Jenster's Musings

Friday, February 29, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm going to be very busy this weekend doing nothing. Seriously. I have the pleasure of a ton of alone time and I'm going to fill that time with flicks of the chick variety, books and computer. Coffee will be flowing freely and I may even throw in some Vermonty Python ice cream for good measure. I'm not going to go totally crazy with the eating, though.

I'm picking the kids up from school and taking them directly to church where they will get on a big bus and head to Harrisburg for PCTC - Pennsylvania Christian Teen Convention. They went last year and it was an awesome experience for all the teens.

My only glitch in the whole Weekend-To-Myself plan is another stinkin' cold. It's not a terrible cold. Mostly a full head - scratchy throat, plugged up ears, postnasal congestion. That sort of thing. But it made me miss Home Team this morning and I'm not happy about that! I drove the kids to the bus stop because it was about 12 degrees outside with a decent windchill and when I went upstairs around 7:20 to start getting ready I decided to lay down for a few minutes since I had plenty of time. The next thing I knew it was 9:10. Home Team starts at 9:00. Then I rolled over with the intention of getting up and making it for at least half of bible study and the next thing I knew it was 10:00. So I gave up. But I feel the loss of connecting with my Homies.

Oh wait. There may be another glitch. We're supposed to get some snow and possibly ice tonight which means I'll have to shovel the drive way tomorrow since my snow blowers will be in other parts of the country. That will cut into my indulgent plans and I'm not thrilled about that. But oh well.

But I am looking forward to having the remote control all to myself. I'm looking forward to catching up with all my blog buddies without hearing someone say "You spend more time with people you don't even know than you do with us." (I've never actually heard anyone say that, but there's always the risk.) I don't have to prepare any meals, do any laundry, be nice to anyone... I'm excited.

Both the kids asked me if I was really happy they were going away. Geesh. They make it sound so horrible when they put it that way. I told them I was thoroughly looking forward to some time alone, but that by Sunday I would be so happy to have them back. Hopefully I didn't damage them any more than I already have. Driving Taylor to the bus stop in my pink robe and then cuffing him upside the head for messing with the buttons in the car in front of some of the neighborhood girls did enough of that.

And trying to pretend our life is a musical after watching Dream Girls and singing our conversation with a little dance move thrown in here and there seems to really bother him. Not Katie, though. She just plays along. OH! That reminds me of when she was very young - probably around four or five, maybe a little older. I would tell her to go clean her room and then spy on her from around the corner. She would walk around the room very dramatically, singing, "My mother told me to clean my room, but I don't want to-o-o-o-o-o-o. Why must I do these things she asks of me-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e?" It was hysterical! I so wish I would have gotten that on tape. She was starring in her own little version of Katierella or something. So funny!

Back to all of my family being gone. I suppose I could have lied to them and tell them how sad I was going to be, how miserable my lonely weekend would be, how I would probably spend most of the time crying, blah, blah, blah. But they would have caught on pretty quickly and lying is just wrong.

Lucky Todd gets to see his new niece and nephew - The Pretty Princess and Tank. Or Olivia and Nicholas. I'm very jealous. VERY JEALOUS! They are so cute! We're going to California for Christmas (in Palm Springs) and I'll get to see them then. But this very weekend -- nay, this very day he'll get to hold them and squeeze them and munch on them... Jealous I am. (I talk like that because I'm part hobbit. Remember?) My mother-in-law cracks me up because she's so worried my children will think she doesn't love them any more now that she has two new grandchildren. How wrong she is, but I can't figure out how to convince her of that.

Ooo! Look at the time!! It's almost time to pick up the kids!!


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Mused by Jenster :: 1:10 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book Meme

Katybug at Watercooler Wisdom tagged me for this fun book meme. She's changed the rules ever so slightly and I'm going to play along.

1. Grab the book you are currently reading and turn to p. 123
2. Go to the 5th sentence
3. Post the next 3 sentences
4. Tell the name of the book and author
5. Tag 5 others

So here I go:

Had the news of the Guise attack reached them? They bowed, hats in hand.


The book I'm currently reading is Written on Silk by Linda Lee Chaikin. It's the second in the Silk House series and what a fabulous series it is. The main character of the series, Rachelle, is a dressmaker who has been commanded to Catherine d'Medici's court to make dresses for the Princess Marguerite. But Rachelle is a Huguenot and Catherine is plotting with the Guise brothers in the beginnings of the French inquisition.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the series. There's intrigue, suspense, murder, romance and quite a bit of history. Good stuff, Maynard.


