Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Friday!

Thunderstorms and rain abound, but Friday is almost here! And, it's my last Friday at work for the summer!! Yay for 4 day weekends!! My boss is great - I love my job.

Let's see... how about we do a "Week Wrap-Up" in honor of Friday:
Monday - lot's of Memorial Day fun and furniture re-arranging

Tuesday - Rick works mega late - the boys and I have a fun "outside, sandbox, bike ride to the playground sort of day"

Wednesday - Rick heads to Detroit for male bonding with his brother. Boys make Amanda CRAZY (I really need a vacation...). Rick spends massive amounts of money at Art Van (more to come on that later). Logan refuses sleep, Rick gets home WAAAAAAAAAAAY LATE (or I guess you could say waaaay early depending on what day you're talking about).

Thursday - Amanda is a walking zombie (literally - I changed into my pajamas as soon as I got home from work). Rick and Josh have a "Big Boy Day" at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Fast food provides dinner for each half of the family - McDs for one, BK for the other. Furniture install day. Rick bought a new stand for the tv and all the tech stuff so I could have my coffee table back and we got bunk beds for the boys. Those deserve their own post, which I will probably do later. We were up until midnight and my house is a complete disaster. Which is effecting my stress levels, as I don't do well when things are out of place (and OMG are they out of place right now..........................). It's going to take me all weekend to get everything arranged and put back together again. Oh joy of household joys.

Friday - It's a rainy, stormy kind of day. We have a baaaaaad morning - including sleeping until 8:30am (Joshua leaves for school at 8:15am...). I get on the way to work over 15 minutes late and it's raining, so it's slow going already. And then Fate can't make up her mind whether it'll be a good day or a bad day. I'm running late to work, but on the way in, I win concert tickets to see Cake next week (one of my favorite bands)!!!!! And then I realize I don't have an umbrella, and it's POURING, but then I remember I have an extra in the back of the van!!!!! I make it to work only 1 minute late (I was planning on at least 10-15 minutes late), but then as I'm getting out of the van, I put my coffee mug on top of the roof so I can grab my bag, and the cup tips over, sending coffee cascading down the side of the van, and barely missing covering me. At least it's raining and it'll wash off...

We have plans for the weekend - a soccer game tomorrow, and I have to go to church to get some annuals planted. We have plans Saturday night too, but I'll tell you about those later. Sunday we have church and then a friend invited us over to cook out if we don't have other plans. Next week I start working only Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 8am until 4pm for the summer! The getting up early won't be nice, but the 4 day weekends sure will be!! It's going to take some adjusting, but I think it's going to work out well.

I'll update with the bunkbed saga later..........

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I love my husband. I love my children. But why do they have to interfere with my precious sleep? I don't do well when I don't get "good sleep". I get irritable, cranky, I can't focus, and I get headaches. Unfortunately for me last night, sleep was not in the picture. Rick went to visit his brother in Detroit last night so he was gone all day. Both boys went to bed ok for me (thank you), but then Logan woke up at about 11pm as I was cleaning my bedroom. He's going through an "I will only sleep on the floor because that's my choice" phase and I can't imagine that's very comfortable. I put him back in his room and he went back to sleep. I went to bed about midnight (my room was REALLY messy, LOL) and called Rick - he said he had just left, he'd be home in about 3 hours. Fell asleep for 2 whole hours. And then Logan woke up again. He crawled into bed with me but wouldn't go to sleep. After about half an hour of his tossing and turning, I put him back in his room. 5 minutes later, he was back. Back into my bed he came.... more tossing and turning. This lasted about an hour. I was just putting him BACK in his own room again because he was keeping me awake when Rick got home (3:30am). Of course Logan heard Rick. Back into our bed he came - this time on daddy's side (thank you), but it was well after 4am before I fell back asleep. Needless to say, today is a sleepy day....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random Furniture Update...

So I mentioned before that Rick and I re-arranged furniture Monday night. We have to do this at least twice a year to accomodate the air conditioner in the summer and the Christmas tree in the winter. If you know me at all, you know I hate moving things around. Unfortunately, I'm married to a chronic re-arranger (thank you, MIL, lol). Well, we have a small living room, a gigantic tv, and surround sound, so re-arranging is always an event in itself. We tried something new this year, and I'm actually ok with it. It's not the standard "couch against the wall" that I usually go for, but it's working for me right now. None of my windows are blocked (good for airflow), the kids still have a "spot" for their toys, all the furniture fits and the surround sound still works (which is uber important to Rick, LOL). So, maybe I'll get ambitious and take a picture of the new arrangement... or maybe not... I'm feeling a little lazy today, LOL.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Happier Note

Ok, enough with my morbid posts. It's theraputic to get all that out, but I don't want people reading this to think that my life is nothing but depressing cancer. Truly, I am very blessed. I have a wonderful family, amazing friends, and I have better than I deserve, I'm sure.

