Special days I celebrated this month and how:
- My father-in-law turned another year older. No one knows for sure how old he is. Apparently his sisters disagree with the date on his birth certificate and have debated his actual birthdate since the beginning of time. Well, the beginning of Wellington’s time, anyway. Aaaanyway… we celebrated like we do every year: we went out for brunch and at the end he paid.
- It was also our niece Presley’s TENTH birthday this month! How is she already ten years old???
- Sonya’s husband, Chris, had a birthday too.
- A bunch of friends had birthdays. Don’t you December birthday people know how much it sucks to be born in December? You shoulda thought of that a long time ago. If I do shout-outs I know I’ll miss some, but here goes anyway: Dorothy, Michael, Cassie, Greg, Jen E, Stephanie, Lisa, Fancy Lori™, Terri, Cindi. I know I forgot someone there. Sorry.
- Dur, this month was Christmas. Yes, I celebrated Christmas, not because I’m a Christian, but because my family has always celebrated Christmas and I love the traditions of the holiday season. What I do not love is people being jackasses about it being CHRISTmas. I know, I know, Linus has been reminding us since 1965 that Christmas is too commercial and frequently Nativity story-free. But why aren’t we all taking responsibility for that, since few of us actually celebrate ONLY the Christ of Christmas? Why do the “Christians” (quotes because the Sarah Palin types are not very Christ-like, in my opinion) blame the atheists, Jews, and whoever it is that celebrates Kwanzaa (I don’t know any black people who do…) for it? The whole thing is just ridiculous.
- P.S. I’ve said “happy holidays” for years because it’s shorter than saying “merry Christmas” and “happy new year.” It’s not because I’m hyper-sensitive to other types of celebrations this time of year; I’m being succinct. So if I say “happy holidays” to you, please don’t accuse me of being the whole reason there’s a war on Christmas. Just be grateful I said something with good intentions behind it. Gah!
I was in the audience:
- Jack’s music class performed at the mall one afternoon. They didn’t have microphones and, well, have you tried to carry on a conversation inside a mall in December? It was impossible to hear them. They looked cute though.
- Unfortunately, we could hear them much better when they performed again at a winter concert at the school the next week. I know they’re kids and I shouldn’t be critical, but I don’t blame them for the awfulness; I blame the people in charge. First, the music teachers need to take the songs down a few keys—very few people sound good singing at the top of their range, and none of those people are in the middle school choir. Secondly, kids need to be given more than a week’s worth of class periods to rehearse before performing in front of an audience. The real bummer of it was that some of the kids were quite good and had obviously practiced outside of class, but they were drowned out by the ones who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.
- On the other hand, it was lovely to have actual Christmas music performed in a public school setting. Maybe people are starting to freak out less about having to be so PC in December??? One can hope.
- We watched lots of our favorite Christmas movies. They’ve become a tradition in which I find great delight.
- Psych the Musical: it was big, silly fun.
- This month we watched both Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I liked them very much. RDJ wasn’t the worst Brit ever.
Gifts I gave and/or received:
I’m not going to list every single thing that was under our pagan, unJesus-y tree this year, but here were some of the biggest hits:
- The kids got an Xbox One for our newly-created media room (formerly my office). It’s super-creepy when I walk in there and “Hi, Jennifer!” appears on the TV.
- Another media room addition was a wireless printer, which I am looooving—I can print from my iPhone or iPad anywhere in the house. Why didn’t I get one sooner? So convenient.
- I hand-painted more glass goodies for gifts.
- Totally not exciting but still awesome: vacuum cleaner! Everything in our house constantly has a fine layer of Lucy-ness, and this new little wonder picks it up surprisingly well.
- I discovered these sports fan glasses on Etsy and had a pair made for one of our nieces. I think they’re way fun.
This month’s good and bad:
- There was much whining about this last month, and here’s some more: Victor had to work on Christmas Day. Pfffftt. We did everything on Christmas Eve, and when he got home the next day we went to Wellington and Darlene’s for a traditional turkey dinner. It would have sucked a lot more if not for the Xbox and the company of Mother Mary.
- I got my office cleaned out and the kids’ media room stuff moved in. Instead of tossing all my office things into boxes and moving them into the hallway, I actually sorted every drawer and shelf. I threw away TONS of stuff, donated about the same amount, and organized all that was left over. It’s not perfect, but it’s closer than it ever has been. I think the hardest part of organizing, for me, is making decisions. I start out with piles like “file,” “shred,” “toss,” “donate,” and then as I go I add more piles, like “give to [specific person],” “sell on eBay” (which I probably won’t do), “put in a scrapbook,” “store somewhere, ANYWHERE else,” “file in that home organization binder I keep thinking I’ll create but never get around to because it requires too many decisions.”
- I floated a couple times this month. I’m enjoying floating more than ever, and truly feel refreshed and renewed for days afterward. If you haven’t floated, I recommend it. Highly.
- Victor is super-sicky today. He’s running a fever, doing the cold sweat thing, and generally feels miserable. This afternoon my throat started feeling scratchy, and now I’m worried I’m coming down with the same thing—just in time for a very non-memorable, now-all-our-plans-are-cancelled New Year’s Eve. Stoopid germs.
newsy bits from in and around our family:
- Katie’s done with the first major phase of her braces! In mid-February she’ll get the spacing appliance removed and have the railroad tracks put on her top teeth. Brace yourself (haha)—she’s a big baby when in pain.
- Jack told me today that his favorite food is ramen noodles, drained of all moisture and with no seasoning whatsoever. What is wrong with that boy??? Blech.
- A while back I mentioned that my last post-cancer treatment checkup had shown some weird stuff. I wasn’t being intentionally vague, but some of you have asked about it since and I want to clarify with a bit more detail. Here goes.
My regularly-scheduled January 2013 CT showed a single lymph node that was several centimeters larger than the scan in July 2012. The radiologist recommended a PET scan, which showed no new cancer growth—they decided the lymph node was enlarged for no apparent reason (totally normal in a person who hasn’t had lymphoma, but a red flag for someone who has). I was advised to have another CT in six months.
Even though my cancer was still in remission, I was frustrated because January 2013 was supposed to be the last of my 6-month checks. I desperately wanted to get my port removed, but figured I should keep it since I had another checkup on the calendar. I went in for a CT in July 2013 and there were 4-5 enlarged lymph nodes. Some of them were two and three times what they had been in January 2013—but we’re still talking millimeters/centimeters; it’s not as concerning as it might seem (apparently). Still, given my history, my oncologist said we would keep our eyes on those nodes. On the radiologist’s recommendation, we scheduled a PET scan for January 2014.
Again, this is frustrating because I can’t have my port removed yet—and I have to go to the chemo room every six weeks to have it flushed and I HATE being back there, even briefly—but also because I just want to be DONE with cancer. Grrrrr.
My next PET scan will be January 23, and I’ll see my oncologist on the 28th. Think good thoughts, please.
I likes to share the silly stuff:
I know I just posted silly pics the other day. Here are a few more.
Tomorrow I’ll post my YEAR in review. You are on pins and needles waiting. I know this.