Just so I can be an A-hole and post three times on the last day of NaBloPoMo

Courtesy of Mrs. Fussypants.

Apparently Spirit Airlines thinks I'm a MILF

I got an email from them with the subject line:

Spirit Airlines - MILF Sale - Fares From $9* Each Way

I'm thinking, hmmmmm...! Are they selling MILF's? Because that would be illegal. So, no, they must be giving discounts to MILF's! Then I'm thinking, hmmmmm...are they sending me this because they think I'm a MILF? Sweet!

But, sadly, 'twas not the case. Here is what the body of the email included.

Tell me it's okay to be Pollyannaish

I had my first mammogram at age thirty-five...partly for baseline, partly because I'd thought I'd felt a lump. It was chostrochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage in the chest)

I had my second at age forty...partly because I'd turned forty, partly because I'd found another lump. I got called back after the mammogram, went in for an ultrasound. They did a fine needle aspiration right then and after some agonizing days the pathology report said, "Benign cyst."

My third mammogram was the following year. The mammogram found a suspicious area (same general area as the cyst), and so again I went back for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a shadow; that meant it was a solid mass which is far scarier than a liquid cyst. A fine needle aspiration wasn't sufficient; I had to come back later for a biopsy. The doctor and tech both looked concerned, and tried to be reassuring but kept repeating things like, "No need to worry until we know what we are dealing with." To a hypochondriac like me (or more accurately a permanent medical student syndrome sufferer), that wasn't the least bit reassuring. It over a full month from the mammogram to the results of the biopsy, which was galactocoele (aka milk cyst). Benign.

Part of the reason my post last night was so lame was because I was dreading this morning. Yup, mammogram number four was this morning. I tried to be positive this time, not freaked out, not worrying, not saying to myself, "What if this time...?" I tried to convince myself that this time they'd find nothing, and I could leave the radiology suite smiling naturally instead of forcibly. And I was afraid to do that, afraid that hoping for the best was jinxing me for the worst. Because I learned that's how it works in medical school.

This time they found several little calcifications. "Punctuated calcifications" which is the good kind, the variety "rarely associated with malignancy." In fact, the radiologist recommended that I just return in six months for a follow up. But I dug in my heals...I know me all too well. I'd spend many a sleepless night fretting that perhaps I was the exception. When I was all PMS-y I'd look at my kids faces and tear up, torturing myself by imagining them growing up without me. Every time I'd see a pink ribbon I'd break out into a mini cold sweat.

So I sat with him in his dark office, holding the microscope and looking at X-rays of my boobs, specifically at those punctuated calcifications and he said, "Ninety-nine percent of the time these are signs of benign changes."

I said, "I don't want to spend the next six months fearing I'm that one percent. Nope, I want a biopsy."

So now I wait for the call to schedule the biopsy.


I can't believe that no one called me...

...on the fact that I posted an ABC Wednesday photo on Tuesday. I'm still so discombobulated from the move and the days off my husband took therein, not to mention his four day holiday weekend that followed soon after at the end of the week off the kids had, and my mom is visiting so it still feels like a vacation. I thought all day yesterday was Wednesday. When I woke up this morning it felt like Groundhog Day...one of my first thoughts was, "D'OH! I posted a Wednesday post on a Tuesday (how sad is it that one of my first thoughts was about blogging. Similarly, am I the only one who dreams of the bloggy world?).

It worked out well, though. I documented the installation of our new dining room chandelier, and that's what's at the heart of me blogging anyway...documenting our everyday lives.


Along with this and this , I've got a new pet project. This one is wiping OUT the response, "No problem" to "Thank you."

When we first moved to CA from the midwest my husband and I were both struck by how odd it is that hardly anyone here says, "You're welcome." Because I'll tell you what, "No problem" just doesn't feel as gracious as, "You're welcome," at least not to this Midwestern transplant. The crazy thing is I've been hearing myself say, "No problem" recently.

