Neither here, nor there…

So, this post has taken me three days to write…just in time for Microblog Mondays!

Well, it’s been a busy few weeks around here. Nothing overwhelmingly good or bad…just consistently busy.

  1. We held Pumpkin’s “welcoming party” last weekend. It was a nice event which was held at a local park. There was way too much food, but that’s okay at a party with a ton of people…right? It was actually a nice mix of folks: family and a lot friends from different areas of our life. At MsV’s request, I sent her some photos of the event…she was impressed by how many people showed up to “love on” Pumpkin. We sadly had several people who couldn’t make it due to illness or travel, but overall…it was a lovely time.
  2. Pumpkin is almost a year old! It’s crazy to think about that. He’s walking a few steps at a time and says two words: “dog” (og) and “dada”. He can say “mama”, but I’m not sure he’s connected it to me…instead “dada” means either me or McRuger. Overall, he’s still a very happy, mellow, and calm baby. Sleep is an issue…but there’s not much right now to be done about that.
  3. McRuger got his yearly review a few weeks back and it’s all good news. Honestly, I was a bit concerned because of all the chaos with having two kids, but I needn’t have worried. McRuger’s boss is more than pleased with his work. And, to show the company’s appreciation, McRuger got a very generous stock grant, a sizable cash bonus, and a overall pay increase! Awesome work!
  4. With McRuger’s bonus, we paid off a few things and purchased a few things we needed/wanted. And, McRuger surprised me with a brand new MacBook Pro! My old machine was 7 years old and starting to really slow down. The battery life was pretty dismal too. So, my new machine is top-of-the-line with all the memory I could possibly want.
  5. But, along with all the good stuff..we’ve had some rocky patches too. Both McRuger and I have gotten really worn down. Cadet has been holding some awful hours these days, and he’s been really disregulated. It means that sometimes both boys are up for hours in the very early morning…or really late at night. So, along the way…we’ve taken some big sleeping hits. The other day, I took a two-hour nap while Iggy was here. Two hours…like it was nothing. It didn’t even have an impact on my sleeping that night. McRuger has been sleeping in later and later…just trying to catch up. We’re finally starting to get some clarity about where some of this is coming from, but it’s been really rough!
  6. And, of course, with lack of sleep…there has been some fighting too. I don’t handle sleep depravation particularly well. McRuger has been extraordinarily patient with me…and I have been less so with him. Dumb/stupid stuff that we shouldn’t be fighting over…snippiness…oh, just general awfulness. Thankfully, we seem to be over that, and back to our normal married selves.
  7. The weather has definitely turned away from summer. It’s in the mid-70s today and there’s a sharpness to the breeze. In the mornings, I have the boys in socks/slippers and warm pjs. I had to hunt down my slippers from last winter…the wooden floors can be chilly.
  8. I had dinner with AE a few nights ago. She arrived just as the boys were heading to sleep and we rushed off to our favorite sushi joint. For two solid hours, we talked…about everything. It’s really quite something to have that someone in my life (besides McRuger) who accepts me totally for who I am…and knows me insanely well on top of it. We just “get” each other, despite our differences. I really appreciate the time we get to spend together. We spent a good deal of time talking about our upcoming trip to visit MsV in StateX.
  9. Homeschooling has been on the back-burner for a few weeks now. It’s been rough to get a consistent rhythm down with so much sleep disruption. Cadet and I have been doing some “on the fly” sort of learning. Lots of time outside, hiking with friends, or just exploring something new. We’re trying to read new books and learn about new people and places.
  10. Halloween here will be a bit odd. It’s Pumpkin’s birthday, so we want to do something to celebrate that…and yet we also want to take Cadet to a few houses for trick or treating (he’s going as a dinosaur). So, it looks like we’ll have a small party early in the day for Pumpkin and do the “Halloween thing” later with Cadet.
  11. Our plans for Thanksgiving have been finalized and it will involve a LOT of travel, but I think it will be good. Christmas is still up in the air. Right now, we’re deciding between doing a small Christmas at our house…or a larger Christmas at my parent’s house. Frankly, I’d be interested in a smaller, more low-key Christmas….but that’s not how Christmas’s go at Bro’s house.

