Sunday, June 29, 2008


A few things to report. My CT scan came back clear. So yay. Cancer is still gone. So I guess I am glad I ate the paste and endured the barium belly.

Friday night was opening night for the play David directed at the Palace; Daddy's Dyin Who's got the Will? It was a great opening. Well attended and well received. It is such a funny, yet touching show. So much family dysfunction and pot humor. But Daddy really is dying and the cast really brought out how painful that is, not just the caricature that it could be. David did a good job. He really is a great director - he finds the relationship moments to go along with the funny moments. And his actors are awesome. Very well done.

I went to the migraine doctor Friday morning to talk about the headaches and vertigo-like symptoms I have had since running out of my meds. So I am going back on the meds even though I don't want to take pills every day. And I am getting another MRI. She said the symptoms I have are migraine symptoms and not withdrawal or anything caused by the meds. The meds were controlling the symptoms. And since I did not initially present with those symptoms when I had the first MRI two years ago, they consider it a new symptom and want to do another MRI to make sure nothing has changed in there. She says they don't expect to see anything but want to look none-the-less. I will schedule that this week.

I may ask them if I can drug up before the appt. The last one really freaked me out, being in the long tube that you can't see out of. I am somewhat claustrophobic and it was really hard to sit in the tube without moving for an hour. I kept having to do breathing exercises to keep from freaking out and yelling for them to get me out of there. I have been thinking about it, trying to determine if all that I have been through, all the treatments, have made me better able to handle it. But no. Thinking about the tube and being stuck in there makes me shudder still. But this time I have some Ativan left over from chemo-relief and it sure would be nice if I could take that and reeelllaaaxxx my way through it instead of working through breathing exercises. Course I'd need someone to drive me and someone to watch Jackson. So that may be a luxury I cannot have, depending on when it is scheduled.

David and I are thinking of scheduling a two-day get-away just us two. I am feeling discontent. Bogged down in housework and potty-training and meeting him coming and going the past two and a half months. I want to do something fun. I want to go see a movie even, or stay a night or two in a nearby bed and breakfast and just get away. He starts rehearsals for his next show in a few weeks and I will be a near-single mom again and I am not looking forward to it. I am so excited he will be doing the show. But I am pretty worn out by the kid. I don't know how single parents do it all the time. 4 or 5 days a week for a few months and then this long tech-week stretch I just did has left me cranky.

Of course I realized yesterday that my crankiness may be due to the near-constant headache always hanging out there in my brain. So maybe getting back on my meds will help my attitude a lot. Heh, now that I think about it, the drug I take for headache prevention is a mild anti-depressant. Same concept, it seems, of messing with the serotonin in your brain helps with headaches and migraines and with depression. So perhaps the low dose of Pamelor I am on for my headaches also helps me be less cranky. Wouldn't that be nice. Cause I am a cranky-pants lately. The heat, the poop and pee, the way too many nights spent alone on my couch with bad tv and web-surfing, the unending toddler destruction of my house, headaches, barium paste and bad hair. Yeah. I am cranky.


But I don't have cancer. So I should just shut up.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Last night I read an amazing essay in the June 2208 Glamour magazine. It was the personal essay contest winner of the year - won $10k, in fact. Andrea Coller, 27 year old Hodgkin Lymphoma patient wrote a kick-ass essay about her experience. Irreverent and funny, incredibly well-written. Awesome. You can read it here. So I googled her tonight to see if she writes a blog or anything. Aaaaannnnddd...she's dead. Died April 30th. GODDAMMIT!

Also learned yesterday that the mother of a high school classmate of mine died Tuesday of cancer. She was diagnosed about the same time I was and has been fighting her ass off. She was 52.

Sigh. I let myself sob here for about 5 minutes and that is all I am giving it dammit! That is all. It isn't fair, it isn't right. And today it isn't me. So I just have to keep on going and forget about it. Today I have to forget about it.

Cause if I let myself think about it and hurt too much for those who didn't make it and for the specter of it hanging right the fuck over my own head I will go crazy. And I am not going there.

I hope she spent every dime of that $10,000 dollars...

Monday, June 23, 2008

CT crap and Crap crap

I had a CT scan scheduled this morning. And I am now far enough from my cancer ordeal that it surprised me how I had almost forgotten the unpleasant experience medical shit can be.

My day started with a gag inducing breakfast of 8 oz of berry flavored barium - thick and lumpy and nasty. An hour later I drank my second dose of lovely barium and headed into the ARA branch in Round Rock. I waited in the full-to-bursting waiting room while my belly grumbled and ached from the barium. When it was my turn, they sat me down on the CT scan bed and gave me another 12 oz of barium to drink. I managed to get that down and was congratulating myself for not throwing up when something unexpected happened. The tech handed me a little jar of barium the consistency of toothpaste and a spoon. My doctor had ordered a neck CT in addition to my normal chest/abdomen scan. Makes sense I guess, since there are lots of lymph nodes in the neck and I suppose we ought to keep an eye on them. But I have never had to eat the barium paste before. It apparently coats your esophagus and makes the pictures prettier. Well all I know is that is took every ounch of my will power to not throw it and all the rest of the earlier barium up on their clean white CT scan room floor. Holy crap that was unpleasant to swallow. But I did it. That is what I do. You eat the paste and shut up.

Then instead of having me sit in the special blood draw, IV start chairs I am used to, the lady had be just lie down on the scan table and she started my IV right there. Or I should say attempted to start the IV. She dug in one arm and then had a field day digging around in the other arm before calling in the reinforcements. In this case as in many other IV failure rescues, it was a paramedic who came in and got it with no problem. Why do people who suck at IV starts continue to do them? Of course, my experience with scans is that they want to use a large needle/tube - 20 gauge - because of the pressure of the contrast dye going in. But my veins, like my person, are petite. 20 gauge is difficult to ram into my veins and I can always tell the difference in the pain of a 20 gauge vs a smaller 22 gauge. And I know for a fact that you can use a 22 gauge IV for a CT scan. They prefer 20, but 22 is fine. I know this from getting CT scans in other locations - ARA downtown and at G'town Hospital - and they took one look at me and chose not to torture me with the big one and used the 22 gauge. But somewhere in there little book in Round Rock it says that 20 gauge is the standard and I couldn't tell them any different.

I just lay there getting more and more upset, not because it hurt, which it did. And not because the fricken tech kept asking me "Are you ok?". Which I simply laughed at. I can't answer that question while you are digging in my arm. Yes, I am ok, I will live. But I would be much happier when you are done digging in my fricken arm, stop asking if I am ok. No, I was getting upset, because I had almost forgotten how much it sucks to be sick and to endure the shit you have to endure to get and stay healthy. Holy crap, it took me right back to that place of powerlessness and anger and feeling a little sorry for myself.

I tried to shake it off when I was done, but I was just irritable and cranky all day. Bitched about every little thing that happened. Had a hard time at work today because working in the theatre, especially the Palace, is all about trying to control the artistic chaos. And since I was feeling particularly out of control I was just a cranky mess. I probably should apologize to everyone who came into contact with me today.

Fricken CT scan.

In other weekend news, we closed the Chicken Ranch down on Sunday. The last three shows went pretty well, even with the stand-in actors. And I am a little sorry to see it end. It was so nice to be back on stage again and especially nice to sing again. I got good reviews from all who know me - as if they would say otherwise, since they care about me. But it felt nice anyway. But the heat really takes a toll and I don't think I could have done any more weekends. Six was enough. Unless they could give us 72 degree weather, then maybe I could do another two weeks. Maybe.

In potty news, Jackson poo poo'd in his little potty today and declared it a poop snake. And proceeded to dance around the house singing "bye bye poop snake!" How do you not laugh at this totally socially unacceptable behavior? I can't help it. But jeez. I remember a time when I didn't talk about, describe and obsess about the toilet and the things that go in it. I suppose this will pass. Heh. Pass. See what I mean? I can't fricken stop.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

IC and a Poop Storm

This is the cat who does not live here.

3:00 am found the Sray household once more in cat conflict, this time from inside my son's room. Jackson woke up screaming and when I went to see what was wrong, there was Sam cat sitting outside his door having a cat screaming match with the cat who does not live here who was in Jackson's room. I got David up to help in case they started clawing and scratching and going at it. I didn't want to get into the middle of it with out backup. It didn't come to that, David got intruder cat (IC) out of the house while I comforted the small scared boy. I let him in bed with me for a little while and he was ok.

I was hoping for a while today that maybe now that IC understands that we already have a male dominant cat, Sarah isn't the only one here. But tonight he was back. I threw him out three or four times and even threw a glass of water on him out back and he came right back. Worse is that Sam was on the back porch the whole time, agitated and cat growling. I think that Sam cat is no longer the undisputed tough guy of the neighborhood. He seems to be letting IC win the turf war. I was as mean to the cat as I could stand, which was a few tosses out the back and the glass of water, but when he kept coming back to nibble at the food bowl, I gave up for the night. I just can't be mean enough to him to truly discourage his coming around. I start to think of all the reasons he could be hungry; his family moved without him, he's lost, his family couldn't afford him and dumped him here.

But he can't run my cat off and take his place. If he would just surreptitiously come in to snack and not affect the pecking order of my household everything would be fine. But we can't let him chase Sam off. Sarah isn't a threat to him and doesn't really seem to care if he is here, but Sam is another story. I have noticed that IC has some furry appendages on his hind quarters and Sam no longer has such things. Could this be why IC is winning? Sam is unmanned and IC is not? I don't know how these things work and I really don't want to know and I certainly don't want to be responsible for another cat. Sigh. Wish he would go home without me having to do anything mean to him. I don't want to be mean to him. Course, really all I would have to do is let him hang out long enough to let Jackson get ahold of him. Jackson has taken to mercilessly chasing the cats under the bed and pinning them there while he 'raars' at them and giggles. Perhaps this balzy fellow would leave willingly after being subjected to Jackson games for a while.

So potty training. It continues. The boy has made leaps and bounds in the pee pee department. Few pee accidents. He doesn't volunteer to go to the potty, but he goes a lot more willingly when I tell him it is time. He is really catching on. He has had a couple of accidents but far less than I had anticipated.

Number two is not happening though. He is going infrequently to avoid the subject of pooping in the potty. And then he simply goes in his pants. I try not to make a big deal out of it. And we put it in the potty and discuss that maybe next time he will go in the potty. Just like all the books say to do. No fuss, no reprimand. No freaking out or shame.

But sometimes shit happens. At Luby's. And though you try not to get worked up about it, when the child insists on dancing around while you attempt to get the poopy pants off of him, thus spilling the contents onto the floor of the bathroom stall then dances some more, stepping into it and smearing it all over the stall floor, and getting it clumped and stuck between his toes. And then he gets upset about it and tries to get away and leaves poop footprints until you finally grab him roughly and stick him feet-first into the toilet to wash them off and make him stop spreading it. And then you realize you only have three baby wipes left in your bag which is not even close to enough to clean his butt, feet, legs and floor. And toilet paper sticks to the poop on the floor and barely manages to wipe it up. You might just end up cursing loudly and hoping to dog no one comes into the bathroom right then to witness, hear and smell the commotion. You might be completely unable to address the accident with the no big deal, no shame, response you are supposed to give. And when you do finally get yourself under control and talk about how next time he will get his poo poo into the potty instead of into his pants, the boy might tell you that poo poo is supposed to go into the potty so it doesn't make his mommy angry.


