Saturday, November 29, 2008


Hi Everyone,
Holiday round one done. I hosted the event at our house in the woods. I spent Wednesday shopping and prepping most of the sides, brining the Turkey, making the cranberry sauce, so Thursday wouldn't be a big stressful juggling act. And, even with all that preparation and pre-thought, and my Aunts bringing dessert and drinks and Dan doing the potatoes, I was still a little bit of a wreck. Thanksgiving just does that to me. It's the task of getting everything on the table at once, and still warm, that drives me crazy.

Here I am probably caught between worrying out loud that the Turkey wasn't done enough and complaining about how Frida won't stop picking up Sadie's toys in her mouth or Sadie won't stop crawling over to Frida's dog bowl and splashing around in the water...

Hannah came over early in the morning to help with the baby while I did the rest of the meal. And I played my own little version of Top Design with her. Even though she doesn't watch that much TV and had no idea what I was talking about, it was still fun. I said, 'You can use anything in the kitchen built in shelves and outside in the garden to create a Thanksgiving table setting. You have fifteen minutes and your time starts.....NOW".

And though Hannah has a self admitted 'creative' fashion sense, she usually doesn't mix stripes and plaids. I must explain her odd fashion choice. She's wearing a top of mine while her shirt was in the wash. It was a victim of Frida's muddy paws.

Almost done....

Though I am no India Hicks, I think she did a pretty good job.

I had the perfect amount of people. Any more and my house would have exploded, or we would have had to eat in shifts.

My Aunt Robin from LA was there...

..and spent most of the night cuddling one of the babies. Of course!

My Aunt Sara came too and did a bit of cuddling as well as satiating Greg's need to talk politics.

My cousin Whitney...

...and of course the Lee family...

All in all it was a great night. The food was good (at least I was told it was good). All I know is that the Thanksgiving meal must have a certain color palette. There needs to be brown, green, orange and white. And this, well this I think covered it....

Sadie enjoying her first Thanksgiving...

The family, taking a break before Dessert...

And don't ask, because I can't remember....but this is sort of how the night ended. A perfect ending, in so many ways...


Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Got Showered

Hi Everyone,
So most everyone knows about me being diagnosed with breast cancer in my seventh month of pregnancy. And because of that, I did not get a baby shower. Well, that's not entirely true. I did get showered by all my work friends where we gathered at my boss's house and I got some beautiful presents and there was the little baby table decorations and I think some pink balloons and a real cute invitation made by one of my coworkers that I still have posted on my bulletin board at work.

It's got a picture of me, pregnant, with all this hair piled up on my head. Without any idea that not only was I carrying a 5 pound fetus in my uterus, but a seven centimeter tumor in my left breast. This is the same picture I use for my About Me part of this blog. That picture, or rather when that picture was taken, feels like years ago. Years.

So cancer. Kind of a joy kill. And this, plus the fact that I had to start chemo while pregnant and get induced a month early meant any shower plans were curtailed. And even though my friends tried to come up with a date and bring the shower idea back, I just couldn't see myself sitting, the center of attention, all bald and pale, no appetite, with mouth sores and tubes hanging out of my breasts draining yellow fluid opening presents and squealing, 'So CUTE!' over and over again. Plus, I had the kid already and hence had already bought all the accoutrements necessary in taking care of the kid or been given gifts sporadically already. So. No shower. Until last weekend.

It started when my friend Khalila came to visit me in the hospital when I had that nasty breast infection and I vented about how cancer had ripped me off of so many of the beautiful things about being a new mom. Yet, when I type that out I realize how being a new mom saved me from wallowing in the pity of having cancer. So there you go. The beauty of life and it's little surprises right there. So anyway, a few weeks ago I got an email from Khalila about the shower and then an evite and we were on.

So, one big THANK YOU to my friend K (who even though she drives a super mommy mobile does not let that stop her from rocking sexy heels and leopard print. This girl has always, and will always, turn heads).

And to her beautiful mommy Sundara who hosted the event at her appropriately sunny home and who I have always felt a special connection.

Not only does she remind me of my mom, but at times, in those formative teenage years, I wished she was my mom...because she wore cuter clothes and cooked better food. Sorry, but it's true! I still wish I had those suede red Azzedine Alaia lace up ballet flats she gave me. And, the first time I ever had pine nuts in a salad was at her house in seventh grade. A whole new world of food was opened up to me then and I never looked back.

And of course, to all my awesome friends...

...who were so there for me during some pretty rough times, and pulled it out again to give me such a special day...

..and to my sisters of course...

No. That picture wasn't taken at the shower. That's at Nina's classroom a few weeks ago, but I didn't get a good (flattering) shot of my kin at the party and I would have heard it from one of them if I didn't include a shout out and a photo.

...Sadie says thank you too.

Even though she sort of lost it at the end. She means it. You know, in her own special baby way.

Phew! Now I know why you have the shower before the baby is born....


Friday, November 14, 2008

For my Auntie Robin

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes, I am Still Alive

Hi Everyone,
So, I am sort of in a routine. The work, home, eat, sleep, work, home, eat, sleep routine. Not strangely enough, this routine doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging. It doesn't leave a lot of time for very much self reflection at all. Honestly, I don't know how working moms do anything else but the bare basics. I have managed to figure out a few tricks. Like shopping for dinner at lunch time, and putting my groceries in our office kitchen refrigerator. That saves a stop on the way home if our cupboards are bare and there's nothing to eat for dinner. And I don't put much care, or effort, in to my personal appearance anymore, not that I was primping in front of the mirror for hours before, but you know, I took a shower almost every morning. But now, with this short hair, it's not needed. So I bathe at night and fall in to bed exhausted even before the Daily Show has started. It used to be Greg on the couch, me back here at the computer, mulling over the keyboard about what is too much to reveal on a blog (like should I post pictures of my post op boobs or not? Uhm...not), or reading the plethora of blogs I used to keep up with on a daily basis. It wasn't until Greg shuffled by me on the way to the bathroom to brush his teeth after dozing off during the Colbert Report that I even thought about bedtime. Now, I am lucky if I make it until 10 PM. It's not like I was sleeping in either, because the baby is up at 6:30 regardless. It's just different. I had more down time before. More walking around my garden, holding my baby, pointing out the birds and the flowers. Less staring at spread sheets trying to make sense of row upon row, column upon column of numbers. Not that I should complain. Believe me. I am lucky to have a job right now. Luckier than you will ever know.

So, speaking of the baby (because lord knows Hannah didn't email me today begging me to blog just to hear me complain about being a working mom), she's totally crawling. Backwards, and forwards. This is a big deal. The crawl is a total milestone. Of course, I know I will instantly regret ever encouraging it because now I can't leave her alone in the living room surrounded by a circle of toys without fear something will happen while I go downstairs and grab a load of laundry. Nope. Now it's constant supervision and baby proofing and keeping the floors clean of little small bits and pieces of whatever, because whatever it is, she puts it in to her mouth.
So, here's the baby crawling while Greg baby proofs the fireplace. And, if you listen carefully, you will see another side effect of me being back at work. That exasperated tone I use with my poor husband when he talks to me while I am 'filming'? Yeah, that's me, tired and cranky still needing to walk the dog, make our dinner, feed Sadie dinner, pack her bag for daycare, do the dishes and figure out what I am going to wear (because my closet is in her room) and take a shower and fall into bed (but not before blogging, obviously).


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What'd You Do on A Sunday?

Because, this is what I did.
And, if you can't watch it for four plus minutes, imagine doing it for an hour.
Not that I mind. No really, I don't. I swear. The sarcasm wasn't intended. Whereas before (going back to work), I thought, there has to be more to our day than this, now I look forward to it all week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rainy Saturday

Hey Everyone,
Today was a rainy Saturday. Last winter seems so long ago. So long ago that it was always raining. It rained the most on chemo days. It always seemed appropriate, the weather, rainy and gray and me and Greg on the way to UCSF. He'd drop me off, I'd run in while he parked the car. Go to the lab, recite my name and birthdate for the first of many times that day, get my blood drawn, head up to the breast cancer center, wait and wait to see my oncologist, list my latest side affects, get the results from my labs, take the elevator up to the infusion center, wait and wait, get hooked up to the chemo, wait and wait and then get unhooked and we'd be on the way home and my body would be filled with chemicals wreaking havoc on my cells and it would still be raining a steady gray drizzle all the way home where I would grab my baby Sadie and be grateful that she was OK and hope to God I would be too.

Today, my friends Susannah and Amber came over with their kids, Zoey and Ruby, and we tried to be grateful together. We tried to be grateful while drinking tea, making cookies for the girls, scones for us, while keeping the girls entertained, and Frida from eating all of Sadie's soft toys (something she does when people are in the house and she gets nervous). Grateful for our health, our friendship, our beautiful daughters, our amazing loving husbands, because these are the things that can't be taken away by losing our jobs, our money, and our homes. These things are constant. These are the things that matter.