So my mission (and yours, if you chose to accept it) is to skew the scales in the opposite direction. From now on, when someone says, "Thank you," I'm going to respond, "My pleasure!" Imagine someone saying that to you in response to an everyday gesture.

You're holding open a door for a stranger whose arms are laden with packages and they say, "Thank you."

"My pleasure!" That's just sweet.


ABC Wednesday...See the light... brought to you by the letter "S"

Here is what we started with (*barf*):

This is better:

But this is bestest (yeah, we know it's too high, but we'll deal with that later):



I have only one sibling...my "little" brother (and I cannot seem to stop calling him that) who is four and a half years younger than I.

I've always adored him. I never felt any sibling rivalry, enjoyed playing with him throughout the years (that I recall, he might remember otherwise), ultimately decided that it was the ideal separation between siblings.

I had two miscarriages between my children; if the first would have been born on it's due date, my son and that baby would have been exactly, to the day, the same difference in age as my brother and I. It didn't work out that way...I had that miscarriage and another one after that. My daughter is five and a half years younger than my son. It's perfect for us, and as it's meant to be.

Back to my brother and me...we are close. We love each other. Whenever we talk on the phone, or write, or email, we pepper into the conversation, "I love you," and, "I love you, too." Because we do.

But, see...we don't talk/write/IM/email frequently enough. We just don't. We're missing out on crucial, everyday details that is incomprehensible to me when I stop and consider the fact that at one point in our lives we couldn't chose a cup from which to sip water without consulting the other.

How can I not know what's in his heart? Well, maybe I do...but what if I'm wrong? HOW CAN I NOT KNOW THAT?

How can he not know what's in my heart? Well, maybe he does...but what if he doesn't? HOW CAN I HAVE LET THAT HAPPEN?

Those days are over. Done. My brother and I are close. Very close. But we need to be less strange to each other.



"I'm almost done, I'm almost done." I've been saying that for days, much to the dismay of my family, particularly my mom who flew out here yesterday to VISIT and not stare at the back of my head!

Actually, they are all excited about this calender; my son wants to make his own. I told him that's fine...but don't expect me to hawk it on my blog. He's the competition, man!

SO YES, it's for sale! Click here or on the pics and it'll take you right to the lovely company printing them for me. Want more info? From the printers themselves:

26 pages, 11" x 8.5", coil binding, white interior paper (100# weight), full-color interior ink

On a more personal level, these are some of my favorite shots...one is literally from my backyard, others are from throughout Europe, the States, and USVI. They're all very different, but I think they make a nice collection.

Hope you like it and buy oodles (did I just write that out loud?)!


My laptop isn't loving me right now...

...I've been working her hard today and she is protesting. I'm hoping it's worth it (I'll let you know tomorrow), but in case she won't let me post later, here's a glimpse at what I've been working on (because I need an excuse to ignore the mountains of boxes around me).


Still thankful...

I love NaBloPoMo...it has forced me to document days that I thought at the time I'd rather forget.

If you look closely at the photo to the left, you can see the image of the Golden Gate Bridge in the reflection of the glass. I didn't see that when I took the picture...similarly, as I reread some of my posts from these past weeks, I am discovering the beauty of my every day life I missed the first time around. I'm loving NaBloPoMo.


It's 9:15pm, I'm home from our Thanksgiving dinner, and I don't know what else to write

I'd had a couple of other things planned, but the combo of tryptophan and Zinfandel has left me less than inspired.

So in acknowledgment of the holiday, the following is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful (in NO particular order):

1.) I am thankful for (despite my disclaimer that there is no particular order, first and foremost)my family: FBNOML, my son and my daughter, my wonderful husband, my amazing mom, my darling and inspiring brother, my cousins and in laws and aunts and uncles and ALL.
2.) I am thankful for my friends...I've been crazily lucky throughout my life to have made friendships that will last forever, even if time has taken it's toll.
3.) I am thankful for the fact that we sold that last home and found this one.
4.) I am thankful for epipens.
5.) I am thankful for my elliptical.
6.) I am thankful for my hair stylist.
7.) I am thankful for the California town in which we live; I always knew I was a California girl at heart...who knew that meant Northern California, which isn't the California I thought I meant?
8.) I am thankful for my decision to leave medicine.
9.) I am thankful for my ability to gain muscle mass quickly.
10.) I am thankful for this bloggy world, or as my daughter said when asked what she was thankful for, "Princesses and ponies and our puppy and YOU!"


