Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today is my first Thankful Thursday post. When you read down below at what happened today, you might think I'm crazy that today of all days is when I decided to start this. But, I figured, why not? I still have a lot to be thankful for and besides that, I feel I need to throw some sort of thanks out into the cosmic universe before anything else happens...

You know, like I lose an eye or a leg or something.

Today I am thankful that my beautiful, gorgeous son is healthy and happy.

Today I am thankful that Mr Man still has his busy job that will help us out in this trying times.

Today I am thankful that we have a roof over our head and food in our stomachs.

Today I am thankful that my mother in law is still with us even though her cancer is progressing very rapidly. And I'm thankful that she's been able to spend a couple of days here and there with B even though I'm sure it tires here out like crazy!

Today I am thankful that my mom is still with us so that when I had my mental breakdown today, and wanted my mommy, I could call her and cry on her shoulder and she made me feel a whole lot better. Like moms do!

Today I'm thankful that my sister is my best friend. I called her the minute I left my office today and she cheered me up a little and assured me everything would be OK.

Today I'm thankful for all of the friends I have online, past and present. Seriously, you guys are the best! I had TONS of comments and posts on twitter and FaceBook commiserating with me. Trying to make me feel better. Friends I went to high school with, blogging buddies, twitter friends. Where else can you get support like that anymore?

Now that I've listed my thanks (did you hear all those Universe???) I can tell you all the shiz that's gone down at Casa de Crazy just this week alone.

There was a $200 roof repair bill. Then Mr Man accidentally dropped his 2 way walkie talkie radio outside our house. Someone walking by stole it before he realized he'd dropped it. That was in a span of ten minutes. Literally.

My cute nephew Malakai, 6 months old, had to have heart surgery this week to repair the half of his heart that was not working when he was born. He was a really sick little boy at birth and it was very touch and go for a while there. He was not strong enough, or stable enough, to have the surgery done as a newborn so they had to wait 6 months to repair the defect. Luckily, he is doing awesome now. He's such a trooper!

I've never had the chance to hold cute baby Malakai in my arms. His mom lives in another state but she's supposed to be moving back here soon. I'm hoping I'll get to hold this beautiful chub of a baby soon enough. Isn't he sweet?

We're trying to get ready for a vacation to the Jimenez Family Reunion this week and it seemed everything was conspiring against us. The first few things piled up and it was tough to keep pushing forward. But we did.

Then we had a collection agency come after us for some stupid gym membership that was supposed to be canceled long ago. That Mr Man had canceled long ago. Now they wanted interest and fees! So that battle was on.

Then remember the brand new tires we just bought? That cost $800? Ya, one of them was flat. Flat! WTH? Had to have it repaired. Luckily for us, our one break, it was under warranty.

Then I got laid off yesterday! After 7 years of employment with this company. SEVEN YEARS!!!! Out of nowhere! I am just flabbergasted. It's the one time I can say that word and know it's EXACTLY how I'm feeling right now. I'm just stunned. It came out of nowhere!

So there you have it. My lovely week in a nutshell. But still, there's a lot to be thankful for right? I still have my health.. Oh wait, I don't have that.

Hey, I have my legs and my eyes. And my family. And all of you!

XOXOXO Love you guys!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Our Trip Sponsored By Elegant Boxed Wine & Malibu Rum

A couple of weekends ago we went camping with some friends and family in Manti-La Sal National Forest. If you live in Utah, it was a loooooong way up Spanish Fork canyon.

Normally I love camping and since we bought a tent trailer and I no longer have to sleep on the ground, I've loved it even more. (Seriously, who enjoys sleeping on the ground? Sadists? That's torture right there for me. It's bad enough it's freezing cold at night but then to sleep on a bed of rocks? PASS!) To be honest, I was not looking forward to the trip that week because someone had a crap attitude about going and how much work & packing it was going to take.

And no, that someone was not me. This time at least. Surprising isn't it?

Here's a pic of our campsite, which was gorgeous btw... Our friend Floyd went up the night before and was brave enough to leave his trailer there overnight to secure our spot for us.

Meet Sam Wow. A gorgeous pure bred that my sister adopted the week before from someone really, uh, poor. (Ya, click that link and see the pic of their house. I made sure to leave them some information on local food banks and shelters. I'm a giver!)

Sam spent the weekend stealing food from plates, waiting for plates to be left unattended so he could steal them, and eating anything out on the table. To be fair, when you're holding a hot dog and sitting in a chair, his face is eye level with your hand. He took that as the "go ahead, take a bite" invitation. We saw him eat at least 2 turkey burgers, a hot dog and a carton of sour cream.

Oh, and he also took time out of his busy eating schedule for a little frisbee...