The original rules of this meme say to grab the book closest to you so I'm going to do that, too.

The Old Testament philosopher would have no idea how decadent and ridiculous the trash would have gotten 2,500 years later, but he could have related well to U2's interaction with it. He could have found only empathy with the band's interrogation of the meaninglessness of the horizontal and its constant probing for something else – the search for hope that might be found above the sun to make sense of all the nonsense below it. As U2 went for a ride along the surface of things, Bono confessed that his heart was where it has always been, but his head was caught in between.

The book is Walk On – the Spiritual Journey of U2. Todd's been reading it and from what I understand from him and others, it's very good. Very interesting.


I'm not going to tag anyone, but please feel free to do this fun meme if you haven't already. Just be sure to let me know you did it!

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Mused by Jenster :: 10:07 PM :: 7 People musing:

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Monday, February 25, 2008

I've Been Inked

I made a trip into the city today for the final step in my reconstruction - my tattoos. Just like every other phase of the entire breast reconstruction experience it was kind of weird. I didn't get Celtic knots or targets or even a rebel flag and a girl duck (Dixie and Daisy). I chickened out and didn't even ask.

I have to go back in four weeks for touch ups and I'm going to start laser hair removal of my underarms at that time. I'm so excited. I think insurance should pay for that as well since the need is a result of the mastectomy, but they don't see it my way.

Every time I look at my new chest I'm put in mind of hobbits. Why? Because when they were filming the Lord of the Rings movies they used the belly hair of a Yak on the hobbits' feet. When my surgeon grafted skin from my tummy to make a left breast I ended up with belly moles, stretch marks and some hair I hadn't even realized had been on my stomach.

**My boobs don't resemble the feet of hobbits and the hair doesn't look like Yak fur. I don't have Magnum P.I.'s chest now and there is no cleavage plumage or anything like that. Just so you know.**

Having the image of a hobbit pop in your mind when you see yourself in the mirror is a little disconcerting. The technician told me today she would remove that hair without charging me or insurance for it. YEA!

All this excitement has exhausted me so I'm going to bed now. But I leave you with a few snapshots of Valley Forge. I took pictures of my tree but they didn't turn out very well. The sky was too blue and the sun was in the wrong spot to show the contrasting colors of the branches and trunk. I'll have to go back when it's earlier in the day and a little more dreary.

I must have seen 100 deer today and it wasn't even dusk. You have to be very careful driving through Valley Forge because there are herds of them and they will run out in front of you.

I just can't figure out why the Continental Army starved back in 1776 with all this venison around!

An original farmhouse that was used by the Continental Army.

Reproductions of the bunk houses used by the soldiers. I thought the snow lent a special touch.

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Mused by Jenster :: 4:12 PM :: 21 People musing:

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Friday, February 22, 2008


On my way back to bed after "powdering my nose" at 4:00 this morning I looked out the window and look what I saw!

Except it was darker. At 5:15 the phone rang and it was the school district informing us school was closed today. I told the children the happy news so they could turn off their alarms and then fell back to sleep. Todd was supposed to be in a class today, but they cancelled it yesterday so he had already planned to work from home. How convenient... for me. It was 8-ish when I came downstairs and Todd had made a pot of coffee. Oh happy day!

Ben wasn't quite so lucky, though. He still had to go to work today. But first he had to shovel out his car.

Todd cruelly told Ben he was going to watch him from the window while sipping a mug of hot tea. And he did. Katie stood there with him, both of them knocking on the window and waiving cheerily in their warm jammies. All I want to know is where is the love?

While I don't like our brass lamp post, I do like the pretty light bulb inside and the tiny icicles hanging from the top.

A couple months ago I meant to buy the kids snow pants, but we never got around to it. We hadn't had any snow, after all. Katie was griping that she only had jeans to wear when I remembered my old ski pants in my closet. Why I still have them is totally beyond me. I'll never be able to wear them again. Ever. In fact, I had to buy a larger size of overalls the last time I went skiing (12 years ago or so). Todd got those for Katie at first and while she didn't exactly swim in them, she waded.