Rust Colored Bridge with Barge Passing Underneath...ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter 'R'

Yes, I know it's a stretch...but the Golden Gate Bridge IS a rust color. I am really striving to have each post this month be relevant to what is happening in our lives, so here it is! We spent yesterday at the Bay Area Discovery Museum...I thought about having Clifford be the honorary 'R' (he is the big Red dog, donchaknow)...but as this blog is at its core narcissistic, I chose to go with a symbol more meaningful to me.

I love a lot about that little museum, the least of which is not the unique view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The kids are running around, learning without realizing it...all the while taking in one of the world's most beautiful scenes. MY jaw is open the entire time.


Just got this email from Margaret Ferguson

After a day at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito (one and a half hours to drive there, two and a half to get home...grrrrrrrrr), I came home to this amazing email...and gee willikers, too late for us to not have to sell the house on which we just closed escrow! I just HAD to share the good news with you all; I know you won't use my batch number, ticket number, serial number, lucky numbers, or reference number because I have NO DOUBT you're just as thrilled for me as I am! Clearly by the numerous typos in her email, Margaret Ferguson is beyond excited for me, too!


Lucky Winner 2007 ,

BATCH NO: PBL/67189098011/245679/1109
REF. NO: PBL/11278998789/908796//1109

Dear Winner,

This is to inform you of the release of the EMAIL
GAMING BOARD. Your e-mail attached to ticket
number 219028657434 with Serial number
918735625 drew the lucky numbersof 21-70-81-
82-99 which consequently won the lottery in the
1st category.

You have just won yourself the sum of
ONEMILLION EUROS in the satellite software
email lottery conducted by POWERBALL EURO E-
In which e-mail addresses are picked randomly
by software powered by the Internet. Your email
address was amongst those chosen in this
quarter and you are to contact our CLAIMS
OFFICER for Clearance.

TELEPHONE: + 447031957971

Margaret Ferguson

Material Copyright © 2007 The Lottery Co. Ltd.

Look, now that I'm rich, I'm not going to forget you all. I'm not going to be one of those lottery winners who hoard their cashola. I'll share. Like, if my mom needs grocery money, I'll totally front her a loan. If a friend and I are out to dinner I might not make sure that I order more expensive food and then offer to "split the bill in half." I might even toss some leftovers or a recyclable can to a homeless person from my car as I drive by (they like that).

Anywho, I always knew our ship would come in.


Just texted this to my husband...

Grocery Listy Listerson:

1.) You need beer (I stole one).
2.) I need wine.
3.) Kids need milk.
4.) You need dinner.
5.) Kids and I need bottled water for our trip to Sausalito tomorrow.
6.) How cool is it that we live close enough to zip to Sausalito for a quick day trip, and that we...
7.) Can spare the cash for the trip!?!?!?!
8.) We love you!!!
9.) Hope you're having fun rockin' out at band practice.
10.) Call and say goodnight; kids are still up.


Warm Fuzzies

The Fabulous Mrs. Fussypants awarded me this sweet little thang.I haven't been feeling fabulous, so it made me happy! These past two weeks have kicked my ass. I'm exhaused; we all are. I'm sure you're sick of hearing me whine about The Move, but when you're in the middle of it it's pretty consuming.

Wish me a blissful nights sleep, internets. Maybe I'll even be able to create a coherent post!

Until then, here are a few bloggers who ARE fabulous...and clear headed!

Urban Pedestrian
In the Fast Lane
Marjorie at 280 Main Street
Annie at Blooming Marvelous
Jill at Caffeine Court


The road to hell, best intentions, blah blah blah

For some reason, I thought tonight would be a good night for my son to have a sleep-over.

