Monday, January 31, 2011

Blogger's Block

I'm totally stealing this phrase from Little Fruit Fly. I've got a lot to say, and no creative way to say it.

First, people have not only liked the shirt idea from my last post, but some have requested a shirt of their own.

And I love that.

I have to do some more research on what exactly I want it to look like, where to buy from (any suggestions??), etc., but need to order this week to have for the Princess Half - if anyone is interested, shoot me an email at hmgiraffy at gmail dot com so I can have a quick count of how many to order.

Second, I was super psyched out about the 10 miles I was scheduled to run this weekend. I'm really glad I live somewhere with great bike paths. Literally across my street, there's a bike path that goes for... miles. It's called Mountain to the Sea, or something, and its true.

The plan was to just go, 5 miles, and turn around. Somehow even when I'm running the 405 manages to wreck my life, because my GPS failed somewhere around there, and I didn't realize for about 10 minutes that I remained at 3.5 miles regardless of how far I'd gone. Doh!

I definitely didn't want to fall short of my 10 miles, so I kept going, even after I saw this in a church parking lot....


Fearless, right?

It was kind of a pretty trail, in parts.. if you're into that "homeless den, petri-dish water" look.


At each intersection, there's a choice to take the flat path across the road, or a path under the road. I purposely ran the hills most of the time... I know about that hill at the Ticket and Transportation Center!


Every time I ran under one, I was reallllly hoping The Big One wouldn't hit right now... especially at the end, there was no way I'd be sprinting fast enough through there.

TNT obviously does some training out here as well, 'cause at the end of my run, I saw this and kicked up my pace... Soooo close to the end!


...but apparently they run the opposite loop

No thanks.

Finished in 2:04, which is pretty exciting, 'cause after I got home and mapped my run, I'd churned out 10.9 miles. Sweet!

And, it was awesome. It was hard, but never overwhelmingly so. I ran sans music, I ran wthout knowing my pace, and it was GREAT. I seriously felt like I could have kept going. I'm a little achy today - ice on the hips, and compression socks - I feel like a 70 year old woman.

But I am SO READY for the half.

Friday, January 28, 2011

All the cool kids are doing it....

Costuming, that is. For the Disney Princess Half. That's in less than 1 month.

So in LESS THAN 1 MONTH I will be a half-marathoner. Hopefully. Unless something goes terribly awry.

And have I mentioned how, in less than one month, I'll be at Disney World? The happiest place on earth? 'Cause I will.

Anyway, so everyone I know that is going, is costuming.

I (1) have not picked a costume, and (2) am on a spending hiatus for running gear. But I'm pretty sure I've roped my IBFF (Internet Best Friend Forever) into making me a skirt, to wear over my tights. Or shorts, if it's not cold (ha). Which leaves me with a top. And I have a plain white top I can wear, which is fine.

But I'm getting ambitious, and think I might just make a tech top with Baby's picture.

Crazy? Fun? Bizzarro? Weird? Creepy?

I designed this, first...

(only with a less crappy shot of that kid)

(reads, Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Every 10 minutes, someone dies.)

That seems a little intense. But it's true, and important.

Any ideas?

I'm a few days away from something fun, but not quite ready to post it. Next week, though... it's going to be rad. It's not a giveaway, entirely, but there will be stuff, given away... and hopefully I'll be separating some of you from your hard earned cash, for a good thing.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I am 5 check-in's away from becoming mayor of the Starbucks by my office. I was gifted with a metric ton of Starbucks gift cards, and have made it my job to visit at least once a day. Since I've discovered this non-fat misto business with 70 calories, I can't stop. It's madness.

2. Baby's treatment yesterday went swimmingly :D. We don't go back until next Wednesday, but that's serious trip.. lumbar puncture and bone marrow taking :(.

3. I am super intimidated by the 10 miles on my training schedule this weekend. Yikers.



Suck It Up, Buttercup Virtual Race Report

Michelle at Baby Weight My Fat Ass organized the PERFECT race for my mood lately...


Driving home yesterday, it was... this...


It's a tough life we lead here in SoCal. If it makes you feel better, check out that traffic I enjoy twice a day.

So perfect running outside weather! I like to run outside (shocker!), but it's tough for me - my area is super safe, but NOT super well lit, and during the week I would be stuck running in the dark... which I try to avoid. But I just couldn't turn down a 70* run.

