Friday, January 23, 2009

JT's MRIs are done!

Today, in the early hours of dawn as Paul left for work, my babies both crept into our bed and conformed their little bodies to my warmth. As I stirred gently from my sleep I wrapped my arms tightly around each of them and breathed a sigh of relief as I settled in for my favorite part of the day. Today I can walk around without a vice on my chest, and I can look at the rainy sky but see hope, because yesterday JT's MRIs came back clear!

JT checked into St. Joseph's yesterday around 8am, then went through a barage of paperwork and questions. He was so brave, teasing the nurses and pretending to be asleep! Finally at 10am I carried him back to the MRI room, where the anesthesiologist gave him gas and he drifted off to sleep. His little eyebrows were pursed with worry, and I masked my own fear as the nurse ushered me from the room. An hour later I sat in recovery holding him as he twitched and fought his way back from the imposed darkness. In years past this was the worst moment, he would wake in confusion and completely hysterical as we held him down. This year after about a half an hour of rocking his tiny limp body he gradually lifted his head up and peeked out at me, and with a sideways little smile he let me know he was awake! At first he was wobbly, and didn't understand why he couldn't walk. So Tish and I loaded him and hospital monkey in a huge wheelchair and wheeled him over to the Cancer Center for his neurological exam. At some point the last of the anesthesia cleared and he happily informed us he could walk and discarded the wheelchair. Dr. Loudon's PA spent at least a half an hour with JT, examining him thoroughly and even playing Guitar Hero on JT's DS! The exam was completely unremarkable, JT's vision in his bad eye has even improved a bit. Other than that ongoing issue JT is completely healthy, and will be seen again next year. Next month his speech, hearing, and vision will be re-evaluated, but these tests are mostly for progressive purposes.

JT is at school running and playing with the other children, no one doubts he is the same, and I only hope he can hold on to that illusion a bit longer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The night before...

It is bedtime for the babies at 8 pm, like every other night in our home. Tonight is different though, tonight JT knows he will not be in school tomorrow. He will be hooked up to an IV with a child-size IV stand at St. Joseph's pavilion being put to sleep for MRIs of his brain and spinal cord. I will sit in the waiting room and read, pretending like I am well-adjusted to this entire ordeal being that I have been living it for the last 25 years. This time though, that is my baby in there. It is my baby who cannot see out of one eye. It is my baby who has been having problems with motor control and hearing. It is my baby who will scream and cry helpless tears when they stab him with little needles. It is my baby who will be limp and unconscious as he is rolled on a gurney to recovery, where I can only hold him tight as his body shudders against the anesthesia. Over the last few weeks JT has asked several morbid questions. He asked me if an elderly family member was going to die. He told me when I died, he would miss me. He told me when he is an old man, he does not want me to die. He expressed a lot for a tiny 6 year old boy. Just now as I tucked him in to my bed his eyes welled up with tears that he was obviously attempting to choke back. I asked him what was wrong and they spilled over onto what were once precious chubby baby cheeks. He said I don't want to be knocked out Mommy, I don't want them to look at my brain. I smiled for him, put on the brave face that all parents must put on at times, and stroked his hair as I soothed his fears with calming words. I told him it would be fast, Grantish and I would be right there with him the entire time, and he could have a popsicle. My little man is no longer fooled by such platitudes, he has come to understand a tiny piece of his reality, and I could only be proud as he wiped his tears and pretended to feel better for MY sake. What an amazing child he is. Right now he sleeps, and I know his dreams are probably shadowed by anxiety. I miss his innocence and wish it were still easy to bribe him with cookies and ice cream. It seems my little man is already growing up, and neither of us has a choice.

So frustrated!

My house is a disaster area. The kids' room has still not been repaired, and it looks like their stuff was thrown up allover the rest of the condo! The constant chaos is making me anxious. We leave in 3 more days for a week in New Mexico with Paul's family. Tomorrow JT finally has his MRIs, and Saturday my Nani has her 80th birthday party. I am desperately trying to get some laundry done, but have to push a bookshelf out of my way each time I do a load. I was really hoping this would all be rectified by yesterday so I could clean the entire condo today and be able to come home to a clean house when we return. Instead I will be opening the door to a madhouse and dragging in a week's worth of luggage and dirty laundry to add to the piles! I am seriously freaking out! I think I need to do some yoga, if only I could find a patch of floor anywhere.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Running my own race

I ran an awesome 13.5 mile run yesterday in 2:40! At almost 12 minutes a mile this would hardly impress most runners, but I always run my own race. I don't worry about the people around me, or what a person may think, whether running, blogging or just living, I always run my own race. I was proud of my run yesterday and spent the remainder of the day relaxing. We walked over to the empty school and played until the sun started to go down and the air turned chilly. We packed up the van and had some great Mexican food down the street, dos coronas por favor, y dos horchatas. When our babies were tucked in tight cuddled up in our bed watching Toy Story, Paul and I sat trading foot rubs and retelling stories. I know all his stories and he knows all of mine, but still we sit laughing and just breathing together. We headed to bed early and as I fell asleep in his arms I knew this was the life I was meant for.

