Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sometimes Tom doesn't get home until after dark. I wonder how bad it would fuck with him if I painted a handful of rocks from the gravel driveway with glow in the dark paint and then tossed them out there some day for no reason.


This is my mother's brain, or at least it was last fall. See that weird little truffle-shaped glob in the lower right corner-ish part of her brain? That is a giant brain tumor. But they took it out.
See this? This is my mother's current brain, truffle-free, but with a white blur. See the blur up there slightly left of center? That's bad, and it's too deep to operate on. But the good news is that it was there last fall, just tinier, and they irradiated it last fall. So they're thinking that the chemo that fixed the rest of her body is still effective and she's probably clear from the neck down, and they base this on the fact that this little blur was there before and there are no new blurs that weren't there before, so obviously the cancer isn't spreading. 
So anyway, on Monday my brother will drive her to Iowa City so they can do a new MRI and a CT scan, and then Tuesday I will drive her out for the one day radiation where they will zap her deep in her frontal lobe with what I secretly envision is a cross between a giant laser pointer and the laser Val Kilmer spent the entire Real Genius movie building.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Iowa City

I am awake and showered before 7:00 am so that I can accompany my mother and brother to Iowa City to see what the doctors want to do about Mom's latest MRI, which shows a new/returning tumor in her brain. Remission is over and this horrid dance is starting all over again. There was a time when I thought I might attend the University of Iowa and Iowa City represented hope and independence and adulthood to me, but now it's just surgery and radiation and dumbed down medical jargon and the gag-inducing scent of iodine. When all of this is over, however it is over, I hope to never set foot in that town again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wherefor art thou, Jooey-et?

You know those green plastic things that sit under the downspout to direct the water away from the foundation of the house?  Well we have one in our driveway under the gutter off the back of the house, which is kind of dumb because the downspout goes about ten feet away from the house as it is and an 18" plastic tray isn't going to save anything.  But I have no better place to put the tray so I leave it in the driveway.
And under that tray is a hole in the gravel. It's about big enough that I could set a golf ball in it and the tray would still sit flat.
And in that hole lives a toad. A toad Tommy has named Juliet, except it's pronounced Jooey-et. A toad Danny has named Frog. Except it's pronounced Fwock. It's a very important toad, to have so many exotic aliases.

So tonight, when I took the boys to bed, they wanted to sleep in frog-holes rather than beds. So I piled the quilts up in a circle in Tommy's bed to make the walls for a frog-hole, and I turned to do the same in the crib, but Tommy was in the crib. And Danny climbed up into the bed. And it might have worked all night except that I took a shower and the boys yelled because the cat was in their room and when Ryan went to get the cat she switched the boys back to their own beds because 14 year old girls value nothing more than strict adherence to tradition.
Tomorrow I will see if Juliet/Frog has returned to its bed in the driveway and try to take pictures of it. But I have to face the sad possibility that being discovered and renamed by my sons has chased it away for good. It's like white flight but slimier. Fwock flight.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

I love my family

I love that Danny is perfectly willing to go outside in nothing but a diaper, but he always grabs shoes and a hat on his way to the door. It might me my bunny slippers and a toy hard hat, but he feels he needs shoes and a hat more than he needs pants. He's like a 1950s sitcom dad, but with bare legs.

I love that Tommy thinks he has more money if he counts the same bills twice. Like currency depends entirely on the numbers you say as you count. I'm confident he will grow up to be a very successful economist some day. He'll probably run Wall Street.

I love that Ryan, with her teenage girl body and her Malibu Barbie looks, is still a 9 year old tomboy sometimes. The other day she came home from a walk and said she found a dead thing by the creek. When I asked her what it was she said it's lower jaw was just bone but the rest of it was "kinda there" but she couldn't get close enough to see what it was because the smell was too bad.  Just when I worry that she's growing up too fast she reminds me that she's not quite at the date nights and curfew extensions age yet.

I love that Tom lets Tommy help him in the kitchen even though it involves spilled flour and an eggy floor.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

My son the capitalist

Tommy wants a toy. It's a really cool toy, by 3 1/2 year old standards. A Dinosaur Train motorized train set, complete with time tunnel!  It costs $45 at Paul's Discount Store, and I'm not going to pay $45 on a toy just because. So I told him he could earn the money himself. We wrote his name on an empty coffee can and every time he finds a coin on the floor he puts it in his can. So far he has one dollar, two dimes, and a penny in there. This Saturday is the city wide yard sale and our street is notoriously busy on city-wide day. Ryan has had some stellar Kool-Aid stands on city-wide day, and this year Tommy will, to the best of his 3 1/2 year old ability and attention span, attempt to replicate her success. Right now Tom is mixing up banana bread, cookie dough, and brownies for Tommy to sell, and Ashley the babysitter helped bake cookies the other day to sell as well. I will make muffins tomorrow evening. I really hope Tommy earns a fair amount of money, maybe even enough to buy his toy. I hope he learns that work = reward. I hope I'm not left with 6 gallons of Kool-Aid and 8 loaves of banana bread.

**EDIT.  He earned the money, I was still left with 6 gallons of Kool-Aid, he bought the toy that very night, and when I asked him how he got the money (to try and reinforce the memory that he had worked for it) he said, "People gave it to me." He totally doesn't get that they gave it to him in exchange for something, just that they gave him money and he got a toy.  Remember this, parents, there is a fine line between selling sugar-water and panhandling, and kids don't grasp nuance.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Danny hijacked this blog post. A film review.

Dowie, way aw you?
Jess keep simming. Jess keep simming.
Da oh-sen! Dey simming da oh-sen!
Mommy, I watching Meemo!