This weekend was wonderful for us - well.... Saturday didn't start so well after Rick and I got into a fight because he was being a dill-hole (luckily, that doesn't happen often). But, once we got over that, it ended up being a good day.

We were supposed to go to Whitehall, but that didn't happen (see above statement). So instead, the boys and I went to Meijers to get Pull-Ups and diapers (I'm desperate to potty train Logan...) and then we hit Countryside Greenhouse for plants. Us, and about 50 million other people who thought Saturday was a good day to work outside... it was a literal MADHOUSE in there. But, we got *most* of what we needed for our vegetable garden. We have cucumbers, carrots, romaine lettuce, cantaloupe, tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, and watermelon. I still need to get the peas and beans in, but I'm having a hard time finding those.

Then I edged the flower bed on the side of the shed... the grass was invading it. I've got some lavender (YUM!!), some other perennials that I don't know the names of, and then some petunias (gift from Logan, LOL) in there. I just need to finish off the sides with a landscape timber and get the mulch down to finish that one. After Rick got home, we also moved a rosebush and got 2 more in the ground. I can't wait until they bloom. It was a very productive, although physically tiring day.

Sunday, we slept in instead of going to church because the boys had rough nights on Saturday - I'm not sure why, too much sun, maybe?? I was sad to miss church because it was Pastor Rod's last sermon before he moves, but there was no way I was going to take two very grouchy, overtired boys to church. Then after we got up and ready, we went up to Silver Lake. If you don't know us from before kids, you have to understand Rick and I started dating in June. And we spent practically ALL SUMMER at Silver Lake in the sand dunes. It's been the place of some great memories for us. Our friend Ray was camping up there at Jellystone with his son, Nick, so we went to visit for the day. The boys had a great time. We bought fresh fudge, went out to lunch, walked around town a bit, hung out by the campfire, took the kids swimming and to the playground, and even hit the candy store before we headed home. It was so nice. Beautiful weather, people all over the place... summer in Michigan. Saturday night we did some relaxing and then I rode my bike to the store to pick up some stuff... my legs were tired, but in a good way. Oh, and then I spent 2 hours rocking out to my Ipod while I made coleslaw and potato salad, from scratch, for Monday. I'm sure Rick was amused at my off key renditions of such favorites as "Pour Some Sugar on Me", "Bohemian Raphsody", "You Can Do It (Put Your Back Into It)", "Semi-Charmed Life", "Billy Jean", and "Bye, Bye, Bye". Yes, I have very varied music tastes, LOL.

Monday was great too! We went out to Terry and Lois' house on Mona Lake in Muskegon. Had a picnic of bbq chicken, cold salads and veggies. The boys spent the day in the water and in the sand, we went for a boat ride to see the amazing Bald Eagle's nest on the next bay over from theirs. Joshua did a little fishing... caught 7 fish in the span of about an hour. I went kayaking for the first time - only a short trip, but enough to get the feel of it. I can see that being a very good upper body workout!! I spent the day in the sun - covered in sunblock, of course - reading and relaxing while keeping an eye on the kidlets. When we got home, Rick, Logan and I all fell asleep for about half an hour. Joshua found that to be very amusing (especially since I fell asleep when I was supposed to be playing Dinosaur Island with him, LOL). Last night, Rick and I re-arranged furniture (which I HATE - it's a stressful experience for me...) and then cleaned the rest of the house. I got almost all the way caught up with laundry and then we passed out. Both boys slept like rocks all night long... and then we didn't wake up until almost 8am this morning!!!

All in all it was a fabulous weekend. We NEVER get nice weather like we did for Memorial Day weekend, so it was certainly a treat!!

Update: I picked up the peas and beans last night while Rick and I were out. And then, I'm retarded and wasn't paying attention and didn't know about the frost advisory last night (I literally didn't watch any tv....) and so I'm the one who didn't go outside and cover up her plants. At all. Not the veggies, not the roses, nothing. And I didn't have a chance to check on them before work this morning. Fingers crossed they survived the night... Oh well... worse case scenario I trek back to the greenhouse and buy new plants. I'm sure the greenhouse knew it was going to be cold last night... Besides, I have a mole who keeps uprooting my plants and a hubby who keeps forgetting to bring home the stuff to get rid of said mole, so I might have some re-planting to do anyways. Asi es la vida - that's life.


