot stickers and Turkish green beans BECAUSE I CAN AND NO ONE WILL COMPLAIN!!!!!  Watch Netflix, play Clash of Clan A LOT, and sleep with my cats.  I LOVE MY CATS.  I wake up the next day and it is cool......thank God, NW people are not equipped to deal with 95 degrees two days in a row.  I get ready (spandex and a baseball cap), I go to Fred Meyer - SHOCKER! - and I come home.  I load up the car with all the stuff from the Garage Sale that I am never going to do anything with, and I ask my neighbors the Manca's, "If any one of your boys wants to make a quick $25, mow my lawn.  Please God.  I don't do that."  Trina sends John.  Okay, he is the Dad.  "Johnny, you are not mowing my lawn for free."  "I was doing mine anyway."  "Johnny, you didn't let me pay for the rug doctor repair."  "Ang, we use your Rug Doctor more than you do."  "FINE."  He edges, mows, and it is even to Grant's standard.  BRAVO.  I harvest some many zucchini, I cannot count.  If you want zucchini, it is on my porch!!!!  I have given them to EVERYONE and not will drop some at the school which I have heard from many sources is in good hands with the new principal.  Corn, beans, beats, butternut squash.  It was amazing and overwhelming.  I still need to do laundry, but that can wait.  But here is the funny part.....when Mom picked me up for lunch, she said, "So what would your Grandmother say about all this?!?!?!"  This is Virginia.  My Grandma.  The only Grandparent that was blood related too and really knew.  I know she loved me.  I know she was proud of me and she gave me good life lessons, BUT this would actually be her version of my weekend......

"Grant was barely out of town before Angela dropped Nolan off at my poor Son's house (Keith).  You know he is struggling especially with Sharon and you boyfriend in Wisconsin!   (My Mom has never had a boyfriend - and least of all in Wisconsin.)  They she was off to the bars and inappropriate movie with her friends!  The next day she did NOTHING except get her neighbors husband to mow her lawn.  There MUST be something between them - probably violating some commandment!"

......despite it all, I have had a weekend off, where honestly, I was wondering what to, but in the end......I enjoyed EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!!!

Happy Sunday, Ang

Friday, August 19, 2016

Marching orders....

So, I got the call from the scheduler.  She could get me in on Friday the 26th.  Heart sinks.  "Is that the earliest appointment?"  "Yes." "Okay, so what is involved in the appointment?"  "Well, I understand that you are a go getter, so we have scheduled EVERYTHING in that day.  You will know if you need markers, you will know when you can start treatment, etc."  Okay, so I cannot complain, but my treatment is tentatively scheduled for Sept 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th.  FRICK.  September 1st is the first day of school.  I have never missed one and considering I was supposed to miss all of them, it hurt.  "They will never remember...."  "It will be fine....they know the drill...."  "I can be there....."   Pause.......exhale....pause...., but I am their Mom and while I am a pretty bad Mom, they know certain things.......I love them....I will fight for them.....I will protect them.....I will be their greatest ally....I will be the one they call in trouble, but I will not be there.  FRICK.  Mason is prepared.  He told me, "We do what we have to do."  He is eleven.  What eleven-year-old does that in America?  Maybe other countries, but not here.  But I guess, "We do what we have to do."

Sad, but proud,


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Update.....Slower than I wanted, but that is my life.... I get a voicemail that we got insurance confirmation.  That is five/six business days from when we started.  I was then told in the voicemail that I would receive a call from the scheduler to schedule everything. timeline is blown.  I will never get treatment scheduled the week before school is in and I will be in treatment during their first days of school.  Frick.  That has happened before.  I will miss the Welcome BBQ.  I will miss the drop off, but it will be okay because I have a great survival rate of this.  The school had contacted me and because of all the turn over they were like, "So, you do the welcome BBQ?"  and I was like, "No, I am sorry, my President term ended July 1 and I left great notes, also I am in cancer treatment right now, so I cannot commit." The new staff was lovely, but honestly, I am burnt out from last year and if we get no admin support, we are out.  No spirit wear, no science night, no shirts, no spirit, no Scholastic News, no nothing.  I think that is sad, but it is the reality.  You do not work for free forever and I loved it, but when it was a communal sport.

At the same time, I am with my parents and working through their stuff.  They have done an amazing job, but sometimes my Dad is, well, disappointing.  He is impatient, judgmental, and harsh.  I blow it off, but I am not sure my kids can.  On the flip side.....My Grandparents 75% by marriage and not blood, had so many patience with me.  Loved me.  Disciplined me and saw me through that sometimes I yearn for that with my boys.  I hope as we get the garage cleaned out and the Pontiac in action that will change, but I have me doubts.

The meal train is wonderful, but it may need to be shifted, as I may not have treatment then.  I have tons of options for driving me to treatment which I do not need, but they want to do and I am not going to say no, because in reality, it is nice to have someone there with you.

More updates to follow..

Thank you forever...happy Wednesday,


Thursday, August 11, 2016

And then there was Good News...

Okay recap.....3cm tumor in my right lower lobe.  This spot was COMPLETELY stable for over a year and went from NOTHING to 3cm from the March scan to now.  When my cancer comes back it comes back fast.  My rectal tumor did the same thing - gone for years and then between scans went so crazy that I had to get on the table face down fast.  So, here we are again and Hank will probably never let me five months again between scans....that is cancer, when you just get comfortable it sneaks up on you.

I waited all night for a call from the Cyberknife docs on Tuesday.  No one called.  I emailed Hank and he said, wait until tomorrow (Wednesday) and if not call them.  At 8:15 on Wednesday, a schedulers called and said, "I was supposed to call you yesterday and the only spot we have today is 9:25.  You are in Kent, you probably can't make it."  "YES, YES, I can."  Shower off hot mess, dress, pull back wet hair, walk in at 9:26.  I wanted to get there because then if they say no, I have to go to ablation, radiation, etc. etc. etc. and I just want a plan.  I was ready for the "tour of treatment", being told I am amazing, your journey is incredible, you look great (really the bar is so very low), you are so young, I was expecting someone older, Hank admires you so much, Hank is amazing, can you summarize your experience because I could not get through your entire file,  yada yada yada.....thank you, that is nice, very kind, CAN WE JUST FRICKIN' GET DOWN TO THE BRASS TACKS AND TELL ME WHETHER YOU CAN FIX THIS OR NOT?!??!?!  Truly, it is all very nice, but I just need the plan.

So, with my my anxiety NOT in check, the nurse comes in.  "Well, we haven't seen you in a long time! (HUG)  You look great!"  She is a real sweatheart and that she remembered me is nice.  Vitals (BP high - y'think!?!?!), weight, go over the main items, "Okay, the doc will be in.  You will like him."

Doc enters.  Very nice man, late 30s early 40s.  Kind and gentle.  He asks me couple questions and then goes to the computer, "Hank, probably showed you the pictures."  "No, it was too early.  We called for it to be read."  He points to it and I am like, "That thing is m------r f---------g HUGE!"  Luckily, the words stayed in my head instead of bouncing out of my mouth as they very commonly do.  And then it comes, "Cyberknife is the perfect treatment for this procedure.  It was made for this tumor.  Success rate will be in the high 90.  We will mark off your spine, so no implantation of markers (which is the part that hurts).  I am in a little trouble with the front because the insurance is not all figured out yet, but we will do that this week, next week planning, and the following week treatment - just five."  The words washed over me.  The plan is done.  Exhale and exhaustion slowly set in.  We talk a little more and I learned he has three kids under four and I was like, "WOW, you were busy."  (Unfortunately, those words DID fall out of my mouth....)  He laughed and said, "The are all in-vitro."  "MINE TOO!"  Chat, chat, chat and then I pushed him to his next appointment, "You don't have time for this.....GO!"  "I see why Hank likes you."  "GO!"

This week - I do nothing and emails, letters, and opinions fly between docs and insurance.
Next week - planning sessions and mock treatment to see that the machine is programmed properly.
Week of the 22nd - Treatment one hour laying a table with no breaks while a laser moves around my body marking off my spine and hits every single cell in that m------r f--------g tumor.  BYE BYE!!

Thank you for all the love, comments, calls, hugs, and my mom coming over to let me cry while I was holding two phones.  Thank God the boys are off at camp and I have a plan, Thank God Mason will be at Hockey Camp during my treatment because he doesn't handle it very well, Nolan.....Nolan will want to go to the appointment and make all sorts of shooting sounds as sound effects for the machine.  And Thank God for doing everything in my world to keep my appointment.  I was listening (albeit defiantly, but listening).

Many people have mentioned food and help and I think I will be okay.  Mom can take Nolan when I go to treatment and, honestly, there are no side effects.  I may be a little tired and a little nauseous because the laser might hit my liver, but that is it.  And, as usual, I am cleaning my house because that is what I do when it comes back and my carpets are drying as I write.

But, in the off chance you still want to bringing me dinner, I won't say no.....five meals, Monday - Friday week of the 22nd.  Lara Castillo is doing the meal planning email her at

Love you guys....

Happy Thursday,


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Summer and the bump....

Summer has really been amazing.  We bought a travel trailer - I know - we are "those" people now.  But see, I was always, "those" people.  I liked being those people. We purchased it in late June have have gone on two weekend trips and one full week trip since.  We have plans for Christmas and for Spring Break.  The boys love it.  I love it - but I have to say that is a VERY EXPENSIVE TOILET. And not one I am willing to give up.  Grant has all sorts of plans and so do I.  The boys just love their bunks, their storage, and the fact that I can prepare all their meals unlike road trips.  We store it at my parents and I have to say my Dad is super helpful with charging the batteries, filling the water, etc. He didn't like my first parking of the trailer claiming it was not straight.  I have done better since...apparently.  WHATEVER.  Basketball camp - DONE.  Lacrosse Camp - DONE. Neighborhood Garage Sale where the boys sold there stuff - I did a great job except for Nolan bringing home a six foot cut out of Homer Simpson with his earnings!!!!  OMG - help me!!!  And now, the boys are off to overnight camp this week and I was supposed to be on a sailboat somewhere near Desolation Sound about now, but that was not in the cards for me.  I first was concerned when they scheduled my scan...I was like, "....but if Keith and Deb go, that will be the week."  And, well, it was the week, but the alternator on the boat went out.  No Keith and Deb and sailing.  Then, I had another offer to do something fun and POW, that failed too.  Cancer scan still trumps.  I wanted to cancel it, but at my core, I knew I needed to go.  I was not scared.  I was terrified.  My cancer was back and I knew it.  I showed up late because of bizarre traffic, but we called and they knew.  I got there, did the scan, had tubes out of my arm for lunch and then to blood work.  I actually got to do blood work with, and I say this graciously because truly - I LOVE ALL OF THEM, my favorite nurse.  She is also the nurse that I was with when I tried to die.  The one that would not give me back my glasses because she was crying.  She blames the room....O-K-A-Y.  LOL!  We laughed I asked about her kids in complete detail and she was like, "OMG, how do you remember that?!?!?!"  Chemo/Shemo, you remember what you want.  Then, up to Hank.  NO RESULTS were in, but I had gone to the bathroom 47 times already.  The appointments were too close, but it is me and he makes calls, and they answer and they read the scan early because it is me and I am so loved.  Tumor, right left lobe.  One that we never worried about has grown 3cm in since March.  Other stuff - blah blah blah.  I say that because there is always blah, blah, blah, but my cancer had been gone for more than a year and now it is back.  Blah, Blah, Blah, is stuff I can deal with.  So, the phones start going, and the appointments start being scheduled.  We start with Cyberknife, then to ablation, trying to avoid chemo because my body is still recovering from chemo.  Hank said, "This is just a bump.  You know we will always have to monitor this.  Your tumors show up every once and a while."  I take off my glasses.  I cry a little, he hugs me and says, "If you don't have these, when will I see you?!?!?!"  I smile.  We hug again.  What would I do without him?  The journey continues.....bump.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Lara....

This is a post to people you meet along the of them Lara Hosford Castillo.  I got a text a couple days ago that said, "Hey, I am having some friends over on Saturday 2:30.  Would love to have your family stop by."  I am like, "Sure! What can I bring??!"  "Your beautiful face."  Okay, right?!?!?!  I can do that since my face pretty much goes where I go.....OKAY!  I did not know it was her birthday BECAUSE I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON.  I did not know I should bring anything, but I did bring wine BECAUSE I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON.  And I show up with my crew with no present, so nothing, but a bottle of wine and say, "It is your birthday?!?!!" because.....remember.....I AM A HORRIBLE PERSON.  But here is what I love......Lara and I met at a breakfast YEARS ago.  We went because it was the first day of school.  Then some moms went to a movie, but Lara was seated across for me at breakfast.  My cancer came up and Lara, confused at all get out was like, "So, you okay?!?!....So, I do not get this, you okay?!?!?!"....."So, this sounds okay?!?!"  I finally looked at her and said, "Laura (I didn't know it was Lara), I am as okay as I will ever be.....I am terminal, so I will die of this but today is good, so I go with it."  And with that she was fine.  Still a little confused, but fine.  Three months later we were walking into a PTA meeting and I said, "Look, you are my kind of girl, and if you will be my Treasurer, I will got for President.  But if you say no, I am out."  She looked at me the same confused that she was when she heard by diagnosis and said, "O-K-A-Y".  And so it was.  A friendship formed not by mutual interest, but by necessity.  I had NO IDEA how much I would grow to love her.  As time went on, we went through some real crap.  She backed me and I backed her.  Never a question, never a doubt.  We were each others rock.  Lara was a person I never doubted and when people said to me, "She is a real stickler."  I was like, "That is why I chose her."".  We never, and I mean never, doubted each other.  You don't come across that often.  And I certainly do not take it for granted.  She adores me and I adore her even when I say, "NOBODY IS GOING TO NEELY!!!!"  She and Sonia will get that.  Even when I am I dead fast with my choice and not hers.....she backed me and I backed her.  I could not have asked for a better copadre.  One day our first year, when we were setting the boat straight, she came to my house and gave me a gift certificate to Red Robin.  She hugged me a cried and said, "You do too much.  I want you to take care of yourself.  Please just go to dinner and then on vacation and REST."  I do not take direction from many, but we went to Red Robin that night and it was an amazing start to our vacation. Poor girl,  I loved her so much, I invited myself to her lie....her WEDDING.  I was like, "I just want to come, and go, but I fly out that day and I promise not to be a bother....."  What it turned into was I was the Patron getting person (slave)  in the inner sactom and I had a blast with Maurine buying a cute black dress and handing all my clothes to Maurine in a pile.  Yes, there was a ,lot of drinking.  We did not leave the hotel and Maurine got tan and I, just well, burned.  The fact that we did not leave the hotel was weird, but okay under the circumstance, but we did change rooms after being next to the recycle center that runs 24/7.  Long story.....OMG and that was an upgrade.....

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend.  When I left, she said, "You can't get rid of me." and I thought, "THANK GOD."

Happy Sunday, Ang

Friday, July 1, 2016


While I do not compare myself to those that have had horrible war experiences, I do experience moments of PTSD.  I do not look for it, it just happens.  Sometimes, I know it will and I choke it down.  I do so for the better of others and to help them, but sometimes it sneaks up on me in every day life.

On Monday of this week, I was planning on meeting my aunt at her cabin.  It is in Plain, Wa.  She has had it since 1992.  Longer than I have been married, and the place that Grant can sleep for hours on end.  I packed up the boys and I and we headed out.  This had been planned for a long time.  My Aunt has to schedule her vacation like a bazillion weeks in advance.  What I did not realize is that the last time I was there, ONLY WITH MY AUNT AND THE BOYS, was the weekend I came home and Grant told me I had cancer.  We have been there since, but with different combinations.  Me with Karissa, me with Jane, etc.  No one let me travel by myself.  When I realized it, it was spooky.  Yep.  Spooky.  I was down at the beach at the river with both of my boys.  Last time, Donna had Nolan and he was screaming.  Now, he is swimming in the river, picking up rocks and throwing them into a pile.  The temperature is the same, but it is nine years later.  My baby is grown up.  He is with me from the time that I was so exhausted that I could only take Mason to the river.  The flashbacks come.  Grant telling me.  Me walking away from him.  Disbelief.  Belief.  Pain.  Suffering.  So much suffering.  So much pain.  Chemo.  Radiation.  Surgery.  More surgery.  More Chemo.  Ablation.  More surgery.  And more surgery.  And then, the sound of the river.  The comfort of the new beds in the loft.  Cooking.  Adventures with the boys and my aunt around Leavenworth. many movies....and then the ride home before the 4th of July rush.

And now it is 3:50 in the morning and I am going to bed.  Laundry is almost done.  Dishes clean.  No chemo, surgery, radiation in my near future........what nine years can do......I love the sound of the river.

Happy Friday,


Friday, June 24, 2016

What a week....

Sorry....this is a long one....get a is fine.....gin is better....

School ended on Friday the 17th at 11:53.  By the time I got there, I was so ready for it to be over.  It is for so many that time, I knew we were losing out new principal, but petty sure we were well on our way to losing our Vice Principal, Office Manager, and at the very least four teachers.  I have been in HR enough to know that we are not ripe for the picking.  And, one of our old Vice Principals is in charge of a school in Federal Way.  Great.  Would I do the same thing?  You bet.  And it is happening.  Who wants the heartache?  Who wants the challenge?  Who wants to deal with yet ANOTHER NEW PRINCIPAL?!?!?!   They are all jumping ship.  I just needed a break.  We took off from school with lunches for the boys in the car and drove straight (with one stop) to Pasco where we went there our "new travel trailer" orientation.  It took one hour and we conveniently had one hour in the store.  We had a $225 credit because Grant rejected the bike rack we got with the trailer, so we went crazy!  As we were leaving, the woman at the front said, "You have such great energy.  So positive.  So bright."  I get this a lot.  Grant and I have been getting it for years.  Us, together, traveling have always brought people to us.  "Are you lost?"  "Do you need a room?"  (They are like calling us down the street.......and we do.)  "Can I assist you?"  This is minus the time Grant had a fit in the middle of the streets of Montreal about Mason getting a Canadians' Hockey Jersey.  Everyone politely ignored his "Ontarioness" that day.  I thanked her and told her, "Is there another way to be?"  She replied with, "Uh, yeah, but I don't think you got it."  We left with all the essentials and off to the campground a frightening 10 miles away.  I drove.  We got there while several of the employees waved at us on the drive.  I told Grant I wanted a "drive thru" spot, no backing up for this girl tonight.  We parked and practiced all our stuff. I microwaved the hot dogs from the BBQ last night and forgot ALL THE CONDIMENTS.  So, there was onion dogs and chips for dinner.  YUMMY.  Fail.  Breakfast was simple, but there was no yogurt for Grant - fail.  Lunch was at Fred Meyer in Yakima where Grant was like, "We can park there!" and I am like, "I am parking here."  First night a RV park, second night National Forest.  So, we pull off the road and Grant is like, "Okay, it is up here, I think, but what if I am wrong....."  The road gets narrower and narrower and rougher and rougher (which is NOTHING compared to what my Daddy took us on....) and he starts to get really nervous.  I look at him and say, "Dude, this is like NOTHING to me.  I got this.  My Dad took me on bad roads with a 2000 foot drop on the side."  Then I was all, "Yay, look, this is nice (forgetting I had a trailer.......)" and all the boys are like, "TREE!!!!!"  Oh, yeah, that is close, but I didn't hit it!  By the end of the weekend and backing out of the campsite, out of my neighborhood, and into my parents, Grant and I have it down.  See, we met before we both had cell phone, messages on board were normal, and you had sign language.  We get each other and I love that.  He will drive soon, he just needs to watch a little more, but he is getting really good at the backing me up stuff.  The only think our trailer needs is extended mirror and a sign on the back that says, "I CANNOT SEE YOU......LIKE AT ALL......FOLLOW AT YOUR OUR RISK!"  I understand that some of my sweet friends and neighbors were taping my backing up the neighborhood, so that should be posted soon.  It will be pretty funny!

Monday - My boys and four other boys all that went to preschool together went to Kentridge Basketball Camp together this week and we all took turns taking care of them (except one couple that feels so guilty I am rubbing it in....simply because I do not care!)  They go until 12 and then they have adventure with all of us for the afternoon while other families are working.  Monday and Tuesday I am off, wow, I was running around getting stuff for the trailer, running errands, going to the library (yes, I still read real books), Fred Meyer, Target, Walmart (who has an amazing amount of travel trailer stuff ONLINE - how is that helpful?!?!), learning Camping World and the "Academy of Take My Money" of the Travel Trailer front.  Then, Tuesday pm I got sick.  You know, something hit my sensitive colon that said, "BAD."

Wednesday - I was picking up all the boys.  I had to work for my parents on Wednesday too.  They are trying to sell their Travel Trailer.  You ask, "Why did you not take theirs?"  I reply with I did not feel comfortable towing the Taj Mahal behind our truck.  Take their truck.  Really.....have you driven that thing.  I have - I am the only other one he lets drive it.  It is a monster.  Plus, I really wanted a shorter, more off road worthy trailer with bunks for the boys.  My parents was a retired trailer with a lot of tvs and seats.  No bunks.  So anyway, my understanding was that they were going to have it totally cleaned out, washed, and ready to go at the bottom of the drive.  NOPE.  Mom got vertigo being in the trailer.  They had have of it cleaned out and then, guess what, I got to do the other half of the Taj Mahal by myself. with the queen bed falling on my head the entire time.  Nice feature in the new trailers - they don't fall on your head.  So, I do it, then I clean it.  Done.  The place that they bought it from is picking it up between 10-12.  It is 10:30 and we are all sweating.  Mom is mad, Dad is frustrated, I am like, "What the heck?!?!"  They call...we will be there closer to noon.  Yay.  I have to leave to get the boys and I say, "David is coming.  It will be fine.  Just trust the process."  I go.  I get the one wants to go to the zoo, we go home and they play basketball, go to the river, play inside, fight, play, and finish.  And I start my regime for surgery on my esophagus the next day.  This was not part of the plan, but scheduling is so awful that I could not postpone the appointment.  Grant offered to work from home and help and drive and it was great.  The next two days are a hoot....

SIDE NOTE:  On Wednesday morning, one of the parents drops her boys off and then sends me this text, and I quote...

"Hi.  Yellow bag has their lunches, a jacket for XXXX, and $20 in the side pocket if needed.  Please put sunblock on their faces, necks, arms for the zoo.  Sunblock is in the bag.  Also in there is XXXX's baseball uniform.  Can you remind him to get dressed in it (except shoes) before I get there?  We need to run straight to practice.  God I am high maintenance!"

I read this to all the boys and responded with....

"Gotcha.  I give away the sunblock because it is for wimps, $20 is for beer, and XXXXis to be naked with his shoes on at 4:45."

Her response, "Perfect."  She knows me too well......I took the $20 and put a Rainier Beer in its place.  The boys were rolling.  Then, at pick up, they told her what was going on.....OMG, clearly, they do not get a running joke.....

Okay, Thursday, I have four of the six and it is 8:12. I have to leave at 8:20 to get the other two and get them to camp.  My Dad calls.  I enthusiastically ask, "How was yesterday?!?!"  My Dad, in a downward voice says, "It was fine, but I do not trust this Paul."  Okay, FYI, I have had nothing but lovely conversation with Paul and David, and all the people at Baydo's in Fife.  He goes onto this conversation of how Paul is not even looking at the trailer and giving him a price, he can do it on consignment for nothing and that was good and how he doesn't trust Paul because he didn't even look at the trailer before he gave him a price.  So, now for those of you that have worked with older people, it ALWAYS turns into a circular discussion.  Quite honestly, I do not like working with the elderly, yet I get to ALL THE TIME.  I took care of my Grandmother (still sorting her stuff in my garage because my Dad will not do it), I am now taking care of my parents, and I am pretty sure I have an aunt on the way.  On the third cycle, I was like, "Dad, this is NOT my top priority today.  I have six boys to get to Basketball Camp, I have errands to run, and then I get to go under general anesthesia at 2:00, so they can band varacies from my esophagus.  I  have to go."  He said, "I honey, I am sorry.  I didn't know."  He did.  "No one told me."  We did.  "Good luck.  I love you."  I cried.  The poor boys said nothing......XXXX just said, "Families are hard."  I love XXXX.  More than he knows.  Read all his books in Preschool.  I was so sick, I think I was the only that had time.  I still remember them.

Got to the hospital - they were running late (as usual).  People are starting to remember me and my Mom.  They are complimenting her a lot.  Others in the surgery room are asking how I am doing. They tell the other nurses what a great story I am.  I give the short, short version because I am out soon and I fall asleep to, "Oh my God, I am so happy for you........"

I wake up.  I am okay, but my chest hurts a lot.  I know if I say anything they will make me stay.  I get dressed.  I go with my Mom.  I help another woman out with how to work the parking machine while she is complaining about being rescheduled and she lives in Mountlake Terrace.  My Mom is looking cross eyed at me and I am like, whatever......she doesn't know.  We get home.  Mom goes to get me a vanilla milkshake and I am uncomfortable.  I can't get comfortable.  I call to Grant, "I am making dinner....can it wait?!?!?!"  Clearly I do not have trained like the medical staff at Swedish....NO, my pain is at a 9 which is unheard of for me, so get the frick up here."  He says, "Take whatever you never need pain meds.  I take 2 Tylenol and an anti-anxiety pill.  I do not want to call the docs tonight.  It is just pain.  If it continues, I will call tomorrow.  I was blissful until Nolan came in and jumped on me.  One Advil more....done for the night.

Today has been okay.  A little pain and my good friend picked up her kids and made me laugh too much and made me hurt, but in the best way I know.  So, it is Friday.  Did I get everything done?  No.  Lara, I am sorry, I did not get to the bank.  Juliet, I am sorry, I did not get to Denali.  I will try Saturday and Monday.  The good news is they got all the varicies and I do not have to go back until January.  I missed Nolan's first Tournament Game of this weekend, but he told me all about it.

So here is what I have learned, I am happy that my sons survival depends mainly on his family, because we are secure, have good friends, and a solid foundation.  I was not supposed to be here after 2007, but I am and I taken advantage of it everyday with friends, family, and my community.  Gotta say my school community is in a really bad place and because of all the crap that they have thrown me (Administration, not my school) I have little trust and am losing patiences.  I will give it another 1 to 3 years.  Not so much for me, but for my "low income, "Kentistan", we can't possibly be educated enough to know what we need (based on the interviews I just wet through) attitude that the Kent School District Administration just had and disregarded everything the community had to say. "   No worries, you see, I have options.  Others don't.  I wanted to represent all of our community, but if they do not represent us, I am out.  That may make some happy.......oh well, I am not will to sacrifice my children for someones career ladder, issues, power issues, etc.  They are my babies.  I worked hard to have them and I worked harder to raise them, but apparently, I don't matter, because, well, I am not in the right zip code.

Life is complicated and I wish it wasn't.....thanks Kent School District.


Friday, June 3, 2016

My Birthday Week, Nolan, and not so graceful parenting.....

It started fun and then Tuesday both boys woke up green.  "I am pooping A LOT!!!!"  "I started pooping a lot at Grandma's!"  Needless to say, we stayed home.  They ate almost nothing and slept a lot.  Wednesday eating back to normal, still some napping.  Thursday, we are back to school. Thursday was my birthday, but Grant brought me my flowers, card, and ice cream cake on Wednesday. We are having a crazy baseball week.  Three game in four days.  Grant told the boys to write out/make a card for me.  Mason did.  Nolan gave me the pictured.