I geared up, grabbed a (surprise! LEAKY!) waterbottle, and headed out.

Apparently, really S L O W. I wasn't watching my pace, at ALL. I was just... going slow. I went fast (for me) the night before, and just wanted to go easy.

I did a half loop through my neighborhood. I love that it's a pre-made 5K just for me :D

There was some serious wind that I was running into the first mile or so, that I thought would be at my back on the way in, but... it wasn't. Wind is seriously my least favorite element. Add in some rolling hills on the last mile, and kids, you've got yourself a work out. My bum is sore today!



See? I told you it was slow. SOMEHOW, it was slower than when I ran/walked Corona del Mar in June! Whatever. I thought I would die then, and I felt rad this time.

Final time: 38:04.

The H made some barbecue beef nonsense for dinner, but I can never eat serious food after I run (or before, so this really works out well for dieting), so I ended the night with a bowl full of roasted veg.


Mmmmm. Cauliflower...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holy CRAP that felt good.



Now that I've proven to myself that I can, in fact, wake up at tooeffingearly o'clock, I suppose I could make use of that time to do the cross training I yapped about staring here... The getting up early isn't what bothers me, so much as the "cold". And by "cold", I mean, it's like in the 50's at 5:30am. Brrr.

Baby update:
She has a chemo treatment today. She has to go to what the hospital calls "The Infusion Center". It sounds so dramatic. But really? Since she has the port, it's just a quick teeny poke, and done. Plus, we have some fantastic numbing cream, so she doesn't even really feel it (true story, I tested it). Next week is another lumbar, and that's the one that always gets to me :(.

Anyway. Have I mentioned this steroid that makes her scary beyond all reason? It also, apparently, makes her extremely kooky. Last night, she was flipping out because I turned a light on. I mean, it was dark, and I don't like to sit around in the dark, so it seemed reasonable. Oh but it was not. Awhile later, this happens:


Mmhmm. Too dark to not have the light on, but - apparently - the light was TOO MUCH for her. And, check.out.that.gut. Sheesh. That kid is gonna explode in the next 6 days (not that I'm counting down).

Oh, and, I also have 2 other kids. Both of whom are really pretty healthy - we haven't had a flu or puking incident in YEARS. Until this weekend, when we bring home the kid with no immune system, at all.... and both kids decide to suddenly run super high fevers (#2) and start puking (#1). Thankfully both are now better, so it was a quick bug, but... Oy. Timing, man. Timing.



I've always been one to be really proud of the fact that I am independent. I take care of myself (well, we take care of ourselves). I don't like to ask for help - I'd rather figure out a solution on my own.

I've literally been overwhelmed with the KINDNESS of people the last 3 weeks. People I don't even know, really. People I chat with online. My virtual-then-real-life friends.

I'm touched, beyond words, that someone would do this for me... Running off for a Cause. While I spent yesterday morning (while I was up early NOT running) complaining and wallowing about how lazy I am, Marcia was... doing that. It's humbling, and inspirational. I've cried exactly 4 times since this started - once when we got the diagnosis, once at her second lumbar (I didn't cry the first time, 'cause people were around. That's how I am.), once when Becka did something unbelievably generous for me, and yesterday, when I read that post.

I'm thankful, for all the kind words, all the prayers, all the thoughts. I don't even have words to describe it.

Photobucket Photobucket

ps. holy crap, eyebrow waxing and frizzy hair. It's like I didn't even look in the mirror this morning. Yikes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My motivation... she is gone.

I keep meaning to run. I collect all my things, and have them ready. I slept in my running tights the other day, thinking there was NO WAY I'd wake up and take them off without running.

And yet I did.

I meant to run Saturday morning, which is my hands down favorite time to run. Instead, I packed up #1 and ran errands, all day. I had virtually nothing in my house, and we seriously needed to restock. I did major grocery shopping the Saturday we went to the hospital (Baby in tow, because I thought she just needed to get out of the house. Oops.). All that produce, no good. Had to start fresh. Sigh.

I meant to run Sunday afternoon, my second favorite time to run. But by the time I got "motivated", it was too hot to run outside, and the Bravo TV schedule looked unappealing.

I meant to run yesterday morning, and didn't. Baby looked at me getting dressed, and notified me that it was still dark, and to go back to bed. So I did. Because, apparently, the 4 year old is the boss of me.

I meant to run last night, but left work late, traffic was bad, #1 started puking.