I hate cancer. I mean, I REALLY hate cancer. It seems like my life is full of it right now. I always get this way when it gets to be Summer MRI/Relay For Life time. It brings everything I've successfully buried (for 9 months out of the year) bubbling right back up to the surface.

Joshua has an MRI next month. Not that I'm expecting anything to be out of the ordinary with it, but I still always worry. And freak out. And cry when they sedate him. It literally drains all the life energy right out of me and I have to "recover" from it.

I have a very dear friend in Philadelphia. Her name is Aimee. Her daughter, Brianna, is literally 2 weeks younger than Joshua. She has a brain tumor. Her's is benign (not cancer), but a brain tumor, none the less. Her husband is Jim. He's a police officer. He has PMP, a rare form of cancer. Hospice has been called in and he's dying. They expect it to be over in less than a week. He's suffering and in pain, and is still holding on like hell because he doesn't want to leave his family.

I hate cancer. It's not fair. It takes good people away from their families. It strikes down innocent children. It has no regard for your circumstances in life. It doesn't care if you're a baby, or a father, or a mother, or a young child, or a grandparent. It doesn't matter.

Ugh. My stomach feels sick. I want to curl up into a ball and cry for a little bit. I'm having an actual physical reaction to it all... I just don't want to remember. Sometimes I think the Relay for Life is the worst kind of therapy for me. It's so very stressful and brings all that garbage up to the surface, and yet I can't stop doing it - I won't stop doing it. My son is healthy. It's been 4 years since his diagnosis! Our life doesn't revolve around cancer anymore, like so many others do. Well, at least not all year long. The next few months are going to be tough for me. But I'll be a stronger person because of them.

If you pray, please pray for Aimee and Miss B. I can't imagine how they will make it without Jim. I know that they will, but it won't be an easy task. Aimee is great. She was a Godsend when Joshua was sick. We have a lot in common, since our kids are so close in age, and it hurts my heart that she is going through this....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cancer Cancer Cancer - my brain is full of "Cancer"

After being so very frustrated, stressed out, slightly angry (blame that one on PMS hormones), etc, last night, I decided to take half an hour out of my day to be pro-active regarding the Relay For Life. I mentioned how frustrated I was at stupid Coopersville not being an active part of our Relay event. Ok, my BRAIN knows that with Coopersville's Summerfest being the first part of August, Relay for Life gets overlooked because of all the the Chamber of Commerce has to do to make that event successful. But, my HEART says that's a stupid cop-out. It wouldn't take hardly any extra effort for the Chamber to, at the very least, help us spread the word that Coopersville is a "part" of this event.

So, I decided to take some steps to maybe make that happen. I first of all (while checking to see if Coopersville offered any kind of a yoga class - I feel the need to center myself lately) went to the Coopersville website and checked out the Chamber of Commerce's website. Lo and behold, there was an email address listed. I clicked it and composed an email, something to the effect of:
I am the Team Captain of Team Joshua for the ACS Relay for Life of Allendale/Coopersville - we relay because my 5 year old son is a 4 year survivor of brain cancer. I'm wondering what the Chamber can do to help me spread the word about the event. I know you've been approached by ACS before, and because of Summerfest, the Relay gets missed but I want to change that. Yada Yada Yada (you get the idea, I'm sure).

We'll see what, if anything, comes of that.

On a roll, I decided to contact the Coopersville Observer, a local newspaper (couldja tell from the title, LOL). I asked them what I had to do to get an article about Relay written up. Last year when I contacted them, they asked for my story and a picture of Joshua and they wanted to put it in the paper, but I never saw it. Not that there aren't a million and a half other people who want there stuff in the paper too, but come on! I see little write-ups about Memorial Events ALL THE TIME in there, so dammit, they can do one about the event that means so much to my family!!!!! **Sorry, not trying to rant - I get very caught up in it, can you tell??**

On a side note, anyone know how to contact the Advanced newspaper about getting something written up about the event?

And THEN, I decided, "Hey, while I'm at it, why not contact Take 5 Grand Rapids?" They're small enough that they might actually care about something like this!!! I was on that show once, ironically, when Joshua was in the hospital getting a chemo treatment. I was in a bridal fashion show and made it to tv... it was a lot of fun - Catherine was really nice. And besides, I used to listen to Stephanie ALL THE TIME when she was on S&M in the Morning on GRD!! I feel like there's a connection there, lol. Regardless.... I left an "idea for a future show" (I did that last year too - nothing came of it), and then thought, "screw it! I'm going to email them both directly asking them to send someone to the event. There's PLENTY of time to make it actually happen." So I did. I'm awaiting a response.

