Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holy crap, where did THAT come from?

You guys are the bestest. Honestly, I couldn't ask for better friends. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. Rest assured that for the most part we are doing well. Every once in a while, reality decides to reach out and slap us across the face. Hard. And that's okay. It serves as a reminder of the depths of our love for Lillian.

And now for an equally awkward transition, I bring you the following.

WARNING: Gruesome picture follows. Although by now you've probably already seen it so why am I bothering with this warning anyway?

In case you couldn't tell, this is the back of my leg. I cannot easily view this region of my anatomy so that lumpy deformity may have been there for some time. But I choose to believe it just "popped up." Like the topographic maps we made in the 3rd grade, a few veins appear to have gone 3D. Which brings me to several questions. First, what the heck caused it? Second, how do I make it go away? Third, I know I'm Whitey McWhiterson. Shut it.

I'm old.

I blame exercise.

This Post's For Me

How do you transition from a post about "Mamma Mia" to a post about grief? Not gracefully, that's for sure. I hesitated to write about this at all but then remembered that this blog is about me and for me. Yes I tap dance like a trained chimp just to entertain you at times. But then something happens and the sadness crashes over me like a wave. That's when I just have to get it out there. Even if it's just for me. So here goes.

Sometimes little things remind me of my sweet girl and make me smile. Other times they make me cry. Often these little things come in rapid succession and morph into one very big thing. I'm at the tail end of one of those times. I hope.
We took Ian to the play class at Gymboree for the first time a couple of weeks ago. As I pulled off three name tags adorned with that loveable clown, I started to write Lillian's name. I had barely gotten the down stroke of the L before I realized my error. Sucking the air through my teeth, I finished the name tag with an A and an N for Lillian's little brother. The class opened with everyone introducing their child. Easy enough. Then the teacher asked us if we had been to Gymboree before. "This is Ian's first class but we have been here with our daughter," I responded. No big deal. Later in the class the teacher dropped by and asked how old our daughter was. Again, the wind was knocked out of me as I quickly muttered that she passed away last year. Ugh.
Fast forward a few nights and Ian was a very cranky boy. His acid reflux continues to plague him. The acid blocker he is on typically does the trick. But our big boy has a tendency to out grow his dosage before his next doctor's appointment. So every few months, he gets atypically cranky and we know it's time to up the dosage. This was one of those times. Unfortunately it takes about 24 hours to really kick in. We tried everything but he would not be consoled. An hour past his bedtime, I finally decided to rock him to sleep. I watched as he slowly transformed from screaming to whining to silence. His little bald head once flailing in defiance now released in exhaustion. I felt the weight of his tense body turn limp as sleep overtook the fight. Without warning, I was suddenly back in the hospital room holding my angel's lifeless body and kissing her sweet bald head for the final time.
Before Relay I decided to download Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" audiobook on my ipod. Listening to the wisdom of a man dying of pancreatic cancer seemed like the perfect accompaniment to the many laps around the track. I barely scratched the surface at Relay and have been listening to the book on my commute ever since. It is filled with humor and intelligence and common sense wisdom. It's about dreaming big and breaking down walls that stand in your way. It's a summary of everything he wants to pass on to his three young children. And we are privileged enough to share in it as well. Get it. You won't be sorry.

Last Friday on my way home from work, I glanced down at the ipod and was saddened to find I was nearly at the end of this little treasure. The rest would have to wait until Monday. A treat to brighten my commute to work!

As I was turning off the television later that night, I saw Randy Pausch's face light up the screen. At age 47, Randy died of complications from pancreatic cancer. Obviously I never knew him. But hearing his words fill my car each day somehow made this loss personal. Maybe I was still reeling from the earlier blows. Or maybe my heart was aching for his wife and kids. Or maybe his death is a reminder that life can change in an instant. Whatever the cause, it hurt.
It's the little things that get you. They don't add up, they multiply. As quickly as the flood rises around you, it recedes into normalcy. I don't know which is harder. The flood or the aftermath.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My, my, how could I resist ya?

My girlz and I went to see "Mamma Mia" on Saturday. (What up ladies?) We had a blast at the stage show last year but I, for one, arrived at the theater with tempered expectations. Can Meryl Streep actually sing? Will the curtain call be as good as the stage show? How could it be?

We unintentionally arrived a few minutes late but still stopped for snacks. Of course! That left us the best seats in the house...the front row. We hunkered down just as the previews ended and braced ourselves as the movie opened.

I'd like to take this moment to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone attending the 8:40 showing of Mamma Mia at the Century 16 Theater. But seriously, we were clearly more entertaining than the movie.