So I got the old ski pants for her and they fit! Well, they fit over her size 0 jeans with a bit of room to be comfortable, but the belt cinched at her waist perfectly and the length was just right. Proof that I haven't always been this "pleasantly plump"! And no, I've never been a size 0 or a size 2 or a size, well, just suffice it to say I've never been that tiny.

Don't you just love the orange hat? All fuzzy and warm. I don't know why she's not smiling. The girl has been a poser since she was a baby. She could be pouting or fussing but as soon as she saw the camera she was a fashion model. I suppose she was antsy to get outside in her new snow pants and I was boiling her vibe.

"Where's Taylor in all this?", you may be asking yourself. He was still in bed until about 11:00 or so. Saving his energy for shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, no doubt.

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:21 PM :: 24 People musing:

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Give Me The Coffee And No One Gets Hurt

To say I'm not a morning person is an understatement. I hate getting out of my snuggly bed when the alarm goes off and I don't like to talk before I've had that first jolt of caffeine.

But because I'm the best mom ever not the worst mom in the world I do get up early and drive Katie and her friends the half a block to the bus stop so they can sit in the warm car until the bus arrives. Lucky for Taylor he's a boy and does the whole "Negative 20 isn't that cold unless you're a wuss" with the other ridiculous high school boys while the fog from their breath crystallizes before their eyes and shatters to the ground, because I'm not usually ready to get out when he leaves.

So where was I? Oh yeah. Katie and her friends. That means three to five teenage girls in my car. Was I like that?? (That's a rhetorical question and does not require an answer.) I'm afraid one morning I won't be able to see well enough to drive the 50 yards home because my eyes will be permanently crossed.

Usually I make my coffee early enough so I can take a cup with me and then it doesn't seem so bad. A steaming cuppa joe and all is right with the world. This morning, however, it didn't happen. I managed a shower before the bus stop, but didn't get the coffee on in time.

But honestly, it wouldn't matter if Katie was the only girl. She's a bright thing, but sometimes she doesn't use her head. Like when I practically shove her out of the way so I can get to the coffee maker and she starts her incessant talking. About what, I have no idea. My mind can't keep up with her that early. She could be Charlie Brown's teacher for all I know. Wah wah wah wah. You can read a sampling of a typical Katie commentary at Make Her Stop, Please.

If I thought anyone would obey it I would make a rule stating there is to be no talking until mom has consumed at least a half a cup of coffee. Instead this morning I was challenged with this hypothetical question as I was throwing "rich, aromatic" grounds into the maker. "If there was only one cup of coffee left in the world how far would you go to get it?"

Huh?? What kind of horrible question is that? Are you trying to throw me into a panic? Do you want to see me completely wig out?? Not only was she talking to me, she was trying to make me think. Not only was she trying to make me think, she was striking at my Achilles' heel. And enjoying my very obvious discomfort.

So I got the coffee started and it was time to leave. No liquid fortification to deal with the squealing teenage females. Even so, they're very funny and sometimes I forget I'm a middle-aged mom because I end up being silly with them.

Supposably we're getting another "winter precipitation event" after midnight tonight and maybe, just maybe school will be delayed tomorrow. That way I'll have plenty of time to make AND consume mass quantities of coffee before I have to deal with anyone!! A girl can hope.

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:57 PM :: 25 People musing:

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Mr. Darth Tater Head

Look what I -- I mean the kids made at preschool this morning:


Mused by Jenster :: 2:18 PM :: 10 People musing:

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And The Love Never Ends...

There's yet another award making it's way around bloglandia and yours truly is the latest recipient. The presenter is Deb, the lovely lady I have already established as kind. This is just more proof of it.

Thank you, Deb!!

Deciding who to pass this on to was made slightly easier by the fact that quite a few bloggers have recently received this so I won't pass it back to them. That still leaves a bunch of deserving folks, though. *sigh* I settled on two ladies who always leave such encouraging comments.

Eileen at A Life of Triggers is truly one of the most giving people I've ever had the pleasure to "know". She's a wife, a mother of three teenage girls AND a social worker. She sees things that most of us would run away from screaming all the way. But she selflessly does what is best for her clients and their families. Not just anyone can do what she does and to do it right she has to have a big heart. And from what I've learned of her in the months I've been reading her blog, she's got the biggest heart around.

