Friday, October 31, 2008

Blog Nonsense

Hi Everyone,
Ok, this privatizing my blog is driving me crazy. First of all, I need to acknowledge all the nice responses from so many kind strangers wanting to still get access. I thought the only ones who read it it were my aunts and my cousin Judy and the biggest Sadie stalker out there, Miss Hannah Beth. Which brings up the whole reason I decided to privatize my blog. Stalker weirdness. I never thought of it, really I didn't, until this lady here...

...who I won't name because she clearly values her anonymity, asked me if I ever worried about posting pictures of my baby up on the old world wide web where everyone can see her. Hhhmmmmm.. No. I never did. And I never thought about writing about where I live along with the photos either. But after she asked me, well I sure started thinking about it and I freaked myself out. I mean there are some creepy people out there. So, this is why I decided to make it accessible to only those who I allowed. However, I had no idea all the problems this would cause. The biggest being that probably the only real Sadie stalker, the aforementioned older sister of mine Hannah Beth, hasn't figured out how to sign up for the blog (it's not really a password situation, sorry for that confusion) and returned from New York FREAKING OUT because she couldn't access it. She even called me at work all in a tizzy demanding I immediately give her access or else she would lose it...her being in serious Sadie withdrawal mode. So this is why I keep changing it from private to non-private and all that.

Anyway, I'm sort of losing my paranoia too, as the days wear on and I worry about other things, like keeping my job in this crazy economy so we can keep this house over our heads, and all the people I have worked with for years and years who have recently lost their job, and the fact that my baby has had a cold for almost a month and hacks every morning like person who smokes three packs a day and how I never see, and will never see, my husband during daylight hours because he works on the weekends and I work on the week days. Yeah, work. Back at it. Not the best timing to say the least. Being away from Sadie is hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be because I know she's having fun at Annie's. Every morning, when she's dropped off, she leans in to Annie, reaching for her and never looks back. I have to say, I have mixed feelings about this. Sure I don't want my kid throwing a small tantrum every morning, but then again, I'd like to think she missed me a little too. Anyway, I thought going back to work would be like riding a bike, but I feel like my mind is made of mush and people are talking to fast about things I don't understand. I've been away a long time and have gone through a lot during that time. Most days, over the past few months, I think I sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider more than I spoke a full sentence. I've only been back a week and a half. I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

So, happy halloween and have a lovely weekend.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Blog News

Hi Everyone,
I'm going to password protect this blog in a few days.
I've added a few family members and friends whose emails I have. But for those of you who still want to read my ramblings and get a Sadie update now and then, please send me an email ( and I will forward on the password.
Take care,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Visit

Hi Everyone,
Greg thinks this was a waste of time because the girls had no idea where they were and why.

I mean, seriously, I wonder what they were thinking sitting on prickly hay surrounded by orange balls...

...they could not pick up.

I would have liked him to be there (he was working), so we could get a photo taken like this with the papa, momma and baby sized pumpkins. So cute.

But, I think he would have liked to have been there to witness his very British and normally on the mellow side brother-in-law doing this.

Happy Autumn everyone!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dwindling Days

Hi Everyone,
So it's four days and counting for those keeping track of when I go back to work. I chose next week because yesterday I had my first bi-yearly oncology appointment. I'll probably have them for the rest of my life. I thought the appointment was sort of the closing chapter of my cancer and I could go back to work with it all behind me. Start fresh.
Not exactly.
I don't think you ever close the chapter on cancer. Even when the tumor has been shrunk by chemicals and then the tiny microscopic cell remnants cut out and your breasts cored and replaced with silicone bags, cancer is still a part of you. A big part.
For starters, I am still dealing with the after affects of chemo. I haven't gotten my period since April of 2007. Obviously because I was pregnant when diagnosed, but Sadie was born in January and I am still without. 'Yeah! That's great, periods suck', you may be thinking. Not so much for me. I actually liked getting my period. I had that in common with my mom. It means your body is working. Not getting it means I am still in temporary (hopefully) menopause and with this temporary state comes all the problems associated with it. Shall I divulge? Ok, why not? First off, your body changes. A very important part of your body. You expect this in your fifties, and maybe, like an older woman friend I won't name, you don't care by then because sex isn't such a big deal anymore. Again, not so much with me. So it was with a shameful sense of ick I accepted a prescription for an estro-something-ring from Hope my oncologist. Something that will, oh lord, this is embarrassing. Ok, let me think like my sister Hannah. Something that will bring the yummy back to the yoni. There I said it. Secondly, I am gaining weight. FAST. Partly because I barely ate while on chemo so maybe my metabolism slowed down and hasn't balanced itself out. But Hope confirmed yesterday my menopausal state also does a number on metabolism and weight gain. Even with going to the gym three days a week and watching what I am eating (sort of), I am gaining weight. And this is hard for me. I was chubby before I got pregnant and then with the chemo I shrunk. And, even though this was scary, to lose weight so fast and feel so weak, there was this small part of me that thought it was a little bonus. It's not many people that lose thirty pounds in two months without exercising at all. I told myself don't gain it all back. Keep it off. But man, when my taste buds started to work again I was so happy I forgot everything I told myself when all I could keep down was rice pudding and jell-o.
Remember this picture? This was my 'cancer face' portrait. It was me at my most cancerish.