And as tomorrow is my daughter's birthday, of course I decided to plan a birthday party. Here. At the new home we've been in for less than a week.

My hope was to keep things as normal as possible, and to quickly create lasting, fun memories in the new house. What I managed to do was create an atmosphere where things -and traditions- were broken.

Must go repair what was broken, and prepare for the party tomorrow.


Quiet Space - ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter Q

This bench sat for years in the courtyard of the home we've just sold. The creeping fig vine behind it started as a little plant, and has done what I'd envisioned...covered the courtyard walls inside and has finally reached the top and climbed over to the other side. Perhaps that milestone meant my work at that home was done and it was time to garden elsewhere.

I've brought the bench to my new home, and am currently looking for the perfect place for it. I'll once again surround it with plants and make myself a new Quiet Place.



My husband moved crap for 29 straight hours (oh, except for the 30 mins he collapsed on the floor of our old home in the early hours of this morning).

I unpacked last night 'till the wee hours, crashed in our Tempur-Pedic way late When I heard the garage door opening at 5am I forced myself to get out of bed and made coffee and breakfast for my hubs; I hated hearing he'd been working all night. After a cup of coffee, he kept hauling; I worked in my daughter's preschool all morning.

We are all running on adrenaline. My 'Q' photo will arrive later.



Still hauling crap out of old house......reverting to visual muzak

Please hold. Your call is important to us. Your call will be taken in the order it was received. There are currently TWO. HUNDRED. THIRTY. SEVEN. boxes ahead of your call. Thank you for your patience.


Some friendly moving advice

Today I learned that it is NOT a good idea to move while PMS'ing big time. If that is unavoidable, do NOT listen to music that you haven't heard for years and makes you all nostalgic. If you accidentally do that, please don't stand in what is about to be your ex-kitchen pantry and look at the home-made growth chart on the door jam...because you have to leave behind the series of colorful lines that have documented your children's heights for the past several years. If that does happen, make sure you close the pantry door and sob quietly so your children don't get freaked out by mommy weeping inconsolably.


The gift of twelve and a half hours of beautiful sleep

Yesterday...having to leave my bed was a chore, food was tasteless yet my appetite knew no bounds, and the endless demands of my children grated on me.

Today...while I didn't jump out of bed, I did slink out happy. I ate when I was hungry and not when I needed to fill the endless, anxious pit. Most importantly, I laughed with my kids instead of being overwhelmed by their needs.

Sleep is good. Oh, so good.


Transitions and other random thoughts

We have internet, phone, and cable at our house woooohoooooo!

It took the cable guy ages and they didn't give us the right phone number (I guess when I said I want to transfer service they thought that meant establish a new account...grrrr). BUT the tech was here at the early end of the time range they gave us (can you believe that?) and he was super nice. As we'll get our old number back next week, and the DVR did in fact save all of my shows despite the move, all in all it was a fabulous experience and I'm again in love with Comcast. Sigh. Comcast...you played hard to get and can be quite the finicky lover, but in the end you're mine and I love you.EDITED: COMCAST I HATE YOU AND FUCK OFF!!! I'M LEAVING YOU FOREVER!!!

So now that I'm back online from home, I guess I'm going to have to up the quality of my posts for the rest of NaBloPoMo. No more excuses for lame-osity. Starting tomorrow.

Oh, wait, tomorrow we are having a garage sale at the old house...I can't believe the stuff with which I am parting. That chair in the above photo? I love it. I've had it for years. A couple of months ago I grabbed it and hauled it out to a road lined with gorgeous, mature olive trees and started shooting. I think I'm selling it tomorrow because there just isn't room in this house for it. I'm torn, but I think I'm letting it go. That's where we're at right now...selecting and purging and simplifying and starting afresh.

We're also having a dumpster delivered to the old house tomorrow. What we don't sell we're donating or chucking...or maybe taking to the new place if I feel that the universe is telling me to do.