I have to share the easiest and yummiest vegetarian pizza recipe ever!

1 pkg of whole wheat Trader Joe's Pizza dough or make your own like I usually do
1/2 jar of Ragu or mix tomato sauce, tomato paste and fresh herbs of your choice. If you choose to make your own, steam and puree veggies and hide them in the sauce!
Shredded cheddar cheese vegan optional
Lots of fresh veggie toppings I use red bell pepper and zucchini

Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray. Roll dough out to edges and top with all ingredients. Bake at 400 for about 10-15 minutes!

Serve with sweet potato fries! Just slice into rounds, toss with olive oil, pepper, and sea salt. Bake at 400 on a tray sprayed with cooking spray until soft and edges start to brown, about 30 mn. Just stick them in first while you assemble the pizza then add the pizza and both will be done at the same time!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Cleaning, fighting, worrying, cooking, laughing, running, reading, sleeping... It seems I do the same things repeatedly. I'm happy with where I am in life, I think monotony is a symptom of monogomy, and I longed for this type of structure for so many years before finding Paul. Now for the first time in so long I am questioning decisions I have made, and personal truths which have turned out to be lies. This is what they mean when they say people grow in a marriage, and have to find ways to grow together rather than apart. I have no doubts about Paul at all, I know we will work this through, we have gotten through much worse together and will continue to for the rest of our lives. In the meantime I am left to hash out my issues without splashing them allover my family.

Yesterday I went for a much needed run while Mica was in playschool. It was just warm enough to be hot once I started, and the glare of the sun forced my eyes to squint down at the ground as I pushed forward, trying to leave all of the questions and fears far behind me. Redhill runs on a loop, so no matter how fast I ran that 9 minute mile, I still ended up in the same spot. After 3 miles of what seemed like pointless circling, chanting my mantra in my mind, "Pain is temporary," I was right back to where I started. What I had accomplished was still within me but I had not traveled any actual distance.

Update on Paul's courtdate, he showed up and they informed him his arraignment has been pushed back until March 2nd, this is the second postponement since he was originally released. He has still not been assigned a public defender, and I do not understand why the DA gets months to build his case against Paul while he has no one to do the same on his behalf. All of the anticipation and worrying, but nothing has changed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Assaulting My Peace of Mind

A few months ago my husband went to a bar after work for some beers with the guys. At the bar some jerk was pushing and being a general rabblerouser, and pushed Paul. Paul defended himself and they got into a fight. Paul backed off and left, then a bunch of people jumped the guy with broken beer bottles and left him unconscious in the street. Paul was arrested at his car, and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon, even though he had only gotten into a fist fight not of his own making, and had absolutely nothing to do with the man being jumped! He spent two days in jail, partly because I waited to bail him out. I was so angry, disappointed and scared. I felt betrayed. Here I am doing my part in our marriage, and he is off drinking and getting in bar fights. Finally I realized it was just a "man thing," and if he didn't get out before Monday he would lose his job. When he came walking up the road from the jail in a white jumpsuit I have never felt so relieved and terrified at the same time. I ran and jumped on him, he was probably completely shocked, expecting me to be infuriated. At the moment all I could do was hold him tight, and wonder how long until he may be taken from me and locked up?

Today, 3 months, a lot of fighting and tears later, is Paul's arraignment. The charge has been dropped down to Assault with Intent to Great Bodily Harm. He left early this morning without a kiss goodbye, all that will happen is he will appear before the judge and say Not Guilty. He will meet his public defender, and hopefully his PD is able to get the case thrown out. I really don't even understand why they are pressing charges. In my mind's eye all I can see is the DA pressing forward with the charges, and the judge sentencing my best friend to 2 years in prison. The other man in the fight told the police he initiated the confrontation, and did not want to press charges. So many good men get in bar fights, I have several memories of my own Dad with a black eye and a secret smile behind my Mom's back. As long as everyone keeps it clean, I honestly think people involved in a simple bar fight should get a ticket for a misdemeanor. Instead Paul is facing actual jail time, and if that really happens I cannot begin to imagine what that will do to our family. I am praying they put him on house arrest, if only so that I can make fun of his ankle bracelet. Paul seems completely detached from the situation and does not act worried at all. He is convinced he will be offered a deal, and will be able to negotiate so that he does not spend a single day in jail. I don't understand how he can sleep so deeply and chuckle so ruefully at my frightened tears. The fines and court fees alone could crush us.

It is so confusing being horrified at the idea of Paul being taken from me, and so ridiculously angry at the same time. It's not possible to maintain that level of emotion for 3 months, so somehow we have found a balance, and are living each day as normally as possible. Paul completely unaffected, while I walk around feeling like an anvil is about to crash into my world. I can only hope Paul comes home in a few hours and says the charges were dropped, but if not, we have a long and complicated road ahead of us.

Friday, January 9, 2009

You don't love me like Edward loves Bella...

Ok Wendy tagged me for the whole 4th picture in my 4th album thing! Last time I went into my computer documents, so this time I'll use my personal files...
That's Darci and I at MNO at melting Pot! Aw I like that pic, Darci is cool beans.