Saturday morning was the only time the weather fully cooperated with us. The rest of the time it was cold, cloudy and drizzling so don't be fooled by all the pictures of sunshine and smiling faces. Mostly there was frowns and complaining of how damn cold it was. Ok, THAT part was just me. I'm a baby...

Here's my kiddo running through the meadow. In hindsight, he was probably running away from his cousin G because they spent the entire weekend fighting and bickering. They're like brothers that way.

Normally when we go camping we tell the kids to take a hike and amuse themselves while we get drunk and pass out. Er, while we "relax." This weekend though, we went with a couple who was more prepared then I've ever been and they brought things for the kids to do.

Horseshoes anyone?


And the most popular activity of all... dog snuggling. This 4 legged friend is our dog, Izzy, who was a big cry baby all weekend because of how cold it was. She spent more time in the trailer under the sleeping bags then we did. And when she did come outside, she had to be wrapped in blankets or stuffed in our coats around the fire to keep warm. Isn't that what their nice shiny coats are for? Warmth?

There was a lake "near" our camp that we decided to take lunch to and let the men do a little fishing. It was "near" camp in the way that the sun is "near" the Earth. Took forever to get there. We totally should have packed snacks for the drive up there. Just sayin...

To get to the lake you have to pass this beautiful creek first. Which was running higher then normal because of all the damn rain we've had lately in Utah.

This is where the braver part of our camp decided to cross the creek on foot. As you can see I am not in this photo. I didn't want to, uh, get my camera wet. So I stayed back to let them try it out first.

This picture right here is the *exact* moment B decided it was too cold and didn't want to go any further.

Here's my cute nephew T who came to his rescue and saved him from frostbite on his toes. He had to carry him all the way to the other side.

This is where our friend took my sisters car first into the creek. He's no dummy. He wasn't testing it out with his Durango until he saw how deep it came up inside the car.

And he made it! For the record, it took about a week for her waterlogged horn to stop sounding like a dying duck.

This is our friends Durango after crossing the creek. (On the return trip, the plate was pushed completely up against the bumper.)

This is when we finally reached the lake part of the excursion. After hours of driving in 4 WD, climbing mountains, stopping for naps along the way, we'd finally made it.

My son sat inside the back of the truck and made the other kids toss the ball to him there. Lazy or genius? I'm going with genius because I would totally do that!

View of the lake... This is where we all got eaten alive within seconds of getting out of the car. Luckily our friend remembered to bring the bug spray with her which warded off the millions of other skeetos that came to have lunch at our expense.

The only one who decided to fish was my nephew T. The other guys could "tell there wasn't any fish" just by looking at the water. Whatever the hell that means! He sat there, uncomfortably, while we stared at him fishing for 15 minutes, until he packed it in so we could have lunch.

Last pic was taken as we were leaving on Sunday. The kids appear to be having a good time and are actually smiling for me. Most of the weekend was spent with them asking me to get the damn camera out of their face.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still No Concrete Answers...

I still don’t have many answers from my surgeon about the test results. Not surprising. It’s always been a “wait n see” kind of game with these tumors. You’d think after a few years of dealing with this, I’d be more patient. But no, I haven’t.

The test I went for at the hospital was awful. “Here, drink this barium while we contort your body into different positions.”

“Yes, ma’am I know this has the consistency of paint but you have to drink it for the test to work properly.”

“Ma’am, ma’am! You have to swallow alllll of it!”

“Turn to your right side… Lay down on your back…. Turn back to your left… Stand up please…. Lay on your stomach…”

“Now we need you to do a handstand please…”

Ok, that last part didn’t happen but totally could have that morning. As if it’s not awful enough that you have to drink 6 different cups of barium shit in different consistencies ranging from a melted milkshake to PAINT, you have to contort yourself into different positions for 45 minutes so they can make sure the barium covers everything. I wanted to vomit but of course made myself keep it down. If I would have puked, they would have made me start the test all over again. To which I would have said Hell no because once was quite enough. (Needless to say I was sick from that much barium for at least 3 days after the test.)

At the end of the test they have you swallow a pill of barium which is supposed to be about the size of chewed up food so they can track it from your throat down to your stomach. I guess to see if there’s any snags along the way. I took it and I hear one of the techs behind the glass go “Huh” in that kind of tone that’s like “huh, that was weird.” or "Huh, maybe she shouldn't be wearing pants so tight that I can see the cellulite on her ass!" So he tells the tech in the room with me to make me do it again. So I do and that’s when I hear.. “There it is!”

