Monday, December 3, 2012


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

School vacation began (today!), following yesterday's half-day. So far, Joe fell wearing roller blades on a step in the garage....hit his head on the cement floor. Maddie and her bf had a breakup, and possibly a reconciliation. Since school ended (yesterday around noon) Bryan, Joe & Maddie had team meetings - and I went to (both of) mine w/the new varsity coach. Today was a packing-day at Mom's. The kids had 78 fights by noon, Chris overslept so I ran him into Boston....

I wonder what Day 2 will be like?? ;o)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Something'about Christmas-time.....clear through February vacation!!

Christmas in 2009 was great, though a bit of a blurrr. The big deal this year, of course, was my Dad's - Grampy's - stem cell transplant. The tree came and went, but with a big "return" to white lights on it again! The girls and I loved it. Christmas surprises included various electronics and clothing, winter coats and various funky toys. Kathryn and Joe's January school concert was fantastic - my first musician's performance! Joe is playing the saxophone. Kathryn's class sang an *awesome* version of "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. It was great! 

In January Joe's sax/band practices doubled up to 2 mornings a week, before school. Maddie's winter cheer season is reaching it's pinnacle with competition on 2/27 and will hopefully go on to Regional level. Driver's Ed classes are well underway, and the process of doing college research stuff is sneaking it's way in. 

Winter has been very kind to us, with the DC area taking HUGE hits of snow and MA getting very little. I'll take it...mild, gentle, peaceful. Not so bad! February vacation was painfully slow-moving with a lot of bickering and fighting among the kids, but April vacation is within sight. We need to get back outdoors, but having the quiet period with only occasional basketball for an hour a week, I could stay on this bandwagon for a while.


A few pictures from Dec/Jan/Feb. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Few Autumn Pics - 2009

TOP Swans in the lake behind the house:  BELOWMaddie's Confirmation Oct 2009 Kathryn, Thanksgiving Game 2009

Maddie and Scott after the Thanksgiving Game 2009
Natick Falls, Autumn 2009Bryan, Nov 2009 in NorwoodGaining yards (Bryan)
Bryan, Catching some Weymouth action.Joe.....Fierce.

Our Annual Hibernation

The kids and I are on our annual pilgrimage back to Sanity Oasis, via some R & R and hibernation. I didn't realize how desperately we all needed it until it began. Since the last blog update (yikes, that's a while), we hurled ourselves into football and cheer - so much so that I convinced them that the concession stand is "Home Cookin'" - started school, and broke down and regulated the sleep schedule a bit too. I have written, re-written and e-mailed out our family newsletter, saw my Dad off to the hospital and into the Stem Cell Transplant, shopped and put up the tree. Football and cheer proved to be hectic and demanding, but awesome. More importantly Dad's condition continues to improve, thank God, despite some minor speedbumps, such as an infection in his PIC line on Christmas Eve (which his "Team" rapidly treated and resolved) and some swelling in one arm & feet/ankles that brought his weight up thirty pounds! (Those aren't 30 good pounds, and his arm looks like it should be held in place with rope, given the Macy's Day Parade quality it has.) 
So 2010 is looming with lots of question marks. This is the calm before the storm, regardless of whether there is resulting damage or not, I feel like I should be battening-down-the-hatches somehow. My abhorance to becoming a pessimist is in a constant battle with staying a devout optimist. Several friends moved away in the second half of this as far as Arizona (wth?)...and I have to remind myself that the black cloud is coincidental, and not following me around.
Or, rather, it's big enough to be over LOTS of us.
My aunt and uncle's recent medical challenges have been ongoing, and yet remind me that the network of family is SO much more important than I sometimes realize.
In the overall scheme, everyone is ready for a week in front of the fireplace. It would be cool if we could finagle a month, however. I only stacked enough wood for about a week though...I supposed that will have to do!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beach Therapy

Beach Therapy is a beautiful thing. No matter how much sand gets in my suit, nor how icy the water is, or how windy it gets....or how many black flies there are, how much the parking rates have climbed, or who falls backward into my cooler (don't laugh, it happens regularly)....I need some beach therapy. I can't believe summer is nearly over and that I seem to have missed it again! Last year was such an unusual good/bad tweed with all the comforts of fiberglass underpants and I swore this year I would cherish it more than ever before. Somehow I don't seem to have fulfilled the promises I made to myself and I am closing my eyes and clicking my ruby red shoes to go back to July 1 and get a do-over.

Alas, Christian is traveling again, football is underway, school and CCD are starting soon, cheerleading has begun, and down-time is non-existent - until November or so.

I SWEAR next year will be different. Really. But can I get another day or two of Beach Therapy in before this summer collapses in on me like a landslide? $15 to park seems like overkill but $15 for therapy, now, that's a bargain, right? I'm calling for a Beach Day this week. I can't settle down into fall without a fight...

(and apparently I don't ever want to be photographed in color EVER again...esp at the beach!).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My own Bad Medicine...

I suck at remembering to take my daily, really, I suck a LOT. (Insert the necessary jokes about it being birth control and having 4 kids.....have a solid refrehing giggle, and carry on)

I have a 1 month filled script here in front of me, and I have a script for ritalin (which I also forget to take (ironic, cause yes, I forget to take my Ritalin - duh): go from giggle to nearly laughing).....which are both full...from a month (or more) ago. This isn't occasional forgetfulness, this is a determination that supercedes anything right or reasonable...the consequences - by all accounts - are "serious" in nature.