With all my wondering about Meryl's chops, it didn't occur to me to question the vocal talents of the other actors. How could I have forgotten that 007 himself was in the movie? From the first note that crossed his lips, my ears began to bleed. Not only can the man NOT SING, but they way he was grunting out the lyrics made him appear constipated. "SOS" is intended to be a heart wrenching moment in the film but our laughter drowned out any hope for an emotional connection with the characters. I found myself yelling "SOS" at the screen. Save me! But hey, don't take it from me, listen for yourself...

To top it all off, at one point, Pierce rips off his shirt and there was a collective groan throughout the theater. At least I think it was collective. Again, sorry to the other theater goers. It appeared as though he was wearing a flabby hair shirt under his other shirt. Interesting costume choice. Me thinks 007 needs to lay off the martinis...

Take the questionable vocals out of the picture and it was still a good time. In fact, I think the singing made it more fun. For us anyway. Again, sorry.
Some of my fav comments at Rotten Tomatoes:
"It is not merely that Pierce Brosnan cannot sing; it is that he looks so uncomfortable doing it." -Pam Grady

"Make that Gramma Mia." -Jackie K. Cooper

"Brosnan especially looks physically pained choking out the lyrics, as if he's being subjected to a prostate exam just outside of the camera's eye." -Matt Brunson

Friday, July 25, 2008

Craziness and Cat Deeley

Several unrelated yet semi-odd things have happened in the past couple of days. With that intriguing description, I can tell that you are DYING to know what they are so without further ado I give you...random bullet points! Enjoy.

  • "Is Lori there?" - This is what I heard when I answered my office phone. Why is this strange? Oh for about eleventy hundred reasons but the most obvious is that this co-worker clearly looked up the internal number to my desk, dialed it and then asked if I was here. Yes Thomas. I am here. Are you there?
  • "Are you losing weight?" - Someone who I have seen nearly every day asked me yesterday if I am losing weight. I would expect that question after five or ten pounds. But 45? Please tell me after all that sweating and dieting that I look different enough to make that a statement, not a question.
  • "I thought I stopped too suddenly but he was right there." - As I was driving home last night, the light turned yellow. Since I was nearly in the intersection already, I gunned it as did the car in front of me. Until she was about 3 feet into the intersection and the siren sounded. An ambulance had just flipped on their siren in the left turn lane across from us. So she stopped. Three feet in the intersection. She stopped. SUDDENLY. I did the same and missed colliding with her bumper by a matter of centimeters. I threw up my hands and clutched my head in an effort to ensure it was still attached. After a minute, she got out of her car, walked to my window and uttered an apology. Wow. All I can say is...wow.

Now on to the biggest question of the day. Who the heck is dressing Cat Deeley from "So You Think You Can Dance"? They should re-title the show "So You Think You Can Make A Hot Chick Look Horrid." Are you with me? Anyone? Bueller?

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Guess What I Made?

Only the best homemade, organic food for mah baybay.

The equipment.

The results.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Relay For Life

Relay for Life was last weekend and I think I've finally recovered enough from the fun and sun to tell you all about it.

The event is kicked off with the survivor lap. This year our Relay decided to have Grand Marshalls who would lead the survivor lap. Three of our cancer fighting friends were selected to be Grand Marshalls, Kennedy, Grady and McKayla. It was such a thrill to watch these three terrific kids honored.

Thanks to all of you and your incredible generosity, Walking with Angels raised over $6000 to cure cancer.

Our team has three members (Becci, Michelle and me) that raised over $1000 each which earns us a seat in the region's Grand Club. That was the most number of Grand Club members from one team!

For all of our efforts, Walking With Angels once again earned the coveted Spirit Award! This was based on overall contributions to the event from participation in activities to donations to the silent auction to recruiting teams and so much more.

We could not have done any of this without your help. Thank you so much for your prayers, attendance at fundraising events, donations and encouragement! I also want to call out the incredible support we received from several businesses. Let's reward their generosity by supporting their businesses.

I leave you with the Relay motto - Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is what 45 lbs looks like...

An empty closet... ...and a pile of 193 items for Goodwill

There is gonna be some very happy people shopping at the Tigard Goodwill.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I achieved two blog-worthy milestones yesterday. After reading this, you may beg to differ with what I deem "blog-worthy." Keep in mind that any Tom, Dick or Harry can have a blog...for free...with no editing. So "blog-worthy" is not a very ambitious term.