April at For His Glory and My Good is a humble, huge-hearted wife and mother of two young children. Her words are always gentle and encouraging, sweet and funny, honest and inspiring. Her family has dealt with tragedy in the last year and yet her faith shines through in her words. In short, she lives out her faith on the pages of her blog.

*edit - April has THREE children, not two! Duh!!*


Mused by Jenster :: 5:24 PM :: 14 People musing:

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Monday, February 18, 2008

I'd Like To Thank My Publicist...

Lynilu at Never Ending Journey has a most excellent blog. So much so that her blog has been rated E for Excellent - a very fitting rating.

She turned around and rated four other blogs with an E, including mine. Boy, was I humbled to be rated alongside these other fine bloggers! So now it's my turn to rate another blog or two. As all of you know, this is so hard! I think all the blogs I read are worthy of an E rating. Otherwise why would I read them?

I've decided to pass the "E" rating along to two of my new favorites. Funny thing is, they're related. AND I get to meet them both in the fall. IN REAL LIFE!

Sing4Joy at Southern Living and Other Peeks Into My Psyche has a truly Excellent blog. Her husband is currently in Iraq and she sometimes posts these wonderfully touching excerpts from his letters home. She also writes funny, sweet and encouraging posts. Not only does she sing for joy, she exudes joy. Add to that she's now officially a professional photographer and you've got a completely Excellent package!

His Girl at His Girl's Blog also has an incredibly Excellent blog. She's a speaker and an author and generally the person I want to be when I grow up - except I'm older than she is. She's open and honest and takes us on her walk with the Lord, inspiring me all the time. Not only that, but both of these bloggers are FUNNY! And I love funny.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is EXCELLENT or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:7-9


Then I received this very "kind" award from HisGirl. (Those of you who know me very well are probably snickering at how I've fooled everyone. Yeah. Me, too.)

Now I don't tolerate unkind people and I've found the majority of bloggers I hang out with (virtually speaking) are very nice. Everyone on my blogroll easily deserves this award, too. But I've got a pretty hefty blogroll going so that would take forever. Instead I'm going to pass this on to two as well.

Deb at The Daily B is always kind. She is a sweet, sweet girl with never anything snarky or mean to say. NEVER. How many of us can say that?? Well, not me anyway. And you can just look at her beautiful smile and know she's kind. She happens to live in the vicinity of my in-laws so I plan on meeting her someday, too.

And Katybug at Watercooler Wisdom... Or Lack Thereof is always kind. She's pregnant with Little Bug - a muy surprise blessing - and she still manages to be nice! Of course, I am a little biased because she shares the same intense adoration of the delectable fluffernutter as I do. Some day we're going to meet in real life and chat and laugh over fluffernutter sandwiches and chocolate milk.


Mused by Jenster :: 9:16 AM :: 19 People musing:

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

What's Been Going On

Wednesday night Todd and I went with Ben and his fiance, Katie (not to be confused with our Katie) to a Shane and Shane concert. For those of you who aren't familiar with contemporary Christian bands you probably have no idea who they are. They're a pretty awesome accoustic (mostly) band and a lot of fun to see. David Nasser was there as well. This guy is a great speaker and what a story he has to tell! He was born in Iran, saw his father dragged from his house and had a gun held to his own head when he was 9. Somehow his family managed to escape to America after that. He went to church with a high school buddy when this friend told him the five hottest girls at school went to the same church. He eventually became a Christian and is a very funny, gifted speaker with quite a powerful message. There's a ton more I could say about him, but I won't. Just suffice it to say that our "Valentine's date" was great!

Friday night we watched the fourth disk of season one of the Gilmore Girls. I had to keep asking myself, "Gilmore Girls or Prison Break"? You know, my two favorite television shows are LOST and Desparate Housewives. Those are the two shows I don't like to miss. Every other show on TV I can do without. I'm pretty sure I could draw comparisons there, too, and maybe narrow down my favorites to just one night a week. Nah...

Saturday morning was the quarterly ladies' brunch at church. What a bunch of fun that is! I'm a little sad I have to wait three more months for the next one. After that Todd and I went walking at the park. I thoroughly enjoyed it except for the fact it was around 30 degrees and a bit windy. It was my first taste of being ready for Spring.