A partial list of things for which I have forgiven myself this week:

1.) Skipping last night's parent education class at my daughter's preschool.
2.) Spending a bit of time online while I'm at this old house instead of packing and filling the car with loads of crap stuff we've still got here.
3.) Totally blowing off NaNoWriMo
4.) Not commenting on other blogs as I can hardly find the time to write anything for my own this week (I hope the internets forgive me as well) and I'm sure not flaking on NaBloPoMo.
5.) Eating fast food and pizza the majority of meals because because moving sucks and I can't think about cooking.
6.) Letting my kids watch more TV than is probably good for them.
7.) Knowing my daughter has a poopy pull-up right now and yet I'm finishing this list before I change it.
8.) Yelling at my kids for minor infractions BECAUSE MOVING SUCKS.
9.) Not going over my son's report card with him because we can't seem to find five minutes to sit down together. I've talked to him about how it rocked, but he has yet to see it.
10.) I don't even know where that report card is.


Pavement Along Scorched Roadside - ABC Wednesday...brought to you by the letter "P"

I'm in Northern California, and obviously this year's fire season wasn't nearly as scary and life-altering as Southern California's. I'm not sure if this roadside fire was a planned burn or not; either way I found the contrast between the burnt dry fuel and the fields beyond striking.


Where am I? Who am I?

The first morning I woke up in this home we're selling I was laying on a makeshift bed of family room sofa, chair, and ottoman. My son, who was then five, and my husband and I had all snuggled there as our beds weren't yet assembled. When I opened my eyes, I looked out the window and marveled in the seventy-five year old row of oak trees that lined the back of our lot. I'd fallen in love with them; they were the reason we built this home here.

I snuck out from under the covers and tip-toed to a bathroom, where I opened and EPT and peed on the stick.

That was the morning I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. It's always been a lovely association...learning of my pregnancy on the first morning in a new home.

A couple of my neighbors here on this cul-de-sac we're leaving are pregnant. As we've gone through this process of having a home on the market, finding a place to move, and now moving, I've seen their bellies swell. It's been a constant reminder of being pregnant in this home. In a way, I feel like with this move I am transitioning into the next phase of my life...away from my childbearing years and into...what's after that? Parenthood? But I was already a parent. Middle age? That just sounds old.

Anyway, now the home we built nearly five years ago is our "old" house, and the rental we're moving into is the "new" house. This house, the "old" one is still full of miscellaneous things that need to be moved, but we haven't slept here since Saturday. This one has internet and cable, the other one doesn't. We're in between homes. It's all very strange and slightly surreal.


This driving across town to post is getting old already

And I'm brain dead. So, for today, enjoy this year or so old scan of the first time(s) my daughter wrote MOM. Probably only my mom will really enjoy it, but I'm not NOT posting this month.

P.S.: Note the cute li'l MOM inside the "O" of a big MOM. It's all in the details.


Our house is a very very very fine house.

With two kids in the yard! Soon to be jumping on a trampoline!

Okay, I just snuck away from our new house (THAT DOESN'T HAVE INTERNET ACCESS!) to our old house to "grab some things." Nope, I had to come and make sure I had a little something something on my blog. Everyday this month. No matter how lame. Hope you will still love me in the morning.

I should have had some posts in my back pocket, huh?


It's my birthday and I'll move if I want to

Yup, it's my birthday. And moving day. The truck is out front and being loaded.

Our new place won't have internet for until next week. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH. How much does that suck? I had called Comcast last week and they said, "Oh, just call us a coupla days in advance of your move and we'll schedule you."

So, I called a coupla days ago. And they didn't have anything for a week and a half. Nice. Thanks, guys. Don't you know I'm part of NaBloPoMo? Not to mention NaNoWriMo? Hello?

But I shall persevere. I shall find a way to get me some internet access no matter what (actually, I'll just be coming back to this house to finish up odds and ends and post then).

If you're a lurker, come on out for my birthday present!