Here's me now. Healthier? Sure! But, you know, rounder too.

It doesn't help that I have a husband who loves me no matter what I look like (can you believe I am complaining about that!?) and even tells me to eat whatever I want because I deserve to be happy. It's not that I want him to start pinching my love handles and giving me a hard time (which I do to him...I am so bad), but I do need to reverse my thinking about food. I deserve to live, so I need to put the ice cream down. And by live, I mean that I am not dwelling on this for vanity reasons entirely. The other thing Hope told me is that being overweight, for reasons they do not know, adds to the risk of cancer. Duh. Being overweight is just bad all around. Even though I have the gene and that's the biggest precursor to cancer, being overweight adds to the risk even more. She really urged me to lose ten pounds. Just a few months ago they were worried about all the weight I lost and now I am getting the lecture on gaining too much. I was so mad at myself and ashamed too.

The scariest part is that I move now more than I ever did. Walking with Sadie at least once a day with the dog and going to the gym and running around doing errands. And next week, well next week I start sitting for hours in front of a computer and stressing. Work is stressful. Sometimes good stress, satisfying project finishing stress, but other times, well it's just sucky stress. I totally believe all the hype about stress and weight gain. This isn't even counting the stress of now being a working mom and balancing all that out with daycare and timing and dinner and keeping the house together. I am stressing now just thinking about the stress.

And finally, I still need to make a decision about my ovaries. The BRCA gene also gives you a high risk of ovarian cancer. I think Hope would like if I just opted to get them out now. And even though I think we aren't having anymore kids, I don't like that option ripped out, literally, just yet.
So, she scheduled a pelvic ultrasound (one of many I am sure to get) so that we are sure I am clear for now.
All in all, I showed up to the Breast Care Center feeling triumphant. Like the winner of the game. And I left still feeling like a player. A player doing well, but still, just a player.

Oh, and for the Sadie Wren and Amara Jay Watchers (Hannah, Aunties, People who like Cute Babies...meaning everyone..)
We took the babies on a walk last weekend to the school near my house. It was a great crisp and colorful fall day. Amara tried a slide for the first time...

...and went on the swing with her dad....

...while Sadie slept in her stroller. She's such a good sleeper.

On the way back, Frida met a friend...

And Sadie got a piggy 'neck' ride from Uncle Dan

And really enjoyed it!

Greg, the baby and I spent a day in Berkely on Fourth Street with my sister Hannah (And her beautiful breasts. Seriously! Check them out. All natural. Sigh...) ...

...and had an impromptu photo shoot at Design Within Reach

And finally, my workmates will enjoy this....

Love (again),

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blog Benefit

Hi Everyone,
Besides a place to vent, free think and get feedback, my blog has done a great thing of bringing me closer to some distant family members I had little or no contact with before. It's been a little bridge where we can meet in the middle.
One family member in particular, Annie, a distant cousin that we managed to distill down to the fact that her great grandmother is my great great grandmother (I think? I just checked her blog and she's calling us third cousins, once removed and she seems pretty smart, so I'll go with it), was in town and we got our kids together at the Playdate Cafe in San Anselmo. Her and her husband Bill live in LA. He's is a documentary film editor and she's a TV writer. Very Cool.

Her daughter Caroline is the exact same age as Sadie. Exact. Like born on the same day. How weird is that?

Nina and Amara met us too and we let them loose in this little padded play area just for babies.

Amara scooted. Caroline crawled about. Sadie sat. So much fun.

Was hard to get any pictures of them together. They were like squirmy little worms.

Well not all of them. Sadie was more like a sweet little slug.

It was a short visit since they were headed home that day. I hope we meet up again because I really value family, and feeling like mine has dwindled in the last few years. I wish that I had it in me to have a ton of kids (like more money, time, a bigger house, a younger husband--no fault of his own, just the way it is), but I don't think it's going to happen. Hoping Caroline and Sadie forge a relationship that lasts (yes, up to me and Annie for now!).
Check here and here for more photos.