Everybody is off tomorrow and I have no idea what we're going to do. All the stuff I'd like to do is outdoor stuff and it's too cold for that. Movies are expensive and the Camden Aquarium (like I'd been thinking about) is going to be mega-crowded. The kids are harder to please now that they're getting older. Gone are the days of driving to the really cool looking gas station with the Espresso Bar inside and giving them a thrill. Heck, it's even lost some of its appeal to me.

OH! Katie and I bought about 50 pounds of candy on Friday for our DVDathon and I found a green bag of nothing but green M&Ms. If you don't know the significance of green M&Ms - and it's not because St. Patrick's Day is around the corner - you can read about it here. There's a hoochie-mama green M&M on the front and it says, "The New Color of Love". But that's not the funniest part. In smaller letters under said hoochie-mama it says, "Sweetie... it's all true."

When we got home I told Todd I had a surprise for him. After pulling the Milk Duds and Twizzlers and Sour Gummy Lifesavers and Goobers out of the bag (and I can't figure out why I'm not losing weight) I pulled out the M&Ms and threw him the bag. His first words were, "I don't need these!" Silly boy. I bought them for me.

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Mused by Jenster :: 4:34 PM :: 20 People musing:

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Heart Trees

Check out this picture Katie took with her cell phone while waiting for the school bus one morning last week. Isn't it pretty? And do you see the heart in the middle?


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Mused by Jenster :: 10:05 PM :: 24 People musing:

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ten Years Ago Today

The preschool party that morning proved to be just a little too much for a three-year-old Katie.

Whatever was on the TV that afternoon was fascinating!

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Mused by Jenster :: 3:01 PM :: 20 People musing:

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Prison Girls or Gilmore Break

I mentioned on Friday that Todd and I were going to watch Gilmore Girls that night, but instead we watched Ben's first season of Prison Break. Which, when you think about it, is the same show with a different backdrop.

Gilmore Girls - Two attractive brunette relatives.

Prison Break - Two attractive brunette relatives.

Gilmore Girls - The younger of the two attractive brunette relatives is a genius.

Prison Break - The younger of the two attractive brunette relatives is a genius.

Gilmore Girls - These two attractive brunette relatives reside in a quaint, charming community.

Prison Break - These two attractive brunette relatives reside in a quaint, charming community. (Have you seen what Martha Stewart was able to do with her cell?)

Gilmore Girls - The quaint, charming community of the two attractive brunette relatives is home to several quirky characters.

Prison Break - The quaint, charming community of the two attractive brunette relatives is home to several quirky characters.

Gilmore Girls - The two attractive brunette relatives very rarely, if ever, leave their quaint, charming community.

Prison Break - The two attractive brunette relatives very rarely, if ever, leave their quaint, charming community. (Granted, we're only on disk 2 of the first season.)

Gilmore Girls - Romance among people in the quaint, charming community is not an uncommon theme.

Prison Break - Romance among people in the quaint, charming community is not an uncommon theme.

Gilmore Girls - Walking is the preferred method of transportation in the quaint, charming community.

Prison Break - Walking is the preferred method of transportation in the quaint, charming community.

I'm sure there are other, more obvious similarities, but you see what I mean. It's the same show, just dressed a little differently.


Mused by Jenster :: 3:57 PM :: 18 People musing:

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Cold is Relative

I have one of those really cool bedside clocks which not only reflects the time on the ceiling; it alternates with the outside temperature. When I went to bed last night it was 12 degrees. Every time I rolled over I would glance at the temperature and watched it dropped down to 5.

Of course I couldn't make Taylor walk the half a block to the bus stop at 6:55 when it had only warmed up to 8 degrees with a wind chill of -7. That's -21.66 Celsius! I'm pretty sure I've never been anywhere so cold, making this all kind of exciting.

Then I turn on Good Morning America and there are places with wind chills in the negative 40's. Duluth was -42, which interestingly is only -41.11 Celsius. All of a sudden -7 isn't so impressive.

We've had one decent snow this winter and it only lasted about four hours. The glorious 2.5 inches was washed away as the snow turned to rain. Talk about lame. It's not right to have cold weather and no snow. What happened to the blizzard conditions of Valley Forge? Not that I want to eat my shoes because the weather prohibits me from buying groceries. I just want some snow. One decent snow where we're stuck in the house for a day and the kids go sledding. That's all I'm asking.