Yesterday I spent the day with my BFF Miena, Miena is super gorgeous and the nicest person I know... seriously.

Anyway she was telling me about some books she was reading, all about boundaries in relationships, especially in a marriage. I tried to imagine establishing boundaries with Paul and could see him laughing at me. Paul and I are way closer than any 2 people in love should be, and I'm not sure it's a good thing for our marriage actually. We see every part of each other, and discuss every thought, there are no secrets, even from our pasts. We've been best friends since I was 15, so in all of the hard times I went through, Paul was witness to my worst behaviors. The benefit of this is that I know Paul loves me for who I am, not for a person I have concocted to manipulate him into thinking I have always been such a positive person. I have seen Paul do his dirt as well, so there was no disillusionment on the day we vowed to be together in life and death. However, my Mom always said people treat the ones they love the most, the worst. Meaning Paul and I will say horrible, nasty, and unecessary things to each other over the most ridiculous arguments. When it happens my entire being goes into turmoil, hot tears sting my eyes, my chest constricts, my hands clench and I just want to scream and push it all away. As we hurl insults into each others faces all I want is for him to grab me fiercely and sooth my soul with loving words. I want him to love me like Edward loves Bella, paralyzed with fear at the idea of causing my tears to spill. I once told him this, and as the words escaped me I crumpled into a ball on the couch, crying hysterically at the idea of opening my eyes to my reality. Somehow, Paul recognized my breaking point, and came to me, and held me tightly, looked deep into my eyes and said, "It's just a book." Which to him made complete and total sense, and I could see myself in the reflection of his liquid honey eyes, not just my smeared mascara but the ridiculousness of my demand, and I only cried harder, because I really and truly want Paul to love me to that extent. That is the root of every dramatically infused battle we have ever fought, I know I love Paul so much that I would act stupid over him. I am stupid over him, only for him. No man in my adult life has had the ability to reduce me to a silly little girl, crying over a young-adult vampire novel with cheap mascara staining my skin. I don't have any leverage in our day to day disagreements, never would he act the fool over me, and maybe that is all I want is to see that I am his weak spot. I want to know that he sees me as worthy of anything but anger, I want to see pain and know he hurts the way that I hurt when our marriage struggles. Instead I see only strength and pride, and am oddly jealous of his ability to maintain that facade. One day I hope Paul and I find our balance, and learn how to interact without controlling each other, otherwise I'm going to need some water-proof mascara...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Angel Baby

Black and White

He is so damn handsome! I'll make a Mica one tomorrow!
imikimi - Customize Your World!


Damn it cuts off!!!

Putting the plan into action

I am losing the battle of the bulge. All the days of calorie restricting and ab constricting have been erased by just 1 month of gluttony. Wii Fit has no chance against this, even with its patronizing reminder's that it has in fact been 9 days since I have used it. I have just 3 weeks until we visit New Mexico, where I will no doubt backslide into nights of 12packs of Bud Light. If I don't get this under control by then, all hope will be lost for my "Bikini by Summer" resolution. There is only one thing left to be done... a complete detox and total calorie lockdown. I started a detox program called Thisilyn Cleanse, and am hitting the gym hard twice a week with a long run on the weekends again. I'm starting with 3 miles each gym trip working on intervals and hill training, and 13 miles on the weekend. I plan to work my way up to 25 miles total a week. If Wendy's son Chase will stop coughing on everything then we can finally start running and biking together once a week as well. Just typing all of this out I somehow feel skinnier... nope still pudgy... damn.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can't you see I'm trying to get my buzz on?

What the hell is wrong with people? No, really, somebody please explain to me why people would take their children out on the Las Vegas strip at 11pm on a Friday night? Last weekend Tish was nice enough to offer to keep the kids while Paul and I went to my cousin's house for dinner, we of course took advantage and stopped for some drinking. We found ourselves on the Strip at 11pm, drinking a yard long sugary margarita from La Salsa and walking in circles, which is apparently all there is to do in Vegas unless you have a lot of cash. At a stop light I leaned over to kiss my husband and he stiffly pulled away, I was of course immediately irritated and was like fine then, I hate you too. He glanced over and I followed his gaze to a little toddler sitting in a stroller waiting to cross with us. I told Paul, and not even in a polite voice, I'm not altering my behavior because someone was rude enough to bring a baby out at night. When they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, they don't mean the one-night stand babies. All night, up until 1 am, I saw strollers and cold, tired looking little babies. Seriously, doesn't Nevada have some sort of CPS?

Not that California is any better. A few months ago I saw a tiny baby out at Yardhouse at 10pm on a Saturday. Seriously people, all you are telling us is you are too broke to afford a sitter, and inconsiderate enough to crash everyone else's night. I didn't spend an hour trying to make myself look 20 again to be stifled by your child's presence. Maybe you could try something child-friendly, like HOME. Why have children if you are not willing to sacrifice the odd weekend party? I have stayed home on many a Saturday night playing with my children, and have immensely enjoyed it. Just to make it clear... if people are taking body shots and girls are stumbling out of the bathroom, take your underage leg clinger and go home!
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