I meant to run this morning, but it was cold.

I meant to run. I really did. Every time I thought about it, it sounded fantastic.

Then it was actually time to run, and I talked myself out of it.

I've heard this from other runners, and I'm positive I've said it to, but you'll never regret running. You'll probably regret NOT running, but you'll never regret running. It's true. I feel sucktastic every time I skip a run.

But I keep skipping them! Over and over and over.

I mean. I'm still super psyched about running. I still read a jillion running blogs. I'm still stoked about the Princess Half. I just... can't make myself do it.


So, I guess I'm posting this for you all to see. Tonight? I run. 3 miles. It's on my plan, and I will do it. No whining. No excuses. No laziness. No guilt. Just shut up and run. That's it, and that's all.

And tomorrow, when I report back with how my time was sucktastic because I haven't run in 3 weeks, you can all remind me that it's my own stupid fault for not shutting up and running to begin with.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Things to do on a Saturday morning...

So, there was this...

...and then this, several times this morning...

So we took this...

...and did this...

And now have this...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hella Happy Friday

Baby was released yesterday, and is home, and as happy as can be. At least, I *think* she's happy. It's tough saying. The Steroid makes her moods alternate between quietly simmering and completely exploding.

We were on our own for her meds last night, and it was fine, after reviewing, and re-checking, and re-verifying her schedule. It's a lot to remember - three of them are morning AND night, one is morning and night, but only Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, one is 4 hours before she goes for a treatment... I'm not the most organized mom around - under good circumstances, I manage to get people clothed, and fed, and out to school, and sometimes even bathed. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to keep track of this madness. I see a spreadsheet and calendar in my near future.

I am done waffling, and will just say it. I'm going to Disney World, in 1 month and 4 days. I will probably skip the park-going, which is a bummer, but... I get to run through the Castle, and EPCOT, and that will do for now :D. AND, I'm really stoked that A is coming with B from 50halfmarathonsin50states. I love that kid.

Running. What's that?

I plan on a few miles tomorrow morning, and then starting a new week Monday, as usual. TMB worked out some modifications to my training plan with me, and I trust her judgement. And I normally don't trust people, but she seems to know what she's talking about. :D

Tomorrow is Farmer's Market Saturday - hooray! I'm pretty psyched to get back to eating normally, and cooking, and not feeling greasy all the time.

Finally... here's a video, taken before The Steroid took away her soul made her cranky all the time... It still cracks me up. All fun and games until someone falls off the bed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Baby's port was de-accessed yesterday. Good - she's not tied to an IV, and she no longer resembles Iron Man. Bad - if we don't get released today, she's gotta be re-accessed tomorrow, which involves needles, which always result in tears. Fingers crossed!

2. I am un.motivated. I mean, I don't know when I'd have TIME to run, I stay at the hospital alternating nights, and visit before and after when I'm not staying, so I'm already not sleeping, and I can't cut out work, so I'm not sure WHEN I'd run. But even thinking about it is uninteresting today. That makes me cranky. I'm SURE things will go back to "normal" after she gets released. Right?

3. Le Sigh. Ignore the lint that was tangled in... from one quick brush through :(.



I'm boring myself with the whiny blogs. Today it ends. Swear it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lists make me happy

1. I miscounted where we are in our current cycle - we are only on day 15 of The Steroid. 15 days left!
2. I went back to work yesterday, and it was lovely to "get back to normal" for a few hours.
3. I'm worried about Princess Half. With H not working, I hate taking away what limited resoures we'll have to play and be completely selfish.
4. Baby's hair has started falling out. She got pissed yesterday when some of it invaded her food.
5. I am O V E R the hospital and eating out constantly. Guh.
6. I have never been more excited to grocery shop than I am right now. And I'm not even doing it yet.
7. Baby is sleeping on me right now, and it's lovely. It really helps that she's currently asleep, because that's really the best way to experience her right now.
8. I got in two quick runs last week. I'm intending to start my training plan where I left off this week. Except I suddenly had zero motivation. That bums me out.
9. I ordered girl scout cookies. Yum.
10. I've got the best friends ever. Seriously.
11. Per the comments on my last post, sure does suck to find my perspective this way, but it's there nonetheless, and I'm grateful that I've found it.
12. I forgot to wash my mascara off last night, and didn't bring my makeup remover to the hospital with me. Things are about to get messy.
13. My commitment to running is really gonna have to step itself up here. I'm going to HAVE to make myself a morning runner to get the miles in. I love morning running, but have never loved it enough to drag myself out of bed an hour early. That will have to change. Or I can just expect to suck.
14. I bet kids in the hospital would sleep better if they didn't decide that 4am is a good time to draw blood.
15. I let Baby skip a bath last night because she told me, "No baths!". I'm soft sometimes.
16. Today, she must bathe, even if she says no with her quivery little lip.
17. It's actually a shower, there isn't even a tub in her bathroom. How that makes sense for a room assigned to 3-5yr olds is beyond me. She hates the shower.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

