Friday, February 23, 2007


Mom took Gma to the doctor Monday. When they got back Gma comes in the back room and says (looking very confused), "So, apparently I have terminal cancer and I have a few more months and then that's it." Um... what do you say to that?

I checked with mom, the doctor said it could be a few months, it could be a year, they don't know. But the point is that Gma has finally understood that this thing is going to kill her, and likely sooner rather than later. Gma's mind is definitely going. The other day I found a half eaten banana in the silverware drawer and some cooked sweet potatoes in the cupboard with the coffee cups. Then I found her looking everywhere for her tea (the tea has been kept in the cupboard above the stove as long as I can remember).

I took her to Trader Joe's later that afternoon and she was acting unusual - she wanted to pay for my stuff too (she's always been very frugal), and then she wanted to go get some good ice cream (not the cheap kind, and she doesn't even eat ice cream). Just before we got home she said, "You know, I saved my money all my life because I was going to need it when I got older. If I've only got a few months to live then I might as well start spending it."

I told the story to our chiropractor/family friend, and we were talking about the stages of death and how it sounds like she's at the acceptance phase. She said that it's not that unreasonable to think she only has a few months. This particular cancer starts slow but accelerates quickly...

Mom is supposed to take Gma to Florida to visit my aunt, and to Michigan to visit my great aunt in May. She's loosing her mind over this whole thing. It's gotta suck telling your mom she's dying. Some days she's fine, but more and more often she's been visibly stressed out and snappy - mostly defensive (she was hungry the other day and that made it even worse). Between stress about taking all this time off to take Gma to all these appts, and the stress of trying to manage the life of a person who forgets 90% of the things you tell them...

Husband Problem

A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, right up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, "I would like to buy some cyanide."

The pharmacist asked, "Why in the world do you need cyanide?"

The lady replied, "I need it to poison my husband."

The pharmacists' eyes got big and he exclaimed, "Lord have mercy! I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband! That's against the law! I'll lose my license! They'll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!"

The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife. The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, "Well now. That's different. You didn't tell me you had a prescription

Sunday, February 11, 2007

BBQ Gone Awry, Then a Sushi Dinner

We had a BBQ yesterday. Keith & Tania were heading back to Italy in a few days, and I wanted to hang out with them one more time before they left. I also wanted Keith to show me how exactly he wanted me to care for his grill while he was gone. My parents came by, some other family, Bobby's brother Brian and our friend Andy.

Bobby and Andy are playing guitar, my parents and Brian are talking about whatever, we're cooking up all this food, my Gma is singing along to Bobby and Andy's playing (he'd pulled out the Kingston Trio, and she knew all the words).... Everyone was having a good time, the weather was nice (though it could have been a little warmer and I wouldn't have minded. Later on, my sister Jessica and her boyfriend Nathan show up, and I drag Nathan off to show me how to pass some level in Lego Star Wars.

After about an hour, Emma comes in the back room and tells us that Andy poked himself in the eye with a stick. She said it so matter-of-factly, that I thought it couldn't possibly be that serious, but when I walked into the front of the house, my whole family is crowded around the living room, and Andy is walking around, clearly in pain, trying to call his dad to find out what his medical insurance number is because he doesn't have his card with him.

The boys had been joking around, and Andy, bent over with laughter, had turned around right into a stick that was sticking straight out of the little firewood pile. It had jabbed him in the soft part of his eyelid just up from the corner of his eye and swelled completely shut. I felt aweful.

He didn't want to go down to the hospital until he could find out what insurance he had - he'd broken his arm last year while uninsured, and was not too keen on a new medical bill. Bobby and Brian finally convince him to just go down to the hospital with them and they'd figure something out.

Brian's wife Jessica was coming to meet him at our house after she got off work and they and Andy were going to a birthday party for their friend Jon we would probably have gone too, but we had Emma and it really wouldn't have worked out). When Jessica arrieved I was putting laundry away and my parents (whom Jessica has never met) opened the door. Jessica very politely asks if Bobby, Brian, or I are around, and my parents respond with "Oh, the boys all went down to the hospital."

She thought they were joking with her. Then when she realized they were serious, was sure that Brian had been goofing around and been hurt. I had heard my mom say "Oh, you must be Brian's wife," and came out to explain.

We were all about to head over to the sushi restaurant at the Disneyland hotel for my sister Jessica's birthday dinner, and if she wanted, she could come with us or I could take her over to the hospital where the boys were. Right about that time, Bobby calls to tell me they finally conviced Andy to see the doctor, and they'd meet us at the restaurant afterwords. I call Emma out of the back room, where she and Nathan have been playing Lego Star Wars since she came in to tell us about Andy's eye, and she asks, "Where's my dad?"
"Um, he and Brian took Andy to the hospital over an hour ago..."
"Is Andy okay?" Very concerned. I tried reminding her of what she herself had come to tell us earlier that evening, but I wound up just telling her that he would be okay.

We all headed over to the restaurant and had a nice dinner. About an hour later the boys met up with us and we wound up talking and eating until nearly 10pm. Andy had sushi and sake bombs for the first time, and my parents bought his dinner. They too felt bad about his eye. The boys had ordered the sake and beer, but the waitress had brought these concave glasses that wouldn't have worked, so we sent her back for water glasses. Everything we ordered or asked for took for-e-ver, and after a bit my dad says, "I think you better drink this sake soon or it's going to get cold."
"That's ok dad, they're just going to put it in their beer." He looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. "Just watch."

After dinner I gave Andy my key and he, Brian, and Jessica drove out to Huntington for their birthday party, and Bobby, Emma, my cousin Rachel and I headed home. We set up the air mattress on the floor of Emma's room and the girls put on a movie and had a little slumber party. Bobby and I layed down and I was suddenly thrilled I could just leave Emma in my cousin's hands - we were exhausted.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Car Accident

I finally went to the optometrist to get a new prescription and contacts. My left contact had torn in half earlier in the week, and I was way overdue (I think the last time I went was the spring of '03). I tried to make a lunch appt, but warned one of my co-workers I would probably be a little long. Unfortunately it ran even longer because on the way back I got rear-ended.

I don't know when I started doing this, but when I'm in slow-and-go traffic, and traffic actually stops, I tend to look in my rear view mirror to make sure the person in front of me actually stops. This time I was sure the Jeep behind me was going to stop (we hadn't even stopped suddenly or anything), but then I heard the tell-tale screach, and BAM - my burrito was all over my steering wheel, lap, and floor.

Interesting to me how that shot of adrenaline affects you. Here I know everything is fine - I'm not injured, I have insurance, I'm not at fault... and yet I can't stop shaking.

We pull over to the side of the road and I collect my info. By the time I get out of the car I can feel a headache coming on, and a CHP officer is pulling up. He had just seen us and asked if we wanted a collision report. We fill it out and inspect the damage - I'm pretty impressed with how my car held up... here I have a little Honda and have been hit by a Jeep Wrangler, but I just seem to have some deep scratches and maybe a chip out of the bumper. After the CHP officer fills out the paperwork, I start heading to work and now my head hurts pretty bad and my neck is hurting. I called and told Bobby, and mentioned I was going to the chiropractor on Monday anyway, but he said I should go right away if I was sore. Something about insurance companies get this idea that if you don't go right away that you must not actually be hurting. By the time I'm at work the right side of my back between my spine and shoulderblade is aching pretty bad. I called my insurance, took some Aleve, and called my chiro.

I feel kinda silly about the neck thing. I think every story I hear about someone getting in a car accident and having a sore neck is always from the perspective of the person at fault, and it's always as if the person being hit and who now has a sore neck is just milking the insurance and couldn't possibly really be hurting. But I really do hurt pretty bad. I took 2 Aleve at around 2:30, and I still had a rather bad headache and was really sore.

When I rear-ended someone a few years back it was a similar situation, just reversed. When I visited my chiro later that week for my normal adjustment, she asked if I was sore, I said no, and she said I wasn't abnormally out of alignment or anything. But this woman has known me my whole life (she was my mom's best friend in high school) and is a family friend. This time when I got to her, she asked me if I was sore, I said yes, and she did some x-rays. Sure enough, I'm pretty jumbled up. She told me to ice my neck when I got home and come back on Monday.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Where does the time go?

I feel like time is just flying past me. Every Monday lately I have no idea what happened to the weekend, and I think about how long it is until the next weekend, but then it's suddenly Friday again. I'm not sure what happened to January. I know we had it, but I'm not sure where it went.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A Super Bowl Sunday with Very Little Football

morning was pretty relaxed. I peaked into Emma's room and she was sleeping sideways along her pillows, head hanging off the side, still wrapped in her blanket but no longer under the covers or sheepskin. I started looking for something to watch that I wouldn't have to change when Emma woke up and settled on Lemony Snickets Series of Unfortunate Events. It's actually a pretty good movie. I think I read reviews when it came out that weren't very good, so I wasn't expecting much, but it was cute. Emma made her bed without being asked, and we set up Shrek 2 in her room.

Bobby and I were sitting at the table reading the paper and we hear Emma patter down the hall into the bathroom and start washing her face. We checked on her and she's rinsing her eye. She seemed a little embarrassed but finally tells us she was using some "spray stuff" and thought it was spraying out but it sprayed right in her eye. We walked down the hall and I tell you we could have been in the perfume department. My mom had given her two little bottles of perfume, and she'd sprayed one of them all over the room - now that bottle is empty. We told her that you shouldn't have to spray perfume more than once, but we're glad she did the right thing when she got it in her eye.

Eventually we packed up and headed to Bobby's parents' to watch the Super Bowl. We were both actually looking forward to the half-time show. Prince is an underrated guitarist. But 5 was when Emma had to be home, so the trip there and back was right during the show. After the game we were good and just packed up and headed home.

Family Dinner

Yesterday afternoon, I had Bobby drop me off at my parents' so I could help Jessica and Nathan prepare dinner - all my brothers and sisters were coming over. Bobby had to go check something out for a project he was bidding on so he left Emma with me for a bit. The plan was for them to go to his parents so Bobby could get some homework done by the time everyone was supposed to show up, but by the time he came to get her from my parents', she was already playing in the backyard with Malachy and wanted to stay. Last time he was picking on her, but this time he had a crush and wouldn't leave her side.

Everyone finally made it over, and Jess and Nathan made these wonderful specialty pizzas. We bought dough, but everything else was from scratch. Mom and Dad made us all look through all the pictures from when we were growing up and take home the ones we wanted. I was looking through them, and the 80s were a bad time for fashion. Some pictures of me when I was Emma's age should probably be burned.... While we were going through these pictures I found one of Winter Formal my sophomore year. There are 14 people in this picture, including me, Bobby, his brother Brian,... and Emma's mom. Emma saw this same picture on Christmas Eve and got really excited, so when I came accross it this time I asked her if she wanted it. She said yes but became a little upset and clung to me. Sometimes she does this when she sees pictures of her parents being happy together. Seeing them the way they are now it's kinda hard to fathom. Malachy was able to distract her though.

When it was time to go Emma was pooped. She'd been swimming in the spa and eaten all this pizza... My mom wrapped her up in a blanket and then mentioned that the sheepskin on the sofa was mine to take home whenever I was ready for it. Emma heard that and thought it would be great in her room. So we packed her into the car, laying against the soft sheepskin and wrapped in a blanket. By the time we made it home she was out. We got her into the house and she and the blanket climbed under the covers. She wanted the sheepskin on top of the covers, even though I told her it would get reallly warm under there. Then I remembered the tooth and we got it under her pillow.

It's kinda hard to tell when she's asleep - her eyes don't close all the way and her eyes kinda roll back. It's kinda freaky actually. Her eyes aren't wide open, just slits of openings, but it looks weird. When we finally decide she's out, we exchange the tooth for 2 gold dollars we got from my mom. We debated giving her a raise, but then decided we didn't want Jamie to feel we were one-upping her or feel she needed to raise it next time to out-do us. Better to keep the status quo.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Value of Teeth

Bobby's brother Brian picked Emma up (since Bobby wasn't getting out of class in time) and we met them at Red Robin for lunch. Emma took her first bite and whined. She had a loose tooth ("It's been loose for 2 weeks!") and it hurt when she chewed. As she's fingering the tooth I noticed that her hands are really dirty, so I took her to the bathroom to wash her hands. While there, it falls right out. So we find some plastic to wrap it up in and stick it in my purse. When I was little, teeth were worth like a quarter or two, but I'm not sure what they are worth now. I also want to make sure the Tooth Fairy is being consistant between her mom's house and her dad's house, so I asked her how much she got for her last tooth. "Two gold dollars!"

So then we had to go about finding some gold dollars. Luckily my mom had a ton.

Friday, February 2, 2007

An Unexpected Bonding

Yesterday I decided to stay home and play Scrabble with Gma rather than drive out to Norco with Bobby. Gma has been feeling really lonely lately, and I think she's going to bed earlier and earlier (used to be 10ish, now its close to 8) not because she's really tired, but because she's just plain bored. You can only watch so much TV before you feel like your head is going to cave in. Anyway, she whalloped me. We played three games, and each time her score went up and mine went down, but she ended up staying up until 10 with no problems.

Today Bobby called me at work to tell me that the pharmacy had called for Gma - she had forgotten to sign her check and they needed a new one. But she couldn't remember where the pharmacy is. He had to leave for work, but convinced her to wait until I got home from work and could take her to the pharmacy rather than try to get there herself. (What kind of clerk doesn't look at the check and make sure the amount is right and it's signed? Especially when it's over $2K!)

Bobby's friend Andy came over that afternoon. Bobby was stuck in traffic and knew Andy would get there well before him, so he called Gma to make sure she would be ok with Andy coming by before he got there. Gma and Andy wound up hanging out for about 30 minutes and I swear they are friends for life now. He later was able to tell me what he learned about her - he knows how many kids she has (broken down by gender), where they all live, that three of the girls are divorced and now with great guys, that she's sick.... He told her about loosing his mom to cancer a few years back (I want to say 8 years ago?). They bonded. When Bobby got there, he and Andy played guitar in the back room for about another half hour while Gma sat and listened, then the boys went to Guitar Center to play with more guitars.

When I got home I took Gma to the pharmacy and the whole drive there and back she gushed about how wonderful Andy is, and how much she loved listening to the two of them play. I swear she's in love with him. When the boys came home they brought in groceries for dinner and we grilled up some steaks. Gma had taken some Sudafed to try to kick this chest cold she's been fighting for a few weeks, and wound up going to bed earlier than she wanted - I think she would have stayed up and talked to them until Andy left.