Very Funny

Hi Everyone,
This was especially funny to me and probably will be to Nina and Dan. A lot of pressure is put on parents about the development of their kid. When they sit up, roll over, crawl, walk. It all seems to say something about what kind of kid they have. How smart they are, physically competent. Whatever. It's a bunch of crap, I know. But still, I stress over the fact that Sadie is 9 months old and still isn't crawling. Amara scoots. She doesn't crawl. And she hasn't shown any real interest in walking either. Perfectly normal, but still, you wonder, when she will. As if there is a chance she won't? Like she'll go to high school scooting down the halls on her butt? Ridiculous. Trying to just enjoy my little stationary being because I am pretty sure once she starts booking, my life is going to change.
This guy had the right idea and did a whole bit on it. So funny.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sleepy Baby

Hi Everyone,
Isn't it the usual protocol, that your baby wakes you up right at the moment the sun peeks up and turns the world from pitch black to a dim gray? I thought as much. From what I had heard (from friends) and read, I thought we would be getting up at 6 AM, having given birth to an alarm clock in the shape of a small person. Not so with this one. Seriously, I had to wake her up this morning at 8 AM! Her normal wake up time is 7:30, which is great, but when I start work (thirteen days and counting), and she's still up at 7:30, it will be ME waking HER up because I have to be up by at least 6:30 AM to get to work on time. Isn't that a bit bizarro? Did I just get lucky? Am I jinxing myself by posting this?
Today was particularly late because she's still fighting a bit of a cold. Poor girl.
Here I am trying to wake her up....

...and here she is when she decided to join the morning world. It's a little Blair Witchy, but still, so cute.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh My God--They Are All Over the Internet and I Can't Stop Posting Them

This one I post with a special shout out to my friend Amber and I hope her mom still reads my blog, because she's going to think this is funnnneeeee.

Running out of Time...

Hi Everyone
Sadie has a cold. She's a mess. Snotty, watery eyes, breathing like Darth Vadar cold. It's freaking me out. I know I have years of this to deal with, but I suppose the first is always the worst. She got this cold at daycare. It's all true. You put multiple children together and it equals sickness.

No, I did not go back to work, but YES I did find daycare and am taking the advice given to me by many moms, and started her before I go back to work so that the transition of stay at home mom to working mom is easy. Well, not easy, it can't be easy no matter what you do, but easier and therefore less stressful and jarring and scary and sad and heart ripping terrible blah blah. I found a great woman, Annie, who started an in home daycare because she didn't want to leave her own toddler, Cailyn, with anyone else. Smart, if you like that kind of thing. It's called Cailyn's house--and it's literally Cailyn's house. Not a daycare center or preschool type place, but a real home that just so happens to have some babies in it. I like that. Maybe when Sadie's older we will want something more structured with activities to keep a little toddler mind occupied, but for now, this is perfect and I never thought I would find it. Phew!

Greg or I drop her off three days a week. Sometimes we drop her off in the morning, before the nap, but mostly we can't stand to part with her and we drop her off after her nap and after we feed her lunch, so she's really only there for a few hours. The first time I did it I expected to feel awful. But I didn't. From the moment she was born, I have been leaving her. The day after I got home from the hospital from giving birth, I had a chemo appointment in the city that lasted six hours. For the first six months of her life I have been leaving her with people at least once a week and sometimes for days while I had operations or was in the hospital. So I didn't have that initial freak out of walking away from her because I have been parted from her many times which was good (this is one of those weird, gee it's good I got cancer and had a baby at the same time moments of which I have many if you can believe it).

However, I do feel guilty. Guilty that she's with Annie while I wander around Marin trying to keep myself busy. I know it's the right thing to do, getting her accustomed to Annie before I go back to work. And it's funny how I can't wait sometimes to drop her off so I can get stuff done, and then as soon as I do, I miss her. Everywhere I go I see moms with their babies and I get those pangs. I make up for it by buying her something wherever I go. Not good on the wallet, and not a good sign as to what kind of mom I will be. Making up for guilt by buying things! She'll love it I am sure.

Anyway, here's Sadie with Greg about to be taken to daycare for her first day. My mom took pictures of me, Hannah and Nina before the first day of school our whole lives. I thought I would start it early.

Here's Annie and Sadie hanging out.

And here they are with Cailyn, Annie's daughter, who is the sweetest little munchkin. I take off my shoes when I get there, you know, because babies are crawling about, and she puts them on right away and shuffles around saying shooz, shooz, shooz, mama shooz. She does it with baby wipes too. Pulling them out of the container and wandering around saying, wipe, wipe, wipe, mama, wipe. Oh the joy I am in for!

Anyway, finding daycare (and beating cancer, and getting new boobs) means I have nothing else to cross off my list. I am going back to work. The official date is October 22nd. A Wednesday because everyone told me to start with a short week.
I feel pressure to do so much before I go back because life is going to get so much harder, but I don't know what. Time is running out, and fast. Maybe you all could help. What are the things you wish you had done while on maternity leave before you went back to work?


Sorry, I can't Help Myself

Hi Everyone
My husband makes me watch (by the simple fact that we have a small house and a BIG TV) all this political crap and it's starting to work. I am actually interested, and getting scared. We have so much to lose. Having a baby is making it all the more freaky.
But this, that I found while reading the comments to another blogger (who usually writes humorous stuff on being a mom) but like the rest of us is enraptured with the political stage, made me laugh and I needed a good chuckle after last night's debate. I thought I would share.

Who else out there usually ignores politics, but because of the historical aspect (female VP pick, African American candidate) of this election can't get enough?