How is everyone out there in the world? Hope you’re all doing well.


This post is for Microblog Mondays. If you don’t know what that is….check out the original post HERE.

Categories: Adoption, Cadet, Celebrations, Family, Motherhood, Pumpkin | 6 Comments

Current Loves

This morning brings loads of laundry that are waiting to be done, dishes that were left over from last night’s dinner party, and a good deal of general tidying to do. I already feel overwhelmed, and it’s not yet 10am. Thankfully, Iggy will be here soon…. So, my post today isn’t about the overwhelming stuff…it’s about the things I’m enjoying right now.

First of all, I love autumn. Seriously, love it. It seems that the crazy heat-waves of the past month have passed (it got up to 108F here!), and now the days have a softness to them…and just a hint of coolness. While this part of California doesn’t really have 4 seasons…we are certainly looking forward to rain, Cadet especially!

There are few things I love more than waking up and feeling a slight chill in the house…it means that days of stews, and warm pjs, and knitted hats are close at hand.

These days, I’m trying to find comfort and peace in small things. Between the lack of sleep (Cadet’s having issues) and the long days…small loves are sometimes all that get me through the day. They are a little tug of joy to remind me to smile and enjoy the moment.

  1. Dr. Bronner’s Eucalyptus Soap. Seriously, I am addicted to the smell of this stuff. It’s like crack to me right now. I find myself washing everything with it…just to get a small hit of the smell. And, frankly, my skin is loving it too. It’s amazing stuff! Frankly, I think my love of this smell right now has a lot to do with wanting more mental alertness.
  2. Grapefruit essential oil in my diffuser. Really, do I need to say more? It’s uplifting and smells happy.
  3. Pesto Chicken. A new recipe I tried last week for chicken, pesto, tomatoes, and mozzarella. I serve it over rice and it’s like summer in your mouth! And the leftovers are equally good in quesadillas or over some rice.
  4. Pears. Right now, the pears are really good at the market. I find myself eating at least one a day…sometimes two (shhhhhh).
  5. OMG….what a treat to listen to a whole book as I’m rocking Pumpkin back to sleep in the wee hours. I’ve worked my way through several already…with more queued up.
  6. Iggy. I’m so thankful that we have her in our life right now, she’s a lifesaver. Each week, having her here allows McRuger and I to have some couple-time. Generally, it just means that we grab a quick lunch and then do the grocery shopping…but sometimes (like yesterday) we took in a movie (The Martian…which was awesome!). She always does some cleaning and keeps the boys happy (how does she do that???).
  7. Knitting. I am working on a scarf for my father for Christmas. It’s taking forever, but the yarn is so yummy and soft…that I don’t mind. I just hope I can complete it before the holidays.
  8. Travel. AE and I are taking Pumpkin to visit MsV next month. I am so excited about this I can barely breathe! MsV and I have been talking about us coming to visit for a while, and she’s thrilled that she gets to see us (and meet AE). McRuger and Cadet are staying home…mostly due to the fact that Cadet is so easily dysregulated these days that I don’t want to upset his balance. Plus, AE is a born traveler (like me)…so exploring someplace new is always exciting for her.

Now, Iggy is here and I need a nap. Hope all is well with you!


Categories: Choices, Family, feelings, Household | 2 Comments

Pumpkin’s adoption is final!

The day after Cadet’s 4th birthday, we had our court date for Pumpkin’s finalization. The date was also the International Day of Peace, which I thought was symbolic. McRuger’s parents were here, my parents were here, and AE took the day off from work…so they all got to take part in the court proceedings.

Unlike Cadet’s finalization, which took place over the phone and lasted all of 5 minutes…this was much more formal. We were actually in front of a judge, in a courtroom, at the courthouse. It didn’t take much time, about 8 minutes all told…but it felt more official.