***By the way, did you know Valley Forge only had about 6 inches of snow on the ground that terrible winter? But it was bitterly cold, cold enough to cover the Schuylkill River with ice.***

I know those of you in the frozen tundra (Chicago is part of the tundra, right?) are laughing at me and that's okay. My skin is thick and I can take it. Oh! We've warmed up to -4!!


Mused by Jenster :: 7:32 AM :: 24 People musing:

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy Friday!!

Friday means I get to sleep in as late as I want to tomorrow. I've been so tired lately that I may just stay in bed until lunch. Probably not, but just knowing I can makes me nigh giddy.

Friday also means that I get to meet with my Homies. I adore that about Fridays because I love my Homies. A few of them weren't able to make it this morning and I missed them, but I was sure happy to be with the ones who were there.

We're doing Beth Moore's study on the book of Daniel and it's some powerful stuff. I find it interesting because several years ago I wrote a play for VBS on the book of Daniel. I read the entire book a few times and then each chapter numerous times as I wrote each scene. It's fair to say I have a pretty decent knowledge of the whole book. But Beth Moore digs deep and reveals fascinating tidbits that writing a children's play just doesn't uncover.


I'm sick again. Not terribly so, but enough to be exhausted and feel a bit icky. No worries, though. As I said above, I get to sleep in tomorrow morning. And if I do nothing more than lay on the couch all day after that then no biggy.


Katie tried out for the school play and made it. We don't know what part she has, but the play is the comedy Lagooned. Here's a synopsis:

Just sit right down and enjoy a tale - a tale that combines parts of Fantasy Island, Treasure Island, and Gilligan's Island. Now you've got some idea of what's in store when you're lagooned. In this sequel to Tim Kelly's ever popular play, "Don't Rock the Boat," some favorite characters do their best to survive on a weird atoll in the South Pacific, the home of cannibals, jungle drums, and nasty wildlife including a gorilla! They don't realize the island is actually part of Fantasy Tours, an organization that stages shipwrecks for clients willing to pay the price. The phony natives think the ship's loonies are customers and the loonies think the natives are genuine. Naturally, when the belching volcano demands a bride, the hilarity explodes! Oh, yeah, the U.S. Navy has mistakenly designated the island for target practice!

Looks fun, doesn't it??


THIS JUST IN - Katie is watching Everyday Italian and Giada De Laurentiis throws in a "tablespoon" of butter. I made the comment that it was more than just a tablespoon and Katie says, "Mom, it's an Italian tablespoon. And not only that, but you know how the camera adds 10 pounds." The silly girl makes my heart smile.


The silly girl also frustrates me. Did you know that 13-year-olds know much more about applying makeup than middle aged women? Yeah. I'm not lying. Just ask Katie.


Taylor is off having an airsoft battle with three other 10th grade boys who think it's fun to be shot by little plastic b.b.s. Katie is going to a dance at school and then coming home with three other girls for a sleep over. Todd and I are probably going to watch more of season 1 of the Gilmore Girls tonight. It doesn't get more exciting than that!

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Mused by Jenster :: 3:33 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Thursday, February 07, 2008


So much to say, no time to say it! I have a bajillion blogworthy subjects - or maybe about four - and not enough time to write them down. I also am so far behind in my blog hopping.

I know I'm not nearly as busy as so many of you other bloggers are and yet you manage to visit all your blog friends and post consistently. What's your secret? I need a new system. Can you help a blog-sister out??

BTW - Spell Check isn't working. Anyone else having that problem? (And please forgive any spelling errors.)


Mused by Jenster :: 8:15 AM :: 24 People musing:

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Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm a Fraud

I'm one of those people who are generally pretty good in a crisis. I tend to remain calm while I'm going through it, but as soon as we're "out of the woods" I break down.

When Taylor was 9 months old we couldn't get him to wake up one Saturday morning. He'd sort of open his eyes, but didn't seem able to keep them open. His little lips were gray and his breathing was shallow. Todd was very ill with pneumonia so I strapped Taylor into his car seat and made the 30 minute drive to the emergency room in about 15 minutes.

There was no waiting for me and we were taken into a private examination room instead of a curtained area. He was listless during their examination, he didn't flinch when they swabbed his nose, and their faces told me a whole lot even though their mouths didn't. It seemed like forever though it was only short minutes when the doctor said they needed to do a spinal tap to rule out meningitis and a nurse escorted me out of the room. His words were burned into my memory - "Your baby is very ill. You need to be prepared for anything."