So I had to explain and keep explaining that I wasn't angry because he pooped. That he is perfectly entitled to poop and that poop does not make me angry. It was the dancing instead of paying attention to what we were doing and the poop smearing that made me angry and that poop is yucky and I didn't like cleaning it up. But I wasn't mad cause he pooped. This is probably too big a distinction for a boy who will be three in a month, but I felt I had to try. I can't let him think that if he poops mom will get mad. Because ultimately, I want him to poop. I know he will eventually get it where it needs to be, but I don't want to make him worried about it. Wish I had been able to laugh in the face of the poop storm instead of getting mad. But what can I say? Other than I am sorry. Which I said several times to Jackson and I hope he understands.

And I so totally get to tell the story of the Luby's poop storm to his first date.

After Luby's we headed to the theatre for a pick-up rehearsal. One of our actors can't do the show this weekend and we needed to work the scenes for the two actors changing parts to fill it. Complicated to explain, but we got it covered and all the girls seem ready to do the different parts tomorrow. Jackson had to come with me since David is rehearsing the show he is directing - it opens Friday next week.

Jackson did well, behaving and talking quietly and playing with his ball. HE watched intently whenever I was onstage working something. And when I came off he would ask me to go back up there. I think he was maybe understanding that I was acting differently than I usually do as his mommy. Pretty neat to see him watching.

Got home at nine and got the boy in bed and commenced getting my house ready for the carpet cleaners to come bright and early in the morning. Cleaned, vacuumed, moved toys and light furniture. The carpet in my living room is once again a mess and I will be glad to get out all the juice, chocolate milk and whatever else Jackson and the cats have dragged in on it.

And now I am blogging. Busy day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hey, you don't live here!

In the wee hours of the morning today, 5:23 to be exact, I heard a strange mewling coming from the floor by the foot of my bed. It took me a minute to shake the sleep off enough to determine it wasn't Jackson crying, but a cat. It didn't sound like Sam cat, it only sorta sounded like Sara cat sounds when she really needs something. Not meowing, but mewling, rowing. Hard to describe. I thought it sounded odd, but figured Sara's water bowl was empty or the cat door was locked and she needed to pee. So I got my ass outta bed to deal with her. Except as I walked down the hall with the cat following, I sensed that this wasn't one of my cats. It was too dark to tell, so I turned on the hall light and sure enough, someone else's Siamese cat, complete with bejewelled collar, was mrowing at my feet wanting something. The cat rubbed my legs then rolled around on the living room floor. I was stunned when I noticed Sarah cat laying not a foot away, undisturbed. We have had a few intruder cats in the past, but Sarah or Sam usually kick some ass and run them off. But there sat Sarah, watching; not caring. I opened the front door and scooted the intruder out with my foot and he went willingly. I think he may not know how to work the out function of the cat door.

I got back in bed, but couldn't go back to sleep for thinking about the fact that apparently my cats have fallen down on the job and are willing to share the place with this guy with cheap bedazzled collar with no tags. And I suspect this has been going on for weeks, because my nose has been going crazy lately. I am allergic to cats, but sorta got used to my own cats and don't spend 24/7 dripping from my nose. But the last couple of weeks, I have been blaming my bad housekeeping from doing a show on the fact that I have been itching like crazy. And I now realize that it must be this intruder cat instead and his alien dander that my nose can't handle.

To top it off, he came right in the cat door this afternoon when I got home from work. Just like he owned the place. I threw him out the back door and he came right back in. I followed him around the living room for a minute and he went to the front door to be let out. Like he was just taking a short-cut from my backyard to the front. Geez.

So I went to the pharmacy and got my nose spray to try go get my nose under control while I figure out how get rid of the cat that wants to move in without getting one of those collar-controlled cat doors. I don't want to put a non-break-away collar on my cats and they lose the break-away kind because they, well, break-away.

