Boys and Girls

When Mike and I first started dating, he had all of these weird “rules”.


He wouldn’t hold hands…..


….he was anti-snuggle…


…and then at some point, I don’t really remember when, all of that nonsense stopped.

I was reminded of that recently.  And now I just think oh, boys.



We are so good for you.

I reminded Mike of his old rules and the man actually blushed.  “Babe, I’m so sorry.  God I was an idiot.”


ps.  Jayme and Soph – we had SO much fun with you in NY.  Loved, loved, loved seeing you both.


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Favorite Pics from 2013

Mike and I have been working a on our photography this year.   Here are some of my favorite shots from 2013 (one was taken with an iPhone – can you guess?)


DSC_5694 DSC_5731 DSC_6933 DSC_7420DSC_7592 DSC_7554 DSC_7621 DSC_8570 DSC_88932013-08-03 17.58.36DSC_0589 DSC_5908DSC_4809DSC_0237 

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You My Mom

“Mum?  What Hero Factree guy you wike?  You wike Strwinger?  You wike Stohmer?  You wike Beez?”

Me: Pax, go to sleep.


“Mum?  If you wan’ pway Hero Factree wuf me you can!  You can be Beez, you can be Strwinger, you can be Stor–”

Me:  Honey, it’s bedtime.  We can play in the morning.

“But who you be, Mom?  Beez is girl wike you, wight? She not pee-pee standing up.  Onlee Daddy an’ Waines pee standing up WIKE ME!!”

Me: Um, that’s right.  But Pax, we are in bed.  You are supposed to be sleeping.  Now close your eyes an–

“MOM!  Why you talk so WYIET?  I talk WOWD.”

[I crack up. Dammit!  He got me.]

Me:  Ok, Pax.  I’m talking quietly because it’s sleepytime.  No more talking.  Roll over – I’ll rub your back a little bit.

He launches himself at me, climbing into my arms.  “But MOM.  I need nuggle you!  I’m sad petause it not morning-time and Daddy said no-no Hewo Factree and YOU MY MOM.  You my mom.”

Me:  I am your mom, my love.  And you are my baby.

Pax cuddles in closer.  “Yes.  You my mom.  You my mom….you…my…mom.”

He has always done this.  This…claiming me.  Claiming me as his mother.  Even when he was a tiny baby.  And for Pax, life really comes down to that one simple fact:  I’m his mom.  So when the nanny comes: “I not want her petause you my mom.”  When we’re going somewhere:  “You carry me?  You carry me petause you my mom?”  When snuggling on the couch or in bed or anywhere:  “You nuggle me wike dis?  Petause you my mom.”

It’s like he knows.  He knows I need to hear it.  “You my mom.”  Those words snap me out of  my lost in thought mode, or when I’m distracted by something online.  They give me patience in those late hours when THE KID SHOULD BE SLEEPING.  It helps me to remember that, to a three year old, I’m still his whole world.  So when he’s clingy or whiney or truly terrible (and Pax can be really, amazingly terrible)….the only person he really wants to be with is me.  His main source of comfort?  Me.  When he’s sad or lonely or scared, the person he turns to for reassurance that his life, despite its bumps, is safe and secure and supported, is me.  Petause I’m his mom.  It’s as simple as that.


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Cause It’s Kinda Hard To Wait For Cake

Pax’s birthday was a few weeks ago.  I was still in rough shape so it was pretty low-key.  Pax was SO excited, “It my birfday?” he whispered as soon as he woke up.  He was incredulous that such a thing could be for him only.  Oh, sweet baby.

But the cake.  Sofreakinghard to wait for us slow adults to get our morning coffee.


Waiting patiently


Starting to lose it…


No. Not yet. Pulling from inner reserves of strength.


You shut your mouth, Raines.


I SAID SHUT— “PAX! Hands are not for hitting!”




Mom brought the flame thrower just in time.




Sheesh.  Happy Birthday, my crazy little man.

Posted in Pax - 3 Years | 1 Comment


This was not our best Halloween.  I mean – OK.  We did have fun.  On Halloween night a few of our friends stopped by, we had some wine and pizza, and the kids went trick or treating.  I am enough of an extrovert that this was energizing.  But I had WANTED to throw a big Halloween party (Raines had dreams of a haunted house in the basement) so we really had to scale back.

Stupid chemo.

And I was too sick to do any of the pre-Halloween festivities, like the awesome Halloween party at St. David’s or even the Halloween parade at Raines’ school.



But Mike and the boys went to both and after seeing the pics (and you know Raines)….it’s OK.  Halloween may not be our holiday.

Halloween. WOOT.


Raines could give a shit about dressing up, and Pax, despite his love of costume, is terrified of all things Halloween.

(Also, the St. David’s party interrupted a too-late-in-the-day nap.  So there’s that.)



Despite the chemo recovery, I still may have been more excited for Raines’ Halloween Parade than he was.



For cryin’ out loud, Raines.  He did warn me, I guess.  “Sometimes when I dress up I feel funny” he told me.  Ok.  

At least I can count on Raines’ BFF Dorian to get into the swing of things.  Look at him – waving and strutting like a champ.



But the boys’ costumes were pretty awesome.  Raines decided before the St. David’s party that he wanted to be a “Water King…..because water is the MOST POWERFUL thing in the WORLD” and stuck with it for actual Halloween.  Pax’s costume came just in time.



I’m often woken up in the morning by a large moon head, staring silently at me.  Then, a muffled voice:  “Mum?  I cant get dis off.”


Pax didn’t trick-or-treat.  He started in Mike’s arms, got almost to the end of the driveway, then started crying for me.  By the time I carried him inside the poor thing was saying, “No more zombies!  No more zombies!”

Oh, my baby.  Instead, he and I had a delightful time watching the Great Pumpkin and handing out candy.  “HAP!  HAL-WEEN” he’d cry.


Hunh.  Now that I think about it…this Halloween was actually pretty awesome.

Posted in Pax - 2 Years, Raines - 5 Years Old, School, Super-Heros | 2 Comments

It Not Pee-Pee, Dad

This morning, Pax informed us that he was done with diapers.  Uh…Ok.  So on went the underwear, and all seems well.  Although…I don’t recall that he’s pooped yet today.  Crap.  TMI, I know.

In any case, Mike gave the boys a bath tonight, and after, Pax was running around naked (important), eating a banana (irrelevant).

Suddenly, I hear Mike’s voice:  “Pax!  Did you pee on the floor?”  He’s pointing to an enormous puddle.

Pax comes over to inspect the puddle.  Looks at it for a moment. “No, Dad!”

Mike looks skeptical.  “Pax-”

Pax interrupts, “I not pee on fwoor!!!!!”  his whole face is indignant, shocked.

Mike, I can tell, is slightly taken aback by his vehemence, as am I.  “Ok….well.  I’m just….thinking that….Pax?  How did this puddle get here?”

Pax tilts his head to one side, thinks.  “It not pee-pee, Dad!  Dat….Dat…..Dat come fwom mine EAR.”

Oh boy.





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We met with our doctors last week.  After my face broke out in some horrible-looking rash for four days, I had HAD IT.  I mean…going bald is one thing, but looking like a poster-child for a teenage acne commercial was the final straw.  I was pissed.

So we went in.  They confirmed that the rash on my face was most likely steroid-related (as opposed to the one on my arm which is a “taxotere burn”) and I just wanted to scream.  These steroids!!  I mean like holy SHIT.  When something is worse than chemo, for crying out loud, that’s bad.  Right???  “You describe anything as “worse than chemo” and you’re pretty much winning that argument.

I had gone in expecting to fight about negotiate the steroid dose.  While chemo dosage is dependent on the size of the patient, it’s my understanding that the “pre-meds” are not.  Meaning that everyone gets the same amount of steroids before their first chemo.  I had found some doctor-written articles about how we needed to start personalizing the pre-meds (ya think??) and blah blah blah…

…but they opened negotiations with a half dosage of Decadron, plus tapering to avoid “the wall” I hit when I went off the first time.

I took their half-dosage and countered that they’d also have to reduce the IV steroids day-of.

Staredown.  They agreed.

Surprised at how quickly we were reaching agreement, I asked to see the details.  They sketched out a plan:  1 Decadron each morning and night for three days, then one pill a day for the next two days as a taper.

“No, No, No” I said.  “That’s what I did the first time…all you are doing is adding the pills to taper, which means I’m getting MORE steroids this time around.”

“No, No, No” they countered.  “For the first chemo, you took two pills each morning and night for three days, not one.”

Mike and I look at each other, shocked.

“Uh…” Mike says, looking like he’s about to laugh.  “No, I didn’t!!” I cut-in.  “Really.  I only took one at a time.”  I am 100 percent positive on this front – it was  Instagrammed, even.

photo (93)

“You cut your steroid doseage in half…accidentally?”  My doctors are incredulous.


But in the end we all agreed that it was probably for the best, and that going forward, for Chemo #2, we are cutting the steroid dose in half AGAIN.


I can’t quit the steroids outright – with Chemo #2, there’s still some risk of allergic reaction (including, uh, LUNG SWELLING) but I’m feeling much better about this dose.  I’ll basically be getting a quarter of what is given to the normal population.  Which, given my history with most drugs….sounds about right.

My doctors also pointed out that despite my complaining of horrible jaw pain and headaches…I didn’t actually use the narcotics they prescribed.  Even when the motrin wasn’t working.  Oh.  Yeah.  That’s true.

And they also wondered how much of my Ativan (anti-depressant and anti-nasuea) I was taking.  Because…that probably would help with some of the insomnia and depression etc. etc. etc.

Yeah.  Well, see, I hate taking drugs…??  So I would only use those…in…extreme circumstances?

Extreme like chemotherapy?  Oh, uh, yeah.  Right.  Extreme like that.


So my new mantra (as dictated by my doctors) is going to be:  less steroids, more happy drugs.

Tomorrow the (quarter dose) of steroids start.  Wednesday it’s ON.  Chemo #2.

Bring. It.

Posted in Breast Cancer | 4 Comments