“What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.”

I brought Baby to the Urgent Care center (then ER, then CHOC) on Saturday, Jan 1, because she was being lethargic. I had big plans for Sunday. It was #1's 12th birthday, and she asked for Mimi's for breakfast. I had a 9 mile run to get in before that. I didn't have time to be slowed down by a sleepy kid. I figured, worst case scenario, she needed to be iv'ed and rehydrated. 2 weeks later, here we are. #1's birthday has come and gone. We saw her for a few minutes in the oncology ICU while we were between doctors and nurses. We didn't have breakfast that day, at all. She did - I hear she ate cake or ice cream or something. We had some ice cream cake, and gave half of the cake to the OICU nurses. 

I was really worried that she might need some type of medicine, or god forbid, a shot. She hates those. Thursday, I was psyched that her morning meds are down to 4, and evening 3. That doesn't include the twice monthly lumbar punctures. At least she has a port in her chest, so she only gets a needle stuck in her chest once a week or so. 

Before I brought her in, she'd been kind of getting over a cold. Not really "getting over", because as we now know, her immune system wasn't functioning. But we'd been letting her sleep in our bed, because she didn't want to sleep in hers. It annoys me to have her in my bed. I don't like it. I've been sleeping in her bed for 15 days. 

Baby's steroid makes her cranky. She's in general pretty bull-headed, and feisty. But this is so much worse. She caught Snork grabbing a French fry (that she wasn't even eating), and about melted down. She told her sister she can't watch tv in her room. It's  frustrating, because I don't really know what to do. I mean, I'm generally a pretty consistent disciplinarian, but... How do you discipline a kid on a drug that makes her act unreasonable? Then, Screechy moved in next door, and it was so much clearer. I was doing fine. 

I constantly am irritated by my kids' hair. #1 has super long, beautiful caramel colored curls, but she wears them tied up in an ugly bun, all the time. #2's hair is stick straight, and thick, and full of natural blonde highlights. She alternately hates brushing it, or styles it in a messy pony tail with tendrils hanging haphazardly-on-purpose. Baby's hair is fine, and never, ever stays in anything I use to get it put up. Today, I brushed it to put it in a ponytail for her, and had to clean a small handful of hair out of her brush. I guess it's starting. 

15 days ago, my biggest concern was if I'd have to maybe start taking an extended lunch once a week to fit in my 5 mile weekday runs, for the Princess Half training. I was usually dropping Baby off at school around 7:45, but could bring her as early as 7, which would give me some time to fit that 5 miles in.  It crossed my mind that I felt a little bad for making her get up earlier, making her day that much longer. I was really concerned about not having enough time on my plate to cover training, work, kids, home. I had a goal time in mind, and needed those runs to hit it. Needed. 

I was trying to figure out in our budget where we would fit in the trips we wanted to take this year. We planned on a few weeks in Florida (including a trip to Disney World) and some time in Yosemite over the summer. It was all doable, as long as I booked our travel smart. I spent a couple hours on Wednesday filling out approximately 47,000,000 forms for a variety of charities, aid organizations, and pediatric cancer organizations, and paid family leave. We'll be on one income, and our bills don't really allow that. We are firmly, firmly in the red with The H not working. 

Perspective, I guess. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. The good
I ran this morning, and it.was.glorious. The first mile literally flew by, and I really enjoyed it. It was only two miles, but I seriously felt like a whole new person when I was done.

2. The bad. 
Baby is still in the hospital. We are here through the weekend, hopefully leaving on Monday. And we're in a new room, shared with possibly the most obnoxious kid on the planet.