But, I swear, I am not going to deal with someone else's cat coming into my room to wake my ass up in the middle of the night. Cause that sucks. I got enough problems with my own fricken cats and a toddler who wants to sleep with me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Potty, potty, potty

I need to blog, but I am too tired. Potty training along with the normal toddler mom duties and my work at the Palace have left me drained. I don't want to endlessly write about the toilet training, but I will say that it is going pretty well. Jackson had no pee accidents today and that is a testament to my constant vigil of clock-watching and cajoling him onto the potty with various rewards and incentives. We still have not had any success getting him to #2 into the potty. Though I did chase him around for two damned hours tonight knowing full well he needed to go. He kept saying it was going to come out, but he would clam up as soon as he got on the potty and no amount of cajoling and encouraging could get him to go. He is scared to, it seems.

So we are on day 4 in underpants during the day. And I am tired. But happy, at least, that the pee pee part is going as well as it is. He even has been staying dry during his nap. So yay.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jackson likes his blue cars & Vertigo Redux

Jackson lined up as many of his blue cars as he could find yesterday. The search through his hundreds of cars for all blue ones must have taken quite some time and effort and he lined them up quite nicely. So I decided to take his picture with them. But he kept blinking.

And blinking.

We are in near-full-out potty training mode now. I only have a few diapers left and am conserving them to get me though work tomorrow. So while we are home, I am getting him to run around pantsless or in undies. He is doing pretty well with the pee pee. He gets a special candy from a car container he picked out every time he uses the potty. Though he gets pretty mad at me if he gets on the potty and tries to go but can't, cause I won't give him the special candy for trying. He thinks A for effort is the accepted norm and he calls bullshit. But I won't budge. The special candy is for successfully depositing something in the potty. And we have talked and talked about my promise to take him to Target to pick out a toy after the first dump that makes it into the potty. I don't, of course call it a dump to the boy. But I have been talking poop and pee all day and I need some variety now.

So it seems that this is going to be potty training weekend as we are just about out of diapers. Happy Father's Day, David!

So the vertigo from April 07 is back right on time. I ran out of my headache medicine that I take daily and don't have an appt til June 27th at the Headache clinic. Last year I saw the GP several times and suffered for at least a month and a half with the dizziness and vertigo until I finally got back on the Pamelor. But I never got medical confirmation that the vertigo is migraine related and 'cured' by the Pamelor. No doctors would confirm that. It was my own internet searching that turned up the one study that showed that migraine patients can suffer from vertigo that is not inner ear related. And their suggested treatment was Pamelor for a year. Tada! And I wanted to see if getting off of it again would lead to the same symptoms. And it seems to be beginning. Sigh. I can't take this med while trying to get pregnant, which I am not currently but would like to be in the near future. Am I saddled with Pamelor forever or forever suffer vertigo and dizziness? Hopefully the Neurologist will shed some light and take me seriously when I go in. I have to try to hunt down that study I read. I had it favorited on my old computer but that is gone now.

While looking for that blog link to April last year I got to reading a little of what was going on then and it was pretty clear that I was sick. Pretty much every post has something about Doctors and how sucky I was feeling. I was searching for help from docs long before we actually got any for my serious illness. Kinda sad to think about how the primary care doc I was seeing time and again missed so many opportunities to help me. She did not order one test. Not one blood test or x-ray. Such a shame. Hindsight is always so clear.

Tomorrow we start the show up again for the weekend. We are nearly sold out for Friday and Saturday, but Sunday is awful. I guess the ladies don't want to bring the Dads in their lives to see the whorehouse. It is going to be sad to see empty seats when we have been spoiled the whole run with full houses.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chemo-Queen Craziness and Almost out of Diapers!

First things I should say is that my PET scan showed no evidence of Lymphoma so I remain in remission. Last night I got a phone message from my mom asking about my results. If it tells you how little I was worried, it took me a minute to remember what results she was asking about. My poor mom was worried enough to call and ask, and I had almost forgotten I had a scan done. I got the call today that it looked great. So I thought I would share that news first for anyone who might not have forgotten I just had a cancer scan. Negatory. yay.