Since Ian arrived, I have been covered in more bodily fluids than any non-medical personnel should endure. These are things which are clearly intended to remain on the INSIDE. Tell that to Ian. Thanks to acid-reflux, he insists on showing us what formula looks like post-consumption. Now that I know this about my son, I have implemented a simple yet effective plan to contain the damage. When I get home from work, I don my spit-up uniform.

The two basic requirements for this uniform are 1) it must be layered allowing me to peel off a soiled layer and still have a wearable ensemble and 2) it must be machine washable, duh. Considering that nearly two-thirds of my wardrobe is in the Goodwill pile, my uniform options are limited. For example, I currently have 2 pairs of jeans which comprise 50% of my suitable-for-work pant wardrobe.

You may think that jeans would be an acceptable component of the wardrobe.

And you would be wrong.

EVERYONE knows that jeans are not machine washable. Well, at least not machine dry able. I used to pretend that I air dried my jeans so they wouldn't shrink in length. Truth be told? I was already fighting to contain my belly behind the strained zipper of that stretched out waistband. To dry them back to their original size would deem them unwearable. So in Loriland, jeans must never, EVER, E-V-E-R go in the dryer.

Fast forward to yesterday.

After coming home from work, I was distracted by the beyond adorable thing that Ian must have been doing at the time (though I can't recall what it was) and neglected to change into my spit-up uniform before handling the cute little barf machine. On cue, he unleashed a pool of regurgitated formula on me, the chair, the carpet and himself. And darn it all if I wasn't wearing jeans. (You kinda saw that coming, didn't you?)

After sopping up the majority of the damage, I changed into my spit-up uniform and marched the defiled jeans to the washing machine and punched the milk button in the stain brain. God bless the stain brain. By the time the cycle ended, it was 9:30pm and I was ready for bed. This, my friends, is a dangerous time of day to make decisions. Sensibility is replaced by the need to sleep. So rather than hang the jeans to dry which would have required 3 steps, I opened the dryer door, tossed them in and pressed start. Also 3 steps in case you're keeping track. Screw it, I'm tired.

I woke up this morning and immediately slapped myself on the head. What have I done? I have ruined one-quarter of my suitable-for-work pant wardrobe. IDIOT. Why, why, why do I make these types of decisions at bedtime? I should be banned from all decision making after 9pm. Somebody stop me!

I trudged down to retrieve the jeans fully expecting them to be Barbie-sized at this point. I yanked them out of the dryer and held them up to see if they were an acceptable length. Huh, that looks pretty good. But they'll never fit around. I folded them and returned to my bedroom for the final humiliation. I put my jeans on one leg at a time. (Isn't that how you do it?) Well I will be darned if those suckers didn't fit! And were even a bit loose still. Holy mackerel. Holy Toledo. Holy jumping up and down Martha. The silly things fit! So I did what anyone would do. I ripped them off and jumped on the scale. Down another pound. Just 2 more to go until my goal.

I tell ya, I never thought I'd live to see the day when machine drying jeans would be permitted in Loriland.

Oh, the other blog-worth milestone? Ian started spouting a yellow rainbow as I was pulling him out of the tub last night. And I calmly blocked the stream with my hand. My bare hand. Without thinking twice. I'm clearly used to having a son.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hippy No More

There is a certain amount of baggage that comes with buying a hybrid. Granted it's a lovely matched set of recycled bags in the most adorable shade of green. But it's baggage nonetheless. I'm not sure whether this baggage is thrust upon you by the watchful eyes of strangers or more self-imposed. All I know is suddenly, it doesn't feel right to defile this fuel-efficient car with a pile of plastic grocery bags filled with Twinkies, Cheetoes and Pepsi. No, a HYBRID demands organic food purchased from local farmers transported in reusable canvas totes.

Add to that the expected lifestyle that accompanies a vegetarian diet and you're an honorary citizen of hippy-dippy land. Which, coincidentally, looks a lot like Portland.

Never has this bent been more clear than when I recommended Jojoba Oil to a mom complaining about her son's rash. JOJOBA OIL. Next I'll be advising you about the position of the moon in relation to Jupiter and how to make your own guano facial. But seriously, jojoba oil is awesome stuff. Try it.

So what's a hybrid-driving-vegetarian-girl to do when she buys not one but two bags of expensive, organic, sulfite-free dried apricots only to discover that she must enjoy the taste of sulfites because these are NASTY?! Well, this hybrid-driving-vegetarian-girl will happily relinquish her hippy membership for some good ole fashioned sulfur-laced dried apricots. Mmmmmm, tasty, tasty sulfur.

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