August 26, 2008

She has a PhD

In horribleness...

Oh how I love my sister. She dyed her hair yesterday. Black. And she's making the most of it before we shave it all off.

August 24, 2008

She is so advanced!

Last week, Lottie was laying on Aunt Stephanie's lap, and she rolled over. Yup, that's right, she rolled all the way over from her back to her front. Now, being that she was on someone's lap, I had to ask myself how much was Lottie, and how much was the fact that she was maybe slightly on a slant. Stephanie said that Lottie did it all by herself, but I still wasn't quite sure.

Well, yesterday I laid Lottie on a blanket while I went to take a shower. When I got out, I could hear her fussing. Not really crying, but not happy. I came out to check on her, and this is how I found her:

Indeed, she really had rolled all by herself! And what's more, she did it every time I put her on her back and walked away. After a while, she even started enjoying being on her tummy more.

Now we just have to work on getting her to roll back over to her back when she's done with tummy time. Which, according to the development books, she should have done before rolling from back to front.

August 22, 2008

New Directions

The last half of September could potentially be a life-changer for me. I really hope it will be.

As I approach the 3-year anniversary of working for Cingular/AT&T, I find myself progressively more and more disinterested in my current profession. I've felt this way for quite some time, frankly, but the longer I stick with it the more disgusted I become.

The hours are terrible and not conducive to family life; I miss out on a LOT of beautiful Saturdays where I could be getting stuff done around the house or something fun. I miss time with Lottie. Not to mention I'm frustrated at customers who think yelling at me is the solution to all of life's problems (spoiler alert -- it's not!). The list goes on and on.

Problem is, it still pays well enough to get us through each month, insurance is awesome and I haven't found something else of interest that pays more. And this is something that concerns me every day because I don't want to be stuck in retail forever, though that's what it feels like I'm destined for. And I certainly would like to give Colleen the opportunity to stay at home with Lottie and future children.

The hard thing for me is that, being a part of my daily life for the last 3 years, cell phones are all I really know well. I have little expertise in any other area. I'm a jack of all trades, I guess.

This is why I've picked up blogging. I'm exploring my options in that area to see if I can start a business of my own and start working on the internet. This would be great because I can work at home, with my own flexible hours, doing something I would rather do.

Which brings me to the last half of September. In the span of about 5 days I will be doing 2 things that could potentially help me determine the direction I want to go from here. I have registered at the BlogWorld Expo 2008 in Vegas on Sept. 20-21, where some of the most successful and well-known bloggers in the world will come together and teach on different methods and strategies to use.

A few days later I will be teaching realtors how to increase productivity with their iPhones or Blackberrys. Two hours of public speaking, not a bad experience builder at all.

If they don't go well, at least I have two more possibilities scratched off the list. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one. I really want to succeed at this!

I don't mean to make this a depressing post -- I just needed to get it off my chest.

August 5, 2008

The Big C

So, most people that read this already know that my mom has cancer. She was diagnosed recently with Multiple Myeloma. This is a cancer of the blood that is incurable, but treatable. Last week she had an appointment with a transplant doctor who told her that she is a good candidate for an autologous stem cell transplant. They will take her own stem cells from her blood, giver her a massive amount of chemotherapy to kill everything in her body, and replace her stem cells. She will spend about three weeks in the hospital in October, then another month at home staying away from everyone who has cooties. This treatment should give her 3-5 years where she does not have to do anything else to control this disease. When they harvest her stem cells, they will take enough to do about three transplants. That way in 3-5 years they can do another transplant to give her 3-5 more years.

She had a lot of questions answered for her at that appointment. While she cannot have visits from anyone who is sick, as this treatment will completely destroy her immune system, as long as we're healthy, we can all visit her. Including the babies. I'm sure that spending some long boring days in the hospital will be cheered greatly by seeing her grandchildren. About six days after the transplant, she will lose all her hair. She has decided to shave her head, so that her hair isn't falling out in clumps. All of her children have also decided to shave our heads with her. And her husband. Solidarity, sister! We'll have fun picking out some scarves and a few kicky berets to wear until it grows back. She's decided against spending all the money for a wig to wear for such a short amount of time.

So, the doctors have a great outlook on her case. She was diagnosed early and is responding very well to the chemo cycles she's done so far. All her numbers they track are going in the right directions.

It's been probably the toughest thing I've had to deal with in my life. While her prognosis is good, it's really hard for me to think about the possibility of losing her. I never thought about the possibility that my children wouldn't have the chance of knowing her. She's always been so strong for me. Most days I can focus on how well she's doing, but there's still just this underlying fear in the back of my head. It's just that word - cancer. I can say "My mom is having a transplant" with no problems. It's just when that one word comes out - cancer - that I choke up. The Big C is scary.

August 1, 2008

New Job = Hooray!

New hours, however, = boo. I have given in to family peer pressure, and now work with my three brothers and my sister-in-law. It's really a good move for me, attitude-wise. I realized how much I didn't like my old job of being yelled at all day long. Here, I will be yelled at occaisionally, but nothing like it was at Whitewater. Mean contractors, with their construction site language. I can handle any kind of yelling after that.

Here's the drawback. My old job's hours were whenever I wanted to whenever I wanted. I now work 8:30 - 5:30 M-F. Which means I get custody of Lottie on weekends. That's nice since I only spend a few hours a day with her when she's awake now. I'm so thankful for parents who are willing to take care of her for us, since Brad and I both have to work. If we didn't have family to take her to, we would sell our house and live in a crappy apartment so I could stay home. I don't think I could send her to a daycare. It's hard enough today, when I left her with my fabulous neighbor for the day, since both sets of grandparents are out of town. I couldn't leave her with strangers.

I'm so grateful that Brad is so motivated to find something to provide for his family so that I can eventually stay home with our children. I'm somewhat of a feminist - but I still think it's in a child's best interest to have a mother stay home and raise them. For now, Grandma is the next best thing.