Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Update on my dad, Gene

As some of you may know, my dad was diagnosed in March with squamous cell carcinoma - basically cancer in his urethra. Apparently this is a pretty rare kind of cancer to have, and his doctor in Peoria set us up with a second opinion at the University of Iowa. Squamous cell was described to us as similar to skin cancer, where it's more of a surgical disease vs. one that would be treated with chemo/radiation.

He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow, May 1, in Iowa City (about 2.5 hours from our house). The initial plan is to remove his urethra, bladder, prostate, and the lymph nodes in that area that look questionable on his PET scan. His doctor seems very good and plans to check everything out to ensure all of that does in fact need removed before doing so, which means there is a small chance he will be able to keep his bladder. The initial plan hopes to remove all cancerous tissue - if that happens he may not need any additional treatment.

The surgery will take approximately 6-8 hours, all depending on how he handles it and how much the cancer has spread. Once he is out of recovery/possible ICU, he will be in the hospital for 5-10 days (depending on how drastic the surgery is.) Once he is able to return to Peoria he will come to Jay and I's house to stay until he's able to drive and live on his own again - our initial estimate is one month.

Lee flew in from California and Jay and I will be in Iowa City for his surgery. Lee plans to fly home on Thursday and Jay will return to Peoria as well. I will stay in Iowa City as much as possible so he is not alone and am off of work all next week.

I will send out updates when possible on Facebook / Email but feel free to text me if you have any questions. Obviously if anyone wants to visit him in Iowa City that's more than welcome and would be a huge help to me, but I know it's pretty far away. More than anything we could use prayers, good thoughts, and fingers crossed that the cancer is removed, he recovers well, and that he remains in good spirits. Overall he seems to have accepted this but is obviously scared.

Thanks - please forward this if you know anyone who cares about him and would like to know. If you would like updates via text, please send me your cell # and I will add you to a group.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Betty getting her groove on

I've had my car Betty now for almost a full year. 16,000+ miles and she's still as pretty as the day we got her.

She's also proving to be quite handy. Yesterday I drove Addi, Sam, and Addi's friend Lilly to a birthday party, then ended up leaving with two additional kids. The extra seating definitely came on handy, and it really was nice to be able to save two other parents a trip when I obviously have room in my beautiful car. However, I do have an upgrade idea for GMC that will ensure I'm a life-long customer.

Xanax. The car needs to come equipped with Xanax. That, or a minibar. When all available seating is filled with 5 to 7-year-olds, a mom needs a drink.

Trying to catch up

Life here has been beyond hectic, and at least three times a day I have a great idea for a blog and then run out of time and never get it written.  So, since I can post blogs from my fantastic smart phone, I'm going to give that a try.  So please give me some grace when you see typos and less witty posts.  Just be thankful I've remembered to hit "publish" on the app.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A visit to Ryan

I have short hair, and I love it.  I love how easy it is to fix.  I love when I see another woman with short hair and I see her as confident, happy, and outgoing, all things I want to be. And I love thinking that people might see me that way too.

As much as I love having short hair, it doesn't always love me.  What I mean is, my face is too round, I look like a boy, and my hair line is way too long in the back (ensuring I get to trim my neck at least once a week). 

Yesterday, Addi walked into the kitchen, looked at me, and said, "Mommy, you need to shave your back."  Then walked out of the room.

I stood there for a full 10 seconds, trying to figure out when exactly I started growing back hair, before I realized she meant my neck hair.  And that gave me my fourth reason on why I should grow my hair out - that the next time she says something like that, it might be in public.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Q-tips for Samantha

The girls took a nice long soak in the tub today, then spent no less than 10 minutes brushing their teeth. They are getting ready for a fundraiser for an American Girl doll tea party, which is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Hospital.

I was in the shower and Sam walked into my bathroom and grabbed two Q-tips. When she started to put one in each ear I said, "Hey be careful. If you are doing that only do one side at a time. "

She nodded seriously, then said, "is that because if I push too hard it will go through my head and come out the other side?"


Saturday, April 6, 2013

60 Never Looked So Good

I like to think I'm a fairly honest person - In fact, I think most of the time I'm a little too honest.  Mostly I want to be a good person, but part of the reason is simple.  I suck at lying. 

This year my mom turned 60, and when my uncle called to suggest a surprise party I had a lot of doubts. Now the doubts most likely stemmed from Phil saying, "Your mom already told me she does NOT want a party in any way shape or form, but I know she'll like it once it happens. So let's get planning."  But somehow I let him talk me into it, and within a few days this invitation went out to 70 of my mom's closest friends.

I did feel bad about planning the party for her since she said she didn't want one.  But when she called and said, "I know Phil is planning a party for him and I told him I do NOT want one.  I am mad!" I did what any girl who prefers honesty would.  I lied through my teeth.  I said, "Mom, if he is planning one I sure haven't heard anything.  And I'll be upset if he plans one and doesn't tell me!"
She believed me.  I felt guilty.  But since my brother Lee and family had already purchased their plane tickets, I got over myself.  And somehow the 70+ people managed to keep it a secret and Jay and the kids and I headed to Indy to pick Lee and kids up from the airport.
Sabrina, Roxy, Lee, and Lorelai
My mom knew the kids and Jay and I were coming for a visit and expected us around 3, so we drove to her neighborhood and had the four kids ring the doorbell.  Click here to watch the video.  It's awesome!
Friday the girls swam at the hotel we were staying at and hung out with their cousins.  Saturday we had our nails done, then all went and had family pictures taken by Annie Syers.  The few shots we've seen so far have been great!  Then we headed to a "dinner" with a few friends which was really, in fact, the surprise party.   I don't know how it happened but my mom was STILL surprised!  We had a great time with 60+ friends and family.
On Sunday we headed home to Illinois, where a freak snowstorm hit.  The drive wasn't fun but Lorelai and Sabrina got to play in the snow, which Lorelai had never done!
All in all, a pretty great weekend! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lent 2013 Recap

Last year for Lent, I gave up Facebook.  And that was really, really, really hard.  I don't get on there that often from an actual computer, but me and my phone are major FB friends. 
This year I thought long and hard about what to give up.  I tried to come up with something that would do double duty (like give up something that keeps me from being a good person or from losing weight) and thought about Coke Zero.  Man, that stuff is like mommy-crack.  I definitely could use a break from it. 
Apparently, the kids could too.  They like it so much their eyes cross. 
Well, Lent ended last week and I'm happy to say we all made it out alive.  Addi gave up candy but fell victim to Valentine's Day and switched to giving up McDonalds and did a great job.  And I made it the entire 40 days and only had soda three times, none of them as a first (or second) choice.
I thought about giving that amazing drink up forever, since one big perk of abstaining was the departure of huge belches, but I only made it one more day.  BURP.  

No, we haven't been sick...

I have been slacking in the blog department.  I have the best of intentions and tons of stories I want to document, but the time just isn't there.  But the fact that we are into the second quarter of this year and I have a mere 10 blogs out in the universe gives me the willies, so I'm going to make another whole-hearted attempt at picking up the pace.

While I do that, take a minute and remember a time when the Ralphs were just one petri dish away from being quarantined.  Enjoy!

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