I should tell you that I have been taking a "Grace Based Parenting Class."  This meant to me in this moment, I should kill him "Gracefully." Funny funny ha ha.  Not really.  Okay, back to it.  I had to explain to him that I stopped their allowance because it is a performance based system and since there had been NO PERFORMANCE there is no money.  Usually I will give them $3 just for breathing and going to school, but not for crying about how much homework they have, NEVER making their beds, the cats are living in squalor, etc.  "What is squalor?"  My response, "Do not worry, you are about to know...." In addition, I said, "I have just stayed with you for two days, sought and provided your every need, and this is your response on my birthday?!?!?"  In addition to that, I do not want presents!!!!!!!  I want a card.  I got a card.  On my birthday proper, it was a super busy day, Bible Study Brunch, pick up Clifford Costume, drop at school, Student Leadership meeting, Baseball at 4:00.  At 3:00, I am exhausted.  In the truck, we discuss how Mason is getting dressed for baseball and Nolan will do his homework.  Nolan has also decided that he does not want to go to baseball but Family Health Night at school.  What happens.....they both get out of the truck, play outside until Mason comes in stomping and pouting about Nolan.  Then Nolan comes in and they are both talking and crying at each other about how the other one gets their way all the time, etc, etc. etc.  Apparently, siblings do this all the time - what do I know about it?!?!?!  I start conflict resolution on them, but apparently, it just turns to the most ridiculous crying, insult flying, self promoting crap fest ever,.......clearly, I should have repeated the rules AGAIN.  Then, I was just, "Nolan, do your homework.  Mason go outside." Grant comes home, gets briefed, get Mason and I stay home with Nolan as we are going to the Family Night at school.  I check Nolan's homework of which he states, "You are wrong.  I do not want to be here.  I want to go to the beach.  I don't like Mason.  etc. etc. etc."  While I am still trying to come up with graceful ways of wringing his neck, I just grab my purse and leave.  I wanted pizza, but I was going to Family Night, but NOT ANYMORE.  I am doing what I want on my birthday.  Yes, I left my nine year old at home.  I said, "I will be back with what I want to do for dinner tonight."  When I got home, Nolan was so nice and I was just like, "Why are you being nice now?!?!?!  Nolan, I can't take it."  The evening got worse from there.  We never made it to Family Night or Baseball.  I ate A LOT of pizza on my couch with a martini and refused to speak to anyone.  No one was following my protocol for dinner where my silence was broken (too bad for them) and the "easy ways to dispose of latex paint by drying it on a tarp and throwing it away" turned into the tarp flipping over paint on my driveway and on the grass, too big to fit in my garbage, and me infuriated.  Still mad, I then asked Grant why he can't fill the paint hole or is that, "A weekend project?!?!?!"  That did not put us in a good place, but I do not have weekend projects, my entire life one never ending project of taking care of Mason, Nolan, and Grant.  It is 24/7, 365 even when I have doctors, low tire pressure, paint to dry, toilets to clean, PTA, Student Leadership, laundry to do, etc. etc.

Then, I went to bed.  This morning I talked to Nolan and said, "What will it take to make you happy?  You don't like living here, you don't like your room, you don't like playing with Mason, you don't like that we go mountain biking, you say we can't play soccer properly, Nolan what?!?!?!  If you had three wishes, what would they be?"

Nolan's wishes:

1.  Teach him how to set his alarm clock.
2.  Nolan and Mommy day EVERY week.  This was negotiated down to a date every week.  Nolan clarified it is not the kissing kind.  Check.
3.  Couldn't think of a third.

"And this will make you happy?  No more negative statement, no more complaining about EVERYTHING from food to our cars, no more complaining about soccer, hockey, baseball, track, and basketball (two of those are his....), no more no more?

"Yep."  "Deal."

Here is being graceful,