So, maybe something good will come of that. Hell, maybe they'll even have me on as a guest (wishful thinking, yes, and I'm NOT counting in it) and I can TALK about our event - those of you that know me know how very passionate about things I can get, I'm not sure if that would be a good thing or a bad thing. But, WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Everyone knows someone who fought cancer, and if you know me, you know Josh, so if you're reading this, you're one of the everyone! What I am trying to say - oh so unclearly, I know - is that there is no excuse to pretend cancer doesn't effect everyone's life somehow. And, when we find a cure, think of all the families who will be spared the walk we had to take... and trust me, I would NEVER wish that walk on anyone. Not even people who REALLY make me mad, or cut me off in traffic, or are stupid that you want to smack them upside the head, or even the people who are toxic and do horrible things to other people just because they can. I might hate them with a passion, but I still wouldn't wish cancer on them.

Well, at least I'm doing my best to be pro-active. Someday (eventually) not all my blogs will be centered around cancer, or the Relay for Life, or stupid Coopersville, but until that glorious day, I guess you'll just have to deal :) But as a warning, they will all, in one way or another, most likely have to do with my kids - but if you know me, you wouldn't expect anything less!!

UPDATE!! I received one of those "Automated Responses" from both gals at Take 5! At least I know the emails went through!! And I heard back from the Coops Chamber of Commerce and apparently she had been in contact with the old ACS contact, Jonathan, and told him that she needed someone from the community to spearhead the event... I asked her if I could pass the info on to Eric, so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

RFL stress...

Gah! I feel a little overwhelmed tonight. I have SOO much stuff running through my mind. We had a Team Captain meeting for the Relay for Life tonight. So I have cancer on the brain...

Here is a list of what's stressing me out, right now, at this moment:
Who is going to be on our team this year and who's over the RFL - I feel like I'm not going to have enough people this year since Josh isn't "sick" anymore, it's not such a high priority...
Who is going to actively get out there and try to raise money for us - people don't like to do that, and I understand, but it's the reason that we do this...
How am I going to do flamingo's again? I feel like it was SO MUCH last year and so overwhelming...
How can we spread the word to stupid Coopersville who doesn't care about it like they should... so what if the event is in Allendale! I always feel like Team Joshua is IT for the whole damn city...
I want to do a carwash this year... can we make that happen?
What about the Relay itself! The theme is Luau for a Cure - what can we do with this?
Am I going to get Team Joshua to it's goal with my Fun-N-Sun Corporate sponsorship... things have been TOUGH financially for everyone this year and I don't know if I can count on it this year (not that I would be mad, just bummed about this stupid economy....)
Am I going to get enough donations? I know it's early, but they feel like they're down already from last year which SUCKS! I know times are tough, and I totally get that, but it doesn't mean I have to like it...

A good thing:
Walkers at the Relay will be fine, we always have non-team members who come out for us (and I SOOOO appreciate that help!!)

Blah. Random, I know. And yes, I'm well aware that it will all work out. This is just my "thing" and I get so disappointed when it's not so important to everyone else. I have a hard time separating it and not taking it personally.

So, to all team members... I'm sorry if I suck this year. I don't want to. I REALLY try to be a good captain, but my expectations are always so high (and yes, I know that's my issue and I need to adjust it, but it's hard because this is SO important to me)... So, thank you, to those that hang with me again this year... I wish you knew how much it meant to me, but I can't begin to express it.

Now, I need you to step up, get cans out around public places, spread the word and do our best to do well again this year.

Thanks, you guys... from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bouncing Baby Boys...

There they are... my two beautiful boys. Unfortunately, the pictures on here will more than likely be the same ones you see everywhere else (MySpace, Facebook, MMC, etc), but you could never get enough of Joshua and Logan, so I'm not terribly worried! Besides, there are only so many hours I can spend uploading new pictures everywhere, so there are bound to be some repeats. Anyways, this was taken a few weeks ago - gotta love early spring in Michigan. We spent some quality "family time" down in Grand Haven, a place reminiscent of the "good ole days" when Rick and I were dating. We always said we couldn't wait to bring our kids down there, and here we are. I know it's cliche, but time really does fly...

And so it begins....

I've decided to start blogging. Perhaps this will be an easier way to keep everyone updated than the standard "mass email whenever necessary". That gets old after a while. And, as if I were to ever run out of stuff to write about, as a mommy, I can always find SOMETHING to write about that has to do with one, or both, of my boys!!

So, you've all been warned... let's see how regularly I keep up on this!