I knew what he was saying to me, but I refused to freak out because it wouldn't do any good. We didn't have cell phones at the time so I found the phone in the waiting room and called my frantic husband. I can only imagine his feeling of helplessness. He wanted to be right there, knowing what was going on. But it turned out he wasn't even allowed at the hospital.

My sick child was so out of it he didn't twitch or move a muscle when they did the spinal tap. But thankfully it wasn't meningitis. It was RSV and severe dehydration. He was admitted to ICU for 24 hours until the crisis was past and then the general pediatric floor for four days after that. My parents still lived in California at the time and on day three my mother showed up at the hospital so I could go home, see Todd, have a shower, eat something normal, change my clothes. I wouldn't leave Taylor alone and with Todd banned from the hospital because of his pneumonia I'd had no breaks. (Not knowing any of this was going on, Todd's doctor wanted to admit him. When Todd explained our situation - and that it would be too much for me - the doctor agreed and made Todd promise to come into the office every day for a shot of something or other.)

I don't believe I cried at all while I was in the hospital with Taylor. Never once. Partly because I didn't figure it would do me any good and partly because I worried if I started I might not stop. And it wasn't about me. It was about my baby. I had to be strong for him. You can bet I did a lot of praying, though. And so did my heathen (at that time) husband at home.

Todd's cousin, Joe D., picked my mom up at the airport and drove her to the hospital. What a relief it was to see her. Taylor was still undergoing breathing treatments, but by this time it was clear he was going to be fine. I walked outside for the first time in three days and drove home - much slower than I'd driven there. I talked to Todd for a little bit and then went to take a shower.

You know how wonderful a hot shower feels when you haven't had one in a few days and you're feeling uber grungy? As the water washed the previous days away, so did the tears that came rushing out. I think I ended up sitting on the floor of the shower, arms wrapped around my knees and sobbing uncontrollably. Not tears of despair, but tears of relief and tears of gratitude to God. All the emotion I'd been holding at bay poured out. The dam was breached and there was no turning back.

After my shower I felt wonderful. Inside and out. I took the best nap of my life in my own, comfortable bed; I ate something besides hospital food; I spent a little time with my recovering husband; and as I drove back to the hospital I felt lighter than I had in several days.

That event is a rather extreme illustration of how I tick, but it's the best example I could think of. And the reason I brought it up is because of my experience last week. I say I'm a fraud because I kept telling everyone I wasn't worried about my bone scan. But it wasn't just everyone else I was saying this to, it was myself. I must be a pretty good actress because I believed me.

After I'd received the call from the oncologist I made a few phone calls, sent some e-mails, posted here on my blog I ended up in a total funk. I didn't react the way I had with Taylor's ordeal, but I did have a bit of a breakdown in the form of withdrawal. I wanted to be with my family and I wanted to be alone all at the same time. I felt like one of those rubber band toys that you twist and twist and twist until it won't twist any more and then you let it go. Except I hadn't realized I was being twisted so taught until I was released.

I guess it was bothering me more than I appreciated. Even Friday morning as I was getting ready for my Homies (named for my ladies' home team - bible study - by my fellow Homie, Tina) I was a bit funkitated. It was rainy and dreary outside and I was feeling blah. But just pulling up to the house we were meeting at was enough to make me feel better. And then those crazy women finished me off.

So you see. I'm not as brave and calm as I seem to be. Oh, I think I am at the time, but afterwards I realize I was just suppressing my anxiety. Still, this mechanism has served me well so I don't imagine I'll be changing any time soon.

And the last thing I have to say about that is this. Any perceived strength or bravery on my part is simply an extension of my faith. It's the way God made me - a chip off my mother's block - and it's a gift. But I don't handle anything without my God. When I start to feel anxious I ask for peace and He gives it to me. When I start to feel depressed I ask for joy and He gives it to me. And I love Him all the more for it.

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:08 AM :: 24 People musing:

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Friday, February 01, 2008

I Need Your Knowledge

I'm asking for recommendations regarding Immunity Boosting Supplements. Anybody got some good hints?? My oncologist always says excercise (blasted word) is the best way to boost your immune system, but do you have any other suggestions?


Mused by Jenster :: 1:49 PM :: 17 People musing:

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