The judge, an older gentleman, was wonderful. He explained everything to our family as we went through the process. He was patient when Pumpkin fussed a bit, or as Cadet ran around the jury box.

It was a simple hearing. We stated our names, the judge asked if the information in our case file was correct, and what Pumpkin’s legal name was going to be. He then “certified” that he found that Pumpkin was under 12 years old…which everyone laughed at. We were asked if we understood the rights and responsibilities of being Pumpkin’s parents and that he would now be “as a natural child to us” (that part grated at me). Both my parents were crying, McRuger’s parents were smiling, and AE was trying to keep Cadet from having a melt-down. And, then it was all about signing more paperwork.

Then, something pretty awesome happened as McRuger and I signed the papers. The judge, seeing that Cadet was not handling the whole “new situation” thing very well, took matters into his own hands. He had Cadet take his hand, led him up to the judge’s bench/chair, took off his black robe…and put it around Cadet. He then gave Cadet the gavel and had him bang it (to make everything “official”). The court clerk told my mom that he had never seen the judge do that before. When I thanked the judge, he dismissed it saying “he’s four and needs to feel special too”.

After a few pictures with the judge, we filed out of the courtroom, and all trooped down to the Court Recorder’s office to file everything.

Afterwards, I thought a lot about how I felt during the process. Pumpkin is over 10.5 months and I’ve known him since birth. While the official court date felt, well, official…it also felt redundant and awkward. I’m Pumpkin’s mom, and I have been for almost a year. How I treat him or feel about him doesn’t change because a judge signs a piece of paper. And, what of his other mom…the court process didn’t include her. The judge didn’t ask about us upholding our communication agreement or doing what we can to keep an open adoption. I felt angry about that, and I’m still feeling angry about it. Every one was congratulating us…but what about the loss that adoption also represents? How do we/should we honor those emotions?

When I texted MsV, telling her about the finalization and how much love Pumpkin was getting. She said she was glad that the legal process was over for us and especially happy that Pumpkin was getting so much love and attention. We exchanged a few more texts about general things, but then it was time for bed. I so wanted to reach out to MsV and give her the biggest hug!

So, without further ado…here’s Pumpkin…I’ll leave it up for a few days. And, yes, he wears a lot of orange.



Categories: Adoption, Celebrations, Pumpkin | 12 Comments

And, I have a 4 year old!

Cadet turned four on the 20th. It’s amazing how much he’s changed and grown since last year. I can’t believe that he’s so verbal and curious and loving and adorable.

His birthday was a simple affair: train ride in the morning with my father and me, homemade mac/cheese, presents, and cake. He only really got a few presents, but they were BIG hits: a roundhouse and tunnel for his train set, and a Magna-board for fine motor practice. My mother gave both the boys a few gifts for “the family”: a tree puppet, a little music box, and a bag of musical instruments. But, there was nothing overwhelming or too crazy about the gifts.

It was great having my parents here. Cadet has been talking for weeks about “riding the long train” with my father…so getting to do that with him was very special for all of us. While we were on the ride, my mom decorated some of the house, put out the cake, and did a little cleaning. McRuger and Pumpkin were sleeping during most of that time.

There were no meltdowns (other than a small one because he couldn’t bring his birthday cake to bed with him…), there were no tantrums, and it was a calm, peaceful day. In Cadet’s words: “it was fantastic”.

He fell asleep with a smile and slept well.

Four seems like such a milestone in my mind. I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s because it’s really the first birthday that Cadet really had a say in…he dictated what he wanted. And, it’s the first birthday that he really seemed to enjoy.

I know I don’t post many pictures these days, but here’s one of Cadet after running club a few weeks ago….


Categories: Cadet, Celebrations | 2 Comments

An anniversary.

Yesterday, McRuger and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. And, to do so, we hired Iggy for the entire day to watch the boys. And we rented a swanky hotel room across town.

For 6 hours, we had glorious couple-time. We watched an Avenger’s movie we hadn’t seen yet, napped, read (I knitted), and had “adult time”. It was lovely to just feel free of responsibility…or at least we didn’t have to worry about little ones as we enjoyed each other.

It’s quite something to think about all we’ve been through. We talked about all our ups and downs…and how far we’ve come as individuals and as a couple. Some days it just feels like yesterday that we walked down the aisle in that small white church. Other days it feels like an eternity.

Of course, back home, the kids were having a wonderful time. And, when we finally arrived home from our break…the dishes were done, the kids were smiling, and the floors were swept. On top of that, Pumpkin actually napped quite well and ate well too!

So, that was our Monday and I feel better equipped/rested to face the week.


Categories: Celebrations, Marriage, McRuger | 2 Comments

Rolling with the punches…

Sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches…no hitting back, no fighting. That’s essentially what’s been happening here.

  1. McRuger’s back has been bad/out for a very long time. He’s getting PT (physical therapy) on a weekly basis which has helped a little. Plus, he’s on daily medication to help ease his pain levels . His family history is rife with back issues (his mom has had two back surgeries), so it isn’t a surprise that he has issues too. Sadly, any progress he has made toward less pain has been incrementally slow. So much of the (literal) heavy lifting has been left up to me.
  2. Two weeks ago, I had to have some major dental work done. A filling had fallen out and developed a cavity underneath. I had to have a partial crown put in and it wasn’t pleasant. Thankfully, our dentist is a wonder with the Novocain and so I barely felt anything. However, it put me out of commission for a day or two.
  3. McRuger has been slammed at work. I mean really slammed. Not a day goes by that McRuger doesn’t feel overwhelmed and buried.  And, that’s contributing to his general feelings of tiredness and anxiety. It’s hard to see him having so much on his plate when he comes home, we aren’t used to him having much pressure at work…but he’s feeling a lot of it now.
  4. My mom was on chemo for a month for her eye cancer. It wasn’t pleasant. And, on her second-to-last dose, she had a major allergic reaction to the meds, which made it risky to complete her treatment. Last week, she had her evaluation to see how well the chemo was working. While the size of the cancer is smaller, it didn’t disappear. The doctor told her that he wants to see her again in a month and if the cancer is still there, then they will be doing surgery. Apparently, the doctor thinks that a month off will be good to get her strength up before anything else happens. Of course, my mom (and all of us) were upset that the cancer is still there…but are hopeful for the next steps.
  5. Late last week, I came down with a nasty allergy attack/cold. To be clear, the allergy attack actually turned into a nasty cold. Sore throat, congestion, watery eyes, and an awful cough…that just seemed to get worse. So, I went off to my doctor who told me I just had a nasty cold and a viral eye infection to go with it (??!!??!). Mostly, I have just felt exhausted most of every day, which makes taking care of the boys a bit more challenging. Thankfully, McRuger has been doing everything he can to get me rest. Finally, today, I am starting to feel just a bit more normal.
  6. Speaking of rest…sleep is NOT going well in our house. After we moved Pumpkin into his own room, we rediscovered how sensitive Cadet is to noise. When Pumpkin wakes up crying, Cadet wakes up too. Their rooms share a wall, and even if they didn’t…our house is so small that Cadet would hear it anyway. About half the time, Cadet is able to put himself back to sleep. The other half of the time…he’s not and he’s awake for ridiculously long times. Just last night, he was up at 3:30am, and is then AWAKE until he naps (or doesn’t) later in the day. And if Cadet is up…he’s not quiet…which makes getting Pumpkin back to sleep a HUGE issue. There are some nights when the whole house is up at crazy hours just trying to get the kids back to bed. All of this is to say that McRuger and I are constantly tired (Cadet and Pumpkin too…). It’s been rough.
  7. A few months ago, our immediate neighbors to the south of our house were evicted. It was a good thing. They had aggressive animals, piles of trash everywhere, and were really loud. However, as the owner has started cleaning and renovating…the neighborhood has been inundated with rats and mice (which were living in the large trash piles on the neighbors property). We found out that we had a rat (or two) in our garage and I freaked out. I am not a fan of rodents being anywhere close to my living spaces. We’ve trapped two rats, and have cleaned out the garage of any food (canned or otherwise), and I think that was the worst of it. But, our garage is due for a huge clean-out just to cover our bases.
  8. Early last week, Cadet and I were playing in the back yard as Pumpkin slept. I heard a large crack and snap from one of the trees over our house. The drought has stressed everything, including trees that are over 100 years old. We came out front and saw a HUGE branch (about 8 inches in diameter, and over 6 feet tall) covering part of our sidewalk and most of the turn lane on the road. A few feet in the other direction and there would have been a hole in our living room. I called the non-emergency police number, who sent out a community officer…who moved the branch onto our lawn (???) and told me that someone would be out to take care of it within a few days. Yeah, no one ever showed up. Thankfully, our generally incompetent gardner (part of our rent) took care of it on his weekly rounds.
  9. It looks like our arrangement with Iggy (the sitter) won’t be happening. We had a tentative agreement with her to work 12 hours a week for a set price. But, this morning, she texted me and said  she might be getting a more “permanent” job. Boohoo.