This weekend of shows was nearly sold out and went very well. It has tightened up into such a good show - an oiled machine. I truly recommend you come out and see it. We have two more weekends, June 13-15 and June 20 - 22. I guarantee you will have a great time! Tickets are here!

Sunday was a little crazy. I decided to see just how close I could come to being in two places at the same time. I was invited to speak at a cancer survivor lunch at Berry Creek Country Club which started at 12:30. My call at the theatre was 1:00. I asked Andrea' to do my mic check for me and I preset all my costumes and props Saturday night. I got permission from the director and stage manager to get there late - like 15 till curtain. Crazy right?

But I did it. I spoke at 12:45 to a small group - maybe 60 people. Mostly over 50s and some elderly folks. It was a Sun City group. But they responded to my story and I even had them clapping in the middle of my speech. I wrote a list of several common characteristics of cancer survivors that I had not done before and I was please to see that they really got it. When I got to the one that says:

"Now, when interviewers or questionnaires ask the standard “where do you want to be in five years”, our answer is one word – Alive."

Most people said the answer with me. They knew. A group of strangers answered almost in unison and they all started clapping right then. Pretty awesome. And we all shed a couple of tears together and it was all good.

I was done at 1:07, stayed another 15 minutes to eat a little from the buffet and shake hands and I got to the theatre at 1:42. Show started at 2:04 according to the rehearsal report and I was on 5 minutes later. When I said my first line, my mic was working perfectly, thanks to Andrea' doing my check and I knew that I had pulled it off. Not sure how often I want to overbook like that, but when I am asked to speak, I want to be there if at all possible.

I had David take my picture Sunday before I left. I was too lazy Saturday to go to the costume shop for the red gown. So I wore a spring-ish yellow gown Mary Ellen gave me at the same time she gave me the original chemo queen gown. I couldn't fit into it then; couldn't zip it. But it fits now and I was happy to be in something light for the hot weather.

At work Monday, my co-worker Elizabeth invited me to attend a local fundraiser in July at a ranch near Florence. Her husband is one of the organizers. It is a skeet shooting tournament put on by several construction/sales companies in Georgetown and will be benefiting American Cancer Society. So I may be one of two women there, but I said I would be there to speak if they want or just help with the auction and whatever else they want me to do. Should be interesting and a good fundraiser.

So I have about 7 diapers left in my last package of diapers. Jackson and I have been talking every day about how when they are gone he gets to wear underwear and go in the potty. He seems to be ok with it, but I am nervous as hell. Am I really ready for this? Am I ready for the cold turkey, all or nothing approach? I am scared to death. How will this work? Do I just go to work as usual, except take changes of clothes and plastic bags to haul home the inevitable soiled clothes? Do i give him a pull up at nap-time? Or does he just wet himself at naps? I don't know if I need to get another little potty for at work or see if I can't get him to use the big potty with a step stool and one of those toddler-sized seat toppers? I feel so unprepared, but I guess I will just see what happens here in the next few days when I use the last diaper and have no other option. So nervous. But I guess I can always go back and try again later if it goes too badly. We shall see.

Oh and here is a headshot of my hubby taken last weekend - just cause I think it is awesome.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The bank as punishment

So much going on this week. Wednesday night we had a vocal pick-up rehearsal where I learned I was singing the alto part on one song I should have been singing the soprano part. "Oh, yeah, I did learn that part way back when." Don't know why I forgot. Actually, I do. Because the soprano part usually follows the melody and in this case the alto follow the melody and the sopranos go a step over it. So last night's show had a new feature - me singing the right part. And it made all the difference in the world - the audience was mesmerized.

Jackson stayed at my Mom's house Wed night since I had a PET scan Thursday morning. So after rehearsal, David, Elaine and I went to a 9:00 showing of the new Indiana Jones movie. I haven't been to the movies in so long I can't remember and this was a treat, sort of. Because of the PET scan diet restrictions - no sugar, no starches, no carbs but green veggies - I couldn't have any candy and no popcorn. The no popcorn situation made me twitch endlessly in my seat with the feeling that there was something so important missing. And there was - popcorn. The movie was fun - not the greatest, but fun.

And Thursday morning, after I slept through David's alarm and had to rush to get ready, I headed in to my 8:00 a.m. appt for my 'six months since chemo' scan. It was uneventful. I made it through traffic and got there on time. Got the IV in one stick and layed around my hour waiting for the radioactive isotope injection to work its cancer-finding magic. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the crying toddler in the next room the whole time I was trying to doze. Not really because she kept me from really dozing, but because I knew she was getting a procedure and was scared and upset. I couldn't really relax cause I worried about her and how they could get her still for any kind of scan - would they strap her down further terrorizing her or what? I was just grateful it was me there for the scan and not Jackson.

But I made it through the tedious hour and 45 minutes of laying int he room waiting for the scan and the laying in the scanner and was free to go. I will get my results next week, but I don't worry too much. No point. It will come out how it comes out.

I have a great parenting story from yesterday that made me happy. And since it came from a tantrum and discipline, that makes it even better. At work yesterday, Jackson was making a big mess from a box of wooden token/coins that we are selling for Whorehouse. He likes to get out a bunch of them and stack them and spread them around and just go to town on mess making. And it was time to go and I asked him to pick them up and put them back in the box. And he refused. Looked at me and smiled and got more out and chucked them everywhere. After a few minutes of fruitless negotiations, he simply would not pick up after himself so I told him if he didn't pick them up we were not going to the bank. On payday, we drive through the bank and he gets a sucker from the teller. He loves the bank. But I told him we weren't going since I had to pick up the coins and he cried and cried. And still made no move to help me pick up. So no bank. He cried off and on, but it took him till we were halfway home before he realized that I meant it and we were not going. When we got home, David was here, having taken off work early. As usual, he asked Jackson what he did today and Jackson very sadly said, "I didn't pick up my coins." I was so impressed that not only did he understand he'd been punished, but understood that his actions caused it. Later when Elaine came over he told her that he didn't pick up his coins and we didn't go to the bank. Who knew the bank was such a great incentive. Perhaps a trip to the bank will help me keep him in line for years to come.

Probably not.

Today is David's company picnic at the YMCA in Cedar Park. It is going to be a scorcher, I think. But we are about to head out there and I predict Jackson will have a great time. So I am off to apply a quart of sunscreen to the family.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mommyhood is Tough

Just when I have just about had it with toddler parenting, Jackson does something sweet, or cute or smart and I relax a little bit. Being a mom is hard. And I often feel that I am not equipped to handle a toddler. The constant defiance, destruction of my house, waking me up at all hours and getting up too damned early to stand at my bedside demanding cartoons, chocolate milk and cereal. Everything takes longer. Can't get up and get ready to go without a fifteen minute negotiation on what clothes he will or will not wear. Refusing to eat a balanced meal. Stone-walling me on using the potty. I just feel like there is a constant power struggle going on and I am the loser cause I give in too much. Or the loser cause I don't give in and cause him needless stress and pain on an issue that ultimately means nothing. Being a mom to an almost three-year-old is hard. And I wish I got a little less angry with him. I wish I could keep my cool better and not get so frustrated.

But then he reminds me of the rewards of being his mom. And I refuse to get all maudlin and write a damned hallmark card. But I will try to do better and be kinder to him even when he has gotten on my very last nerve - which he knows exactly how to do.

As far as the potty training, we have not really started intensive work. I find that as long as going in his diaper is an option, he will not choose to stop what he is doing all the time to go. Why would he? He is wearing a toilet. So we decided that once the current package of diapers is gone, we are going to put him in underwear and see what happens. Perhaps the incentive of not messing himself will prompt him to use the potty. He hasn't been interested in the potty for days, in fact has been very resistant to it. But today he ran around naked after work and I made him get on the potty and he peed. And we praised him to high heaven. And after he was in bed and supposed to be sleeping he called me in to tell me he needed to go pee pee. I thought he was playing me. He did the same thing last night and it resulted in no peeing. I figured it was his new way to get out of bed. But I can't say no. I am trying to get him on the potty, so how do I say no when he asks? So tonight I let him get out again and he actually used the potty. Yay!

So we shall see how it goes when we don't have any more diapers and his only choice is mess himself or use the potty. Hopefully it will be a short term learning process. But from reading message boards I know that it probably will not be easy and it is going to be messy.

He was sitting with me on the couch tonight - nekkid. And I have always been aware of helping him appreciate his body and not be ashamed of it. I told him, "Jackson, I love your body." He said, "I love my body too." So I started naming parts that I love. "I love your knees and I love your shoulders and your toes..." And predictably he says, "I love my pee pee." "You do?", I asked. "Yes, and mine hieney." I told him "I love your hieney too, son." Little boys sure zero in on what is important in life, don't they?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Blog Laziness

I am so lazy right now. Don't want to clean my house, fold my laundry or update my blog. I just want to sit around and watch tv or read. Does doing a show take so much out of you that it turns you lazy? In my case, I think so. It isn't unusual, and this show takes a lot of work. The actual performing, the quick changes and the heat. The heat really zaps you. It is hard to describe the experience of needing help to peel the soaking negligee off of your back so you can get into the non-breathable doggette costume over top of the next ho costume over top of the thick dance bod tights that are holding everything in. I worried in the beginning with all the layers and strapped into a mic that I would have to pee in the middle of the show. But that is no problem. No AC in the dressing barn along with the running around of the show means we sweat buckets. No peeing needed.

It is fun, too. But it is really draining. After a weekend of shows I feel like I need a day off. I actually took one today. I woke up with a headache and was just generally drained. So I stayed home and played with Jackson and napped and inflated the new backyard pool we got for him. He splashed around for a while, but for him to really get some fun out of it, I need to get some kids over here to get in with him. A kiddie pool is a lonely place all by yourself, I think.

Sunday next week I will be speaking at a survivor's day luncheon at a country club in Georgetown. I got a call at the Palace last week from the Breast Cancer resource center lady, Marjorie, who was scheduled to speak but can't. I have a show Sunday at 2:00 and the luncheon is at 12:30 which will be cutting it really, really close. But I talked to the director and she said to do it. So I will have someone do my mic check on Sunday and I will try to leave the event by 1:10, get to the Palace at 1:30 and be onstage at 2:00. That means I need to pre-set all my costumes and props before the speech, but since I have a theatre key I can get in there myself if I need to. I really want to do the speech, since my last event was tornadoed out. I only need to tweak the speech a little and see if I can get the gown from Ramona's. I can wear my dance tights under it and be in full make-up - minus the whorish extra glitter and shiner on my right eye.

What else is news in my world? Laziness abounds. I caught up on my tv shows last week by watching them all online. I love that I can just go about my business and still watch some tv when I get to it. I should really get into the modern times and get a DVR, but I am cheap and don't want to pay for it. Same with the HD tv. I have a kick-ass HD TV and won't spring for the HD programming cause they want to charge me a couple hundred for the upgraded receiver - not counting the service itself. I just don't want to pay it. Dammit, if I were a new customer they would put it all in for free and rub my feet on the way out. But since I am under contract they want to screw me and I say fuck them. I can't do it. So no HD for me - except what David manages to get using a good old fashioned pair of rabbit ears. We actually do pick up several channels that way, but I just don't bother mostly.

I really need to do some housework and I am stalling again. So lazy.