He comes out to tell me that while there were no “large” tumors or blockages that they could see, there was “something’ in my throat. RIGHT where I’ve been telling these doctors I can feel a lump. It seems the pill they had me swallow twice got stuck in the same exact spot. They were both stuck there for a good 2 minutes before continuing down to my stomach. Unfortunately for me, the technician said they would have to run a different test with better definition visibility or some such crap to see what “it” exactly was.

So I guess I’m in limbo again. Waiting for the final report from that test, for a new test to be ordered, and still waiting for the results from the blood work and biopsy they took.

You will all know as soon as I know what the hell is going on.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Waving My Rainbow Pompoms

I’m switching it up a bit today, taking a break from the depression that has been my blog lately. I know that if I don’t, I’m going to have to start setting out Prozac and Cymbalta in candy dishes around my place here. “Hi, welcome to my blog. Would you like a mood stabilizer before you read my post? I know it’s a little dark in here but please don’t open the blinds. The darkness is more friendly…”

Today we are blogging for LGBT Families Day! If you have no idea what LGBT means, it stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual people. The day is open for all LGBT families and their allies. I am considered an ally since I am not gay myself. I am the cheerleader waving the rainbow pompoms for my friends and family members I love. Even for those I have not met. (There may even be a rainbow headband and matching wristbands as well. I’m just sayin…) Why? Because everyone deserves the same civil rights. Because it is the right thing to do. Because everyone deserves to be happy.

Anyone who knows me, reads this blog, follows me on Facebook, or basically hears me speak (yes, I am a loud mouth) knows I have strong feelings & opinions about the LGBT community and their families. I strongly support same sex marriage and think it should be legalized everywhere. That’s no secret if you know me at all. I’ve been really vocal about it, especially this past year. I’ve even been told to shut up a few times. That only makes me yell louder. Anyone seen my megaphone?

My convictions were not always so strong. In fact, I used to be very quiet, very shy. Painfully shy when I was younger. After I became a mother myself, I felt this need, this driving force, to make the world a better place for my son to grow up. I realized if you don’t speak up, if you don’t say anything, you leave YOUR fate and the fate of your children in the hands of others. People whose ideals are not YOUR ideals and beliefs and convictions. Where does that get you? No where, that’s where.

Every year my family and I go to the Gay Pride Festival here in Utah. Every year the festival is kicked off by a huge parade march through downtown Salt Lake City. And every year there are protestors at the gate entrance screaming hateful propaganda (in what they believe) is in the name of their God. Shouting awful names at peaceful families, couples, friends and allies entering the festivities. We’ve taken Brady every year since he was born and the first couple of years I covered Brady’s ears as we walked past these people to shield him from what was happening. He was too young to understand and too young for me to explain these people to him. People who I believe are so bound in their hate that they can’t and won’t see the love right in front of them. Brady’s third year to the festival I didn’t shield him from anything. He asked me why those “mean people” were yelling at us as we walked past and I tried to explain to him how they thought the festival was wrong. I, of course, got the “Why?” question all mothers get all too often. How do you explain something like that to a 3 year old? After talking in circles for a while, I finally settled with, “Sometimes people hate people that are different then they are. It’s our job to show them that we believe differently by being here and supporting our family and friends.”

In one corner of the festival they have the children’s corner where the kids can make crafts, get their face painted and fun things like that. Last year they did a small kids march and Brady proudly marched around the festival with the other kids. Waving little flags and masks they’d made. I was so proud of him. I kicked myself for the camera battery being dead but I can still see his glowing face in my head. To him it was just a cute little kids parade but to me, I can see all of those children proud and smiling walking through the festival. And the looks on all their parents faces was priceless.

I couldn’t help but wanting to freeze that moment in time. That sense of all of us feeling safe and happy and content; my family included. All of them able to openly hug each other, hold hands, and express affection without any fear of judgment from anyone else. With all of the “mean people” locked firmly on the outside of the gate where they couldn’t hurt anyone.

Why can’t the world be like that? Why can’t we change things so that no one has to live in fear for who they are and who they love? Our children learn their behaviors directly from us. They learn compassion from how we treat others. If all of us made a more conscious effort to speak up and right the wrongs in the world, and our children see this, our world will be a much different place in 10 or 15 years. I strongly believe this.

I believe I’ve said this before but we have more friends in same sex relationships then we do straight friends. Brady honestly has never known there was a difference between myself and his dads relationship and that of some of our same sex friends. To him, it was love and that was it. To him, it was normal for kids to have 2 aunts that live together with a child and 2 uncles that live together and love each other. There was no difference. It wasn’t until he was in Kindergarten this year and someone in class called someone else gay at recess and he asked me what that actually meant that I realized he didn’t really know. I am proud that we’ve taught him to just see people and not labels.

Because there is no difference between us.

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