The bright spots!

  1. Cadet potty-trained himself (day time only…night time is another matter). We’ve tried to potty train him several times over the past 18 months, but it never quite took. After several conversations with our pediatrician and Dr.M, we put potty training on the back burner….all of us agreeing that he just wasn’t ready. We simply allowed Cadet be with us in the bathroom (if he wished), ask questions, and observe. About a month ago, we put a toy car in the bathroom…telling him as soon as he peed in the potty…the car was his. And, two weeks ago, he did just that. We’ve had no day time accidents in two weeks, which is awesome. By now, he’s not getting new cars every time, but occasionally will get a few chocolate chips just to reinforce the behavior. Once he’s got his own rhythm down, we’ll start working on night time training…but that’s something I’m willing to let go for a while.
  2. I attended a large homeschooling conference earlier this month and it was interesting. The main thing I took away from it was that I am making the right choice for Cadet and our family. I attended some great sessions, met some very cool people, and spent WAY TOO MUCH money on books. We officially start “home schooling” on September 1st. I have two other local moms who will be joining us weekly for some craft projects and mama-chats. It’s going to be fun…and a challenge.
  3. Pumpkin is cruising…and he’s fast ya’ll. Seriously, this kid is always moving. He’s strong and moving….which makes things interesting. He can’t stand being confined for more than a few minutes…so folding laundry is kind of a joke. Thankfully, Cadet has been awesome at helping find toys and objects for Pumpkin to safely play with.
  4. Our seventh wedding anniversary is coming up next week. We’re not doing anything special for it…other than McRuger taking the day off. If Iggy is available, we may see a movie or have dinner. But, it will just be nice to know that we’re doing well and feeling close…despite all the troubles we’ve had.

As usual, I’m reading blogs…but not commenting much. Reading has been hard with my eye infection…mostly, I’ve been watching re-runs of old shows as I nap (when I nap…).



This is part of Microblog Monday. If you don’t know what that is…click here!

Categories: Adoption, Homeschool, Household, Marriage, McRuger, thoughts | 3 Comments

Some adoption stuff…


After a hurried rush of phone calls and emails with our adoption social worker two weeks ago, Pumpkin’s adoption paperwork was submitted to the court. And, after a few e-mails last week with our attorney, we have a finalization date! The first court date available is two months out, but who cares…we have a date!

There’s apparently more paperwork to complete for finalization…something about itemizing ALL adoption expenses for the judge. But our attorney has said that most of the work will fall on her. Yay!

It looks as if both my folks, McRuger’s parents, and AE will be in attendance for the actual finalization!

In terms of MsV, I recently sent off a book of Pumpkin’s first 6 months. Just a bunch of photos that are all in one place for her to look at. I deliberately kept most of them just of Pumpkin, with just a few of Pumpkin and Cadet or one of us. I know she still feels very raw at times about the adoption, she’s said that a few times. So, I wanted her to have pictures just of him as much as possible…but also a few photos showing his life with us.

We’re still in very regular contact with MsV…usually every few days we text back and forth a few times. Nothing earth-shattering, but I know she appreciates the contact.

At the same time, McRuger and I are coming up with plans to do a swing through MsV’s and MsJ’s states over the holidays this year. I know MsV has mentioned several times that she can’t wait to have Pumpkin in her arms again and to meet the person he is becoming.


MsJ’s life has been a roller coaster over the past 6-8 months. Lots of changes, uncertainty, heartache, and then more change. While I won’t go into the specifics, it’s been very rough on her (and occasionally on our relationship). We’ve gotten several calls where she’s been really upset and not knowing what she should do next. Of course, we’ve helped her when we could and offered a shoulder for her to cry on.  Thankfully, contact has been very regular and we’ve been able to be there for her when she needed us.

Today, however, she called me with good news. Really good news. Her path seems to have taken a small turn towards the positive. And I’m really hopeful that the good news she shared with us will be the first step to lasting positive change in her life.

With all of this contact, my relationship with MsJ is growing deeper. She and I have both commented that it feels like we’re more than just friends now…. Both McRuger and I have talked about how wonderful it is to have this kind of communication with her. She and I talk about race relations in America, how to raise boys, recipes, and how we feel about parenthood. McRuger has also had a few long conversations with her, which she says she really appreciates. She loves that Cadet has McRuger as a father….a figure that she wishes she had more of growing up.

Of course, more than anything, we talk about Cadet. And now that Cadet is quite verbal…he talks to her too. She’s “Mama J” and they talk about everything from running club to his favorite foods to what toys he likes. It’s the sweetest thing ever.

So, those are the adoption updates. More coming soon on the other stuff going on…namely…chaos in our lives. Hope you are all well!!




Categories: Adoption, Cadet, Pumpkin | 3 Comments

It’s Tuesday…booooo!

This post has been in the works for about a week now…I just haven’t had the time to sit down and really write.

1) Stuff with my mom’s cancer got complicated…see my previous post. This caused a whole host of problems, but eventually seems to be a good thing.

2) Two weekends ago, started Cadet in a Running Club. Cadet loves to run, and I thought it might be a good idea to give him some experience running with a professional. This particular club is run by a former Olympian and is in coordination with a very elite university Track and Field program. For 45 minutes, Coach J, shows these kids everything from how to have a perfect starting position to how to do a long jump. Occasionally, various Olympians and coaches stop by to help motivate the kids. Cadet’s Club is for 3-4 year olds, so everything is pretty basic (what shape is the track, proper hand placement for starting a run, where elbows should be during a run….). Coach J even gets the parents involved…I actually ran laps…and I haven’t done that since high school soccer practice. Cadet, of course, LOVES IT! He’s a natural!

3) Pumpkin is mobile. The instant he’s put on the floor…he’s moving. It’s still not technically crawling, but he’s still insanely fast and curious. I’ve started to baby-proof the heck out of our living areas. Nothing is safe. We’ve also moved him out of his baby rocker/crib into an official crib in his own room. That has been a HUGE change for everyone, but most of all for Pumpkin. It’s taken him a while to get used to it. But, the move has been good. Oh, yes, and he’s still not interested in solid foods…

4) Cadet and Pumpkin still love each other, and it’s insanely cute. The first thing Cadet wants to do in the morning is play with Pumpkin. And Pumpkin always looks for Cadet when he wakes up in the morning. Slowly, Cadet is learning about what are safe activities with Pumpkin and what aren’t, and he is very good about keeping Pumpkin away from “danger”. Watching them play together just melts my heart. Of course, there are still moments of melt-downs and tantrums…on both sides. But, at the end of the day, they can make each other laugh and smile…so I’m pretty happy.

5) I am tired most of the time. Pumpkin is still not the best sleeper in the world, and most of that falls on my shoulders. He doesn’t have good self-soothing techniques yet, and we’re not forcing the issue just yet. That’s a different post topic however…

6) I’m really feeling good about the homeschooling stuff I’m working with. I’ve been writing up some “lessons” and then one of my Facebook friends wrote out the curriculum she’s been using for her kids, and I’ve been working with that too. At the end of summer, I’ll be attending a big homeschooling conference and I can’t wait to mingle with other homeschooling families. Cadet and I are “officially” starting homeschooling on September 1st. And, I’m using this time to really prepare for what I want that to look like. So far, lots of art supplies have been purchased and stored!

7) As of this month, I’ve been blogging for 6 years. That seems like such a long time…and at the same time…it seems like just yesterday. I wanted to devote an entire post to the anniversary, but realistically…that ain’t happening. But, wow…6 years. I have seen so many blogs come and go. About 90% of the blogs I used to follow are gone. At my blogging “peak”, I was following about 150 blogs…most of them infertility-related. Now, I follow about 25 blogs or so…most of them related to parenting or adoption. My online community has changed SO much.  In reality, it doesn’t seem so much like a community anymore, which is sad. I’m not sure what changed…maybe it’s me.

8) After several suggestions from mommy friends, I finally purchased a membership to the local kid’s zoo/amusement park. And, I’m totally glad I did. Cadet LOVES it. There are unusual animals to look at, a petting zoo, rides for little kids, and lots of places for moms to sit and relax…while the kiddos are happily entertained by puppet shows or jugglers or while they are strapped into (for the 4th time…) the car-ride. We’ve been 4 times in the last two weeks, and every time has been quite the adventure. McRuger even took a half day last week to join us…it was quite a bit of fun.

9) Pumpkin’s adoption finalization has been pushed back, and I’m rather pissed about it. Our social worker  was supposed to file for finalization last Tuesday, didn’t. She, apparently, didn’t have some information that she needed…and so spent the rest of last week frantically e-mailing me for various pieces of information. Frankly, it was all information that she should have had, or could have clarified with a quick call to our attorney. Instead, I got a long series of e-mails from her that I had to do the leg-work on…especially annoying since our attorney was in and out of the office last week…and is completely out of the office this week. I finally got the last bit of information yesterday (from MsV’s attorney) and emailed the social worker. Just to find out that she’s “out of the office” until Wednesday. Apparently, our paperwork is supposed to go in before the end of this week, but I’m not holding my breath.

10) I want to do a whole post on how Cadet is doing with his SPD. But, since I’m not sure when I’ll have the time, I’ll give you the shortened version. Dr.M and I had a very long talk last week during his session about what the future looks like for him. She’s very pleased with the progress he’s been making, especially over the last 6 months. He’s now “seeking” quite a bit less than he used to, and it shows. Cadet, who has never been a fan of sitting down to one task, is now able to sit and complete puzzles or work on a project. He’s choosing activities which are much more age-appropriate (building things…rather than just playing with cars…). Dr.M has suggested that we start reducing sessions even more. At the moment, he’s at one session per week. So, we’re going to move that to two sessions a month by the end of summer.

11) Contact with MsJ and MsV is ongoing and so positive. MsJ, although she’s having a rough time in her life right now (again) is in regular contact and I couldn’t be happier about that. MsV is doing well, as are her other kiddos. She recently reached out to me to get some advice about some trouble she was having with her boyfriend. We chatted for quite some time and at the end, we both said how nice it was to connect again. McRuger and I have been talking about spending some of our holiday time this year, traveling to visit both of them. By that time, Pumpkin will be over a year (and better prepared to travel) and Cadet…well he always enjoys going on planes!

Well, that’s about all from here. I guess the last thing I should mention is that today is McRuger’s birthday! YAY! And while our plans for his party fell through…we’re going on a date later today, and we’re both looking forward to it!