Surprise package...or, the real Sicko

Thanks to gross Karate floor mats, last December my son had a lovely wart on the bottom of his foot. After the easy remedies didn't work, we pulled out the big guns and went to a podiatrist for an application of the miraculous Blister Beetle juice. The Blister Beetle secrets juice that causes blisters when it comes in contact with skin (how fortunate it's called that, huh?).

The podiatrist also happens to be a friend of ours; this was our first visit to her office and the kids were having a great time chatting with her in her white lab coat just like they did in everyday life. The three of us left the exam room all happy and giggly.

Upon returning to the lobby, we were greeted with a big old man who looked just like Santa Claus. He was an elderly guy with a bushy white beard, long silvery hair, red suspenders over a plaid flannel shirt, and big black boots. Being the holiday season, and as we 'do the Santa thing' here, my kids were enthralled, especially my little girl. She was young enough to think that maybe, just maybe, this was the real Santa. The guy was working in, too. He asked her if she'd been a good girl this year, what she wanted for Christmas, where she thought Rudolf was (one the roof, of course!). He was charming and I was all in the holiday spirit; I was as into it as my kids were. My daughter talked about it for days, telling all she met how SHE MET SANTA AT THE DOCTORS!

If you're a regular reader, you know we're moving. Not far away, but to a different neighborhood in the same town. Being a rather paranoid mama (not to mention one who spends too much time online) one afternoon not too long ago I went to California's Megan's Law website to check out our new hood.

Podiatry Lobby Santa was on there. For LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS. That guy was intentionally dressed like Santa to lure kids. He looked at my children. He talked to them. And I, all bubbly and sparkly, called him Santa and played along.


My friend's old neighbor is on that website; he was eighteen and having sex with his girlfriend who was seventeen (or was it seventeen and sixteen). He forever has to carry that around with him, explain it to new neighbors, etc. That would suck and I do feel bad for the guy; yet I wouldn't let my kids play with his kids, even though when I was seventeen I had sex with my eighteen year old boyfriend. Hypocritical, yes. Mamabearish, yes. I will do whatever it takes, however paranoid,to keep my kids safe.

This flipping Santa dude came out of the woodwork. He looked so harmless (and isn't that what I've tried to teach my kids...bad guys can look good)! Frankly, it wouldn't bother me ONE LITTLE BIT if that Blister Beetle juice was used on whatever body part of his was necessary to make sure he didn't harm another child.


Take one down, pass it around

When I sent my husband out to get Halloween candy this year, I nagged reminded him to buy more candy than he has in the past couple of years, because we always run out. He did a good job and came back with a respectable mountain of peanut free goodies. That being said, I still didn't think it would be enough as it seems that every year we have more and more trick or treaters knocking on our door, and while the quantity might have been enough for last year, it might not be enough for this year if we kept trending upward.

But, whatever. I have plenty on my plate these days and frankly buying more candy *just in case* didn't make it to the top of my priority list. Okay, honestly, it didn't make it onto the list.

So last night I sent my husband off with the kids and the neighbors, kids loaded with costumes and goody bags and adults loaded with beverages to get them loaded. I had my big bowl full of candy and my backstock bowl at the ready. Between DING-DONGS I packed for the move and watched Ghost Hunters while enjoying a nice Cab.

Oddly, there weren't many DING-DONGS. There were the neighborhood kids that we knew (most of whom were in the same pack as my two), the were the teens who go everywhere and an interesting third group: parents who came up to the door with their kids to ask where we were moving. AND WHY.

I've had more than one friend tell me that "people are wondering" about why we are moving. Shhhhhhh...the big secret IS NOT A SECRET. We couldn't have been more candid about the fact that WE CAN'T AFFORD THIS HOUSE ANYMORE. Tada! Cat was never in the bag. And yet, there is still a bunch of whispering about our "situation." People just love them a good gossip, huh?

My husband and I thought about making stuff up just to fuel their need to consume rumors. He suggested I say, "My husband beats me every night *cough* at Scrabble *cough*." I suggested he say, "She cheated *cough* at Scrabble *cough*." Or maybe a simple, "We've split *cough* the Scrabble board in half from overuse *cough*." What do you think?