My final surgery for thyroid cancer was in June '00 (the first was in April '99). I have, since, occasionally taken meds, and sometimes feel crappy (and then I resolve to take it again...every day, forever) and read up on it to freak myself into commiting. However, it says that your hair falls out, your face bloats and reddens, you begin to take on an appearance like a ghostly character from ScoobyDoo episodes, and parts start falling off. But seriously, I find things like this (and I swear on my kids I am NOT making this stuff up):

Insufficient thyroid hormones cause body functions to slow. Symptoms are subtle and develop gradually. They may be mistaken for depression. Facial expressions become dull (No, really...I AM smiling...) , the voice is hoarse and speech is slow, eyelids droop, and the eyes and face become puffy. Many people with hypothyroidism gain weight, become constipated, and are unable to tolerate cold. (Can you imagine? Cold all the time? Oh, right, I am....ALWAYS. For no reason. Gotcha.) The hair becomes sparse, coarse, and dry, and the skin becomes coarse, dry, scaly, and thick. Some people develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which makes the hands tingle or hurt. The pulse may slow, the palms and soles may appear slightly orange (What?? ORANGE??? Look at the name of it!) (carotenemia), and the side parts of the eyebrows slowly fall out. Some people may appear confused, forgetful, or demented (ROFL, Yeah, Really - demented. Priceless.)signs that can easily be mistaken for Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.


If untreated (If "untreated", in case those symptoms weren't enough to scare the piss out of you), hypothyroidism can eventually cause anemia, a low body temperature, and heart failure. This situation may progress to confusion, stupor, or coma myxedema coma), a life-threatening complication in which breathing slows, seizures occur, and blood flow to the brain decreases. Myxedema coma can be triggered in a person with hypothyroidism by physical stresses, such as exposure to the cold, as well as by an infection, injury, surgery, and drugs such as sedatives that depress brain function.

So, you see, it's perfectly logical that I might forget to take the medication every day. Who wants legit weight-loss in a once-a-day pill anyway???

Absurd....perfectly absurd. I guess what irritates me is that they SAY all this will happen, but I'm walking evidence that it doesn't (can only speak for my own experience, but hell, is there any other that matters?). So I briefly and unintentionally challenge it...but it's like checking to see if your house is haunted. Tough to pinpoint.
So, again, I vow to take my meds for THIS month...not missing a day and seeing where I stand in 12 - yes kids, TWELVE weeks when it kicks in enough to "see if I feel better". I think we're getting somewhere. Is that not the dumbest thing you ever heard? "I think I'll have a headache or heartburn in November....I better take something now". Dumb. Dumb dumb dumb, Stupid, dumb. 12 weeks. Unreal.
Kick the day off with a good vent...then moving on to something cheerful! In 12 weeks.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Soccer & baseball and spring/summer 2009

Girls Soccer, Little League & Summer Baseball:
Kathryn leaned hard on me and got me to register her for soccer instead of softball this year, and she was so right. She loved it, and was such a natural. There is no doubt she's a that all that's necessary for me to be a soccer mom? Perhaps, but not a natural. Her coach was a very kind gentle guy who was more than happy to teach her and was as stunned as I as she took to the field in those first few games and understood the strategy and game so much better than we assumed she could. On the hottest days the struggle to not overheat was great - baseball is a much slower-paced sport and soccer requires almost constant running....but she made an impression on everyone! The record was solid, the experience was great and she will surely be back!! She already is counting the months until next spring! (The picture to the right is our, soccer, football...amazing sunrise and sunset...newly lit Memorial Park at NHS)

Bryan had a banner year on the Cardinals team with Coach Niles. He learned a ton, had a great record, and endless fun...the baseball trifecta! His Summer Ball teams, historically, have not been open to allowing kids to play a broader spectrum of positions (the favorites remain the favorites for most key positions), which is discouraging at times to me, but not to him. I looked at Summer Ball as an opportunity to hone and perfect strengths - but the key is to expect little from the coaches in terms of their commitment to the "new" kid, and let the kid play wherever the coach puts him. Vital lessons for parents: opinions are yours - keep them that way. Bryan has a great outlook and I'll be dipped if I point out what is obvious to me. Nothing good can come of it, so we don't go there. You hang on an hope for another year like Bryan's was with Tom Niles and crew. That was enough to rejuvinate us for years to come. You walk away a better person, player and team mate. Life lessons & inspiration. Bryan has had several of them, actually...the Greats.

Joe's Defenders team had a more wide-spread variety of skill-sets and understanding of the great sport of baseball (not surprising at his age bracket) his year proved to be more of a challenging year, but his Summer Baseball season has more than made up for it! Summer Ball is nearly over and his team is udefeated. With numerous drastic comebacks from deep in score-hole to double and even triple-play scoring....this team is not powerhouse, but definately a DreamTeam of dirt dogs. Again, he has an awesome coach, and thank God because he'll go right from Summer Ball to football with the same coach - he's ours right into November!

A few pics from the last round (or 2) of sports season...

Now, what DO you suppose that Ump said to get that expression?? Wish I knew...
Kathryn playing goalie for N. Korea (ya, what? N. Korea? I dunno....)
Joey pitching for Defenders
Sunshine & Blue Skies...we're in our glory.
Bryan pitching for Cards.

Bryan Pitching - threw short innings, and pitched nearly the whole game. 76 is the max per game...