3. The ugly. 
I preface this by saying that I completely understand that the kid is having a rough time, and is scared, anxious, etc. I swear, I understand. Let me also note, that the parents have said, multiple times, that they're glad the steroids are over so the kid is back to normal. 
That said, this is the scene next to me. 
Kid is screeching. Kid screeches a LOT. Nurse brings her a piece of pizza from the nurse's lunch. Kid FLINGS THE PIZZA at her mother, and says, "Not fresh!!!". 
Mom grabs her purse and scurries down to the cafeteria to buy Fresh Pizza. Which Screechy doesn't eat. 

This, and the kid is back to normal. No worries, she's just spoiled, says her mom. What are you gonna do, says dad. 

True story. That happened. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Random Monday

1. Baby has about 14 meds to take daily. It's a fight, every single time. We've tried playing, distraction, mixing. She hates it. All of it. She says they're all gross. Which I don't entirely buy, because she also said chocolate milk was gross, so I think she's just being difficult. And I get it, really. I'm sure she's feeling out of control, and grasping to whatever she can. But lordy. So frustrating.

2. I intended to run the FYTO5K. However, I had a spectacular meltdown that involved me being incredibly snippy to the H for a reason that was (a) ridiculous, and (b) not even his fault. It was not my proudest moment. Anyway. Big, fat, DNS for this.

3. I am ITCHING to go run. I am hoping to get at least some miles in this week, and re-start my training plan next week.

4. I'm still undecided on the Princess half. H says I should. But right now, I don't even want to leave the hospital when it's my turn to go home. I'm sure I will be less clingy 7 weeks from now. Right?

4a. The dumb thing is, Baby barely likes me. She really prefers her dad.

5. I am like a black hole of birth certificates. Seriously. I lose them on a regular basis. Which is supremely inconvenient since 4/5 of my family is from another state. Ironically? Ive yet to misplace #2's birth certificate, which is the only one I could replace here on short notice.

6. I've had in the last week. It's painful to think about.

7. I've been mentally going through all of the things I wanted to do this year - camping, yosemite, maybe Utah/grand canyon. At first I was stoked because, with the exception of skipping our Florida trip, everything else was okay (provided Baby's numbers are cooperating). Until I remembered she also has to be careful about sun exposure. Sigh.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”

We got an official diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. As far as leukemia goes, apparently, this is not too bad. Gabby's prognosis is very, very good - she has a 95-97% chance of being totally fine when this is over. But it's a long road to being over. She is starting chemotherapy treatments today. She'll continue with treatments for at least two years, in varying degrees. The first moth is pretty intense, then it might change slightly. She will loose her hair. She wont be able to go to school, or crowded places. We have to be very cautious with her when anyone is sick. Basically, it's going to change our reality for the next few years. We had a trip tentatively planned to Disney World in April... That's a definite no go.

Things I've learned in the last 5 days:
1. When the ICU nurse asks if you want to hang your kids artwork, get comfortable. You're gonna be there awhile.
2. 12, I hear, is the age when kids are totally capable of taking care of themselves and don't need a babysitter overnight. At least that's what #1 would have you believe.
3. Not sleeping more than 3 hours at a time for 4 nights makes you oversleep your alarm the first night you go home. And you might miss walking 1 & 2 to school. Bummer.
4. Waiting is not my thing. I dislike it.
5. I have great friends.
6. Do you know what a port is? 'cause.... I do. And its pretty much the creepiest thing I've ever heard of.
7. You never know what will happen. All my concerns about eliminating chemicals, and eating local and organic, and going no 'poo... All rendered irrelevant. You. Never. Know.

We're at the hospital at least another week. Things are going as well as can be expected - she's pretty suspicious of everyone she sees, since she keeps getting stuff done to her, but hopefully that will subside now that she has this port put in.

I'm on the fence about the Princess half. Right now, I can't imagine leaving, but I'm sure the situation will be different in 7 weeks. Its all paid for, but I'm losing a few weeks of training. Tough to say. The half this weekend is out, so I'm glad I procrastinated and didn't register.

Anyway. So that's our update. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. I appreciate all of them.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Baby's been sick, really sick, for a few days. I took her to urgent care today because... Just because. Something was off. They sent her to the ER. The ER doc found she has really jacked up blood counts. We're on our way to te childrens hospital now, where, apparently, the oncology team is "waiting for her".

I'm not super spiritual. I'm just a chick, trying to do good things for and around my kids. So I guess, if you are more spiritual than I am, we could really, really use it.


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