Categories: Cadet, Family, health, Other Stuff, Pumpkin | 1 Comment

Update on my mom…

So, things got complicated with my mom’s cancer. The surgery was supposed to happen at her local hospital with the doctor she’s been seeing for 10 years. Just a few days before her surgery, the doctor said that because the cancer had progressed so much, he was sending her to a university hospital (about an hour from us). This threw my parents into a tizzy (and subsequently, us too). They don’t like traveling, they don’t like hospitals, and it delayed my mom’s eventual surgery by a week.

They were supposed to come down my direction, and spend the weekend here before my mom’s surgery. Sadly, that meant canceling McRuger’s birthday party with his friends, and just have it with my parents (not the ideal, but what was needed…). My mom really wanted to see the boys and spend time with them.

Turns out, plans changed even more. My mom saw the specialist last Friday. He told her that he’d prefer for her to try chemo (in eye-drop form…who knew that existed?) before surgery. This news changed all of their plans…and in the process…all of ours.

My parents saw the boys for all of 3 hours, before rushing off to the hotel for some sleep and then driving home with a cooler full of chemo drugs (again, who knew….). While it was good to see my mom, it was hard to see her so emotional and weak. She’s normally the warrior of the family…meeting every challenge head-on. But, I think the anxiety of this has really worn her down.

In the end, it sounds like this route is a bit safer for my mom, with potentially less recovery time. She’ll be seeing the specialist again in two weeks, just to see how things are progressing. However, the road to this point has been very rocky…and I think mom, dad, Bro, and I are still in a bit of shock that this is what we’re dealing with.

Please keep my mom and dad in your thoughts, this has certainly shaken them…


Categories: doctors, Family, health | 6 Comments

The phone call I didn’t want to get…

This afternoon was progressing relatively normally. McRuger had the day off and we had gotten several smallish projects completed: hair cut for Cadet, laundry put away, armoire fixed, Cadet’s room reorganized, and set a few mouse traps in the garage. The grocery shopping was done and the afternoon was in front of us…

Then my mom called. Her cancer is back. About 12 years ago, she was diagnosed with melanoma (skin cancer) on her eye. I know, I hadn’t heard of that either. She had it removed, without significant loss of vision. It was scary, as it was the first real brush with the mortality of my parents (although they caught everything early). After a very prolonged healing time and a few setbacks (she actually went blind for a few days…), her eye healed up and she was fine. But, since then, her eye gets checked every 6 months.

And, today was her checkup. The cancer is back, more aggressive, and is covering part of her cornea. The doctor, thankfully, is on top of it…and has her scheduled for surgery next Monday (7/13). The procedure will be more involved, and there’s a significant risk of some loss of vision.

When my mom told me, she was trying not to be freaked out. I could hear it in her voice though… When I talked to my father, he was even more upset. They are both trying to down-play it…making it seem like it’s less of an issue. I’ll call Bro tomorrow and see what they told him. Often he gets different parts of the story.

Of course, the call shook me up. My mom has been rabid about eye care since her first diagnosis. She always wears wrap-around sunglasses and no makeup/perfume/or chemical cleaners. And, to hear that it’s back is really upsetting. Of course, it plays into my own health fears. And, I’m due to get another liver sonogram sometime this month…which isn’t helping my anxiety either.

I honestly don’t know how best to help my mom through this. The last time, I was a full time teacher in the midst of the end of the year. Now, I want to do more…which is hard with two kiddos. But, I will come up with something. I figure that Bro and I will come up with some meal plans, a few visits from grandkids, and maybe some treats (books on tape…). Any suggestions are welcome!

So, if you wouldn’t mind…send some healing/healthy/happy thoughts to my mom. That the surgery isn’t as complicated and involved as they are saying it might be. And that her vision isn’t impaired. Thank you!

Categories: Anxiety/Worry, doctors, Family, health | 10 Comments

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