Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011. You Won't Be Missed.

Not since 2006 have I been so happy as to see a year end. In a perfect world I'd be starting 2012 with a clean bill of health rather than looking forward to my final Docetaxol treatment.

I've spent some time reading my blog, from last year at this time when life was grand, I had a fabulous new job that I loved, everything was coming up roses for me and my life was headed toward perfection.

And then the tone of my blog slowly declined when I started feeling tired all the time (in March/April - which when I think back may have been when all this started) and then when I found the lump in May it all went downhill.  I was about to add, much like my life, but the truth is, I don't think my life really has gone downhill. At least not totally, maybe just down the bunny slopes a bit. Sure I feel run down and tired all the time. Sure I'm scared completely shitless most of the time. Sure there are days that I don't even want to get out of bed.....but I do. I do because of these little people



And this guy....



So I went back and read my goals from last year.   It was interesting to see which ones I accomplished and which I didn't.

1. More patience? Sort of. I still have my moments but cancer has shown me that the little things don't really matter as much as they used to and I tend to not lose it over the silly things as easily. I pick my battles a bit better. I'm also not losing it with Mary as much as I used to.

2.  Better with money? Definitely!! We managed to clear our debt in the spring and while we do have some again it's because of circumstance, not because of careless spending. Once I'm back to work the remaining debt will be easily obliterated.

3.  Reconnect with an old friend. Sort of. We went to dinner twice. It was fun but I think we are at two very different places in life and I'm not entirely sure how we'd be able to rebuild a concrete friendship.  Sometimes people are just too different.

4.  Meeting one of the Pumpkin Patch Moms?  Yep, I got to meet two and it was fabulous! Now more than ever before the PP Mommies have become so important to me. Nothing could have ever prepared me for how supportive they have been to me in the last 6 months. I'm in the process of making a scrapbook to hold all the cards and letters I've received from them.

5.  Getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new? HAHAHA, what a freakin' joke. Yeah, I accomplished that goal because it was thrust upon me without my consent. Personally, I would have been more than happy to try something like sky diving or mountain climbing but I suppose having a body part removed and filling my body with all sorts of toxins counts.  I did make new friends though by branching out and joining a support group.

I guess that means it's time for me to set a whole new batch of goals for 2012.

1. This might be painfully obvious but my first and biggest goal is to beat cancer. I want to be a survivor. And not just this year but every year. When we do the Relay for Life in June I want to walk that survivor lap and wear the yellow shirt.  I want to start my cancer free countdown.

2. I'm going to get healthy. Not just cancer free but healthy. I joined the gym last year and I loved it. I'm going to do that again, as soon as I get the okay from the Dr. I'm going to exercise, get fit and eat right. Probably not all the time, let's be honest, but a whole lot more than now. I'm not going to indulge weekly, but maybe once a month. I need to get healthy in order to accomplish my first goal.

3. I'm going to take more pictures. I know I already take a million but I'm going to take more. I have a fabulous lens but I'm still learning how to use it. I'm going to do that this year and have some fabulous shots.

4.  I'm going to make some great memories with my kids this year. I'm not sure what yet, but something that they'll always look back fondly on.

5. I'm going to do something for me. As Mom's we often put our families first, and rightfully so but the events of the past few months have taught me that it's okay to take time for yourself too, to be selfish sometimes and to do things for yourself occasionally.

6.  I'm going to let my family and friends know each and every day that I love and appreciate them.

7.  I will meet another PP Mom. At last count there were over 30 and I've only met 2. I have a lot of hugs to dish out.

8. I will finish writing the book I've been working on.  It might never get read and likely never published but at least it will get written.

Some of those might be lofty goals but I'm sure I can accomplish them. I can do anything I set my mind to. I'm just that stubborn.

So rather than looking back at a year that for large portion of it sucked....I'm going to look forward, to a new life, a healthy life and a happy life.

And to all of you, I wish you a year of happiness, good health and good fortune. And Love.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I've been really slacking lately, I'm sorry. Between the holidays, the kids being home from school, my feeling crappy and then having my energy surge, I've just not found the time to blog.
I've got a lot on my mind. The new year ahead for one. I'm thinking about going back to work and when that will be. I'm now toying with the idea of going back at the beginning of April instead of after March break. Partly because no matter what I'm not going to have the hours in to collect employment insurance this summer so why rush myself back so soon after treatment and partly because Sean will be on holidays for the last week of March and first week of April so I'd like to use that opportunity to take our family somewhere to celebrate the end of my treatment and my (hopefully) clean bill of health.  The debate now just lies on where we go. I personally want to take the kids to Florida but the money is just not there and I doubt I'll be able to convince him.

Sean has been working nights over the holidays so I've been staying up a lot later than I normally do. (I hate when he works nights) Of course, Connor still wakes at 7 am sharp and expects me to get up with him. I'm thinking it's high time he start getting up and watching tv for a while while I doze for a while longer. The problem is that he is one of those people who likes to eat breakfast right when he wakes up and since he can't make his own breakfast I'm stuck getting up. Blah.

This Christmas was the first year I didn't feel like we were overrun with toys and clutter. When it came time for the Christmas tear down I didn't feel overwhelmed with 'stuff'. It was fantastic!  And even though we got three new appliances (a deep fryer, a popcorn popper and a kitchenaid mixer) I still managed to declutter the kitchen counters and make the kitchen look bigger (I have a really crappy, small, galley kitchen. I hate my kitchen and it's the one thing I wish I could change about this house. One day maybe)

Tomorrow is New Years eve. Sean is working. My girlfriends are going to come over for yummies and drinks and perhaps some cards too. I"m looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to a new year. A better year.

One can hope!

Monday, December 26, 2011

So This is Christmas

I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath to hear all about my Christmas.
What?

You haven't? You mean to tell me you have a life outside of reading my blog? Well shit.

Alright, all jokes aside, I'm going to tell you all about my Christmas anyway.

We spent Christmas eve with my brothers and their families. It was the only day all of us could collect at one time. It was really nice having everyone together but I'll admit, I was feeling incredibly lousy and couldn't really focus on anything. It's my own fault. I spent a week taking percocets for the after treatment pain and then rather than weaning slowly I stopped cold turkey on Christmas eve so that I could indulge in a little beverage of the alcoholic variety. But stopping like that after taking them every 4 hours for a week leaves you with withdrawal symptoms.

However, all of that aside, it was a lovely evening an a delicious meal.

The kids got to open their gifts (on Christmas eve! That's unheard of!)


Monster Trucks rule! We're taking Connor to see Monster Jam in January. Grave Digger is the coolest.


Who doesn't love shopping?? She spent it already!



Who doesn't love shopping and pop?? She spent hers already too.

When we came home from my brothers house the kids ran right to their rooms to find their elf pj's. You see, every Christmas eve when we are out visiting one of Santa's elves stops by and leaves everyone a new pair or pajama's for Christmas.

My oldest brother stayed with us for Christmas this year. It was nice.

My brother and I were very close when I was young but in the last 13 years or so  we grew apart. we were very different people with very different lives. In the last few years my brother has hit some hard times and he's not beginning to build himself back up and get his life back and for the first time in a very long time I really feel like I have three brothers again, not just two. I was glad to have him here and I know he was glad to be here.

When I get home and I know I'm not going out again I tend to get into my comfy clothes. That means, wig off, bra/boob off and pajamas on. As I said I was not feeling well on Christmas eve so when I got home I went right to my room to get changed. Connor came with me. I pulled my wig off and Connor wanted to help me put it on the foam head I keep it on. Instead I put it on him.


He looks just like me.


After the kids went to bed, we dug all of the presents out of the cold room and sorted them into their piles under the tree. Santa had to change the living room around to accommodate them all.


On Christmas morning the kids were thrilled with their big gifts



Emily loved her TNA coat




Mary was thrilled about her iPod touch.

Connor got a LeapPad and while I can't say he was overjoyed when he opened it (he didn't know what it was) but once we opened it for him to play with we didn't see him for over an hour. And now he spends a good part of the day playing with his 'iPod'.


It was a lovely, quiet, relaxing Christmas. We didn't go anywhere Christmas day. (I was going to go to mass but we spent so long opening presents I missed it)  Instead, we all found our separate corners and played with our new toys. (I got a new laptop and I bought Sean xbox 360 with kinect)


This morning I took the girls boxing day shopping to spend their money. Emily waited in line for over an hour to get into lululemon but she finally got her hoodie. (though it wasn't on sale)


I haven't been feeling 100% and I know had I been I would have enjoyed my Christmas more but I was happy to be feeling as good as I did and I hope that next year will be even better.

For now, I look ahead, to the New Year, to new things, to great things and to the future.




Friday, December 23, 2011

Fa La La La La La La La La

It's amazing how life gives you do overs.

I had a post all written here, it was not the most cheerful, mostly complaints about how I'm feeling mixed in with some comments about how I know I could have it a lot worse. But when I hit the publish post button all was lost.

This is my reminder that things really could be a hell of a lot worse and to quit my bitching.

So no complaints from me. Instead, I'm going to wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas.

And I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs from this time of year

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The End of an Era?

Last year was the first time I'd ever heard of the Elf on the Shelf. Some of my PP sisters had them for their little ones.
After Thanksgiving when all the elves came out to 'play' I was seeing updates of their antics on friends FB pages, one friend in particular is incredibly creative with hers.  Well, if there is something fun for Christmas I can't miss out on that so I went out and bought us an Elf.

He made his appearance on the first of December. At first, I wasn't so creative. Awkward (that is the name Connor chose for him, though apparently it's spelled with an O - Okward - because O makes the 'aw'  - not AW I don't argue with a 4 year old. )  was sitting on the gingerbread house, or hiding in the fridge. One night he played Scrabble and spelled out "I am still watching"  Not bad, but not as good as some of the stuff I've seen.

One night late last weekend when I was feeling particularly crappy from the chemo and not at all interested in being creative  I sat Awkward in a flower pot reindeer that Connor made at the Hearthplace Christmas party.   Later that evening while watching tv Emily commented that I needed to find better places to display him.

WHAT??!!! I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not doing anything! It's the Elf. He goes back to the north pole every night and reports to Santa.

We should note something. Emily has never officially said she doesn't believe in Santa.  Yeah, I know she's 12 but we've long held the belief that she assumed if she said she didn't believe she wouldn't get presents from him. So it was safer to just say she believed. 

I had written a note for Awkward to give to the kids, on tea soaked, edge burned paper but try as I might, my handwriting will always look like my handwriting. I'm sure she knew beforehand  - she's not an idiot - but this clinched it.

So I told Emily, if she thought she could do a better job of displaying him she should have at it. I even googled some Elf on the Shelf idea sites for her.

Clearly, I underestimated my child and her creative juices. She didn't need help and in fact has put me to shame. I'm also seeing a dark side to my daughter. Wasn't I about her age when I started reading Stephen King?


The sign says "Elf on the Shelf. For Elf,  Hot Babes and Cool Guys Only. Exclusive Club"
The sign on the table beside the snowman reads "Bouncer, No Nerds Allowed" 

Now, one should note who Awkward is dancing with. Red Hat Barbie. (clearly a cougar - though one must be over 50 to be a Red Hat - I'm not sure what an over 50 cougar is called) 

The thing is, the night before this club scene, Awkward was curled up on a makeshift couch with the Barbie in the black dress (Amish Barbie), their baby and their cat, watching TV (though if she's Amish there wasn't a whole lot of TV watching going on....she'd be shunned) 

One must deduce from this scene that Awkward got tired of the 'plain' life and went clubbing. His Amish wife followed him and caught him all over another woman.  Awkward..... 
hmm, Connor had some real foresight in chosing his name I see.

I think that might be what led to this scene.


Our hero, Awkward, is now hanging by his ankles and can either be eaten by a hungry dinosaur, some anxious lions or some tiger cubs.   This picture doesn't show it well but the dinosaur has blood on his teeth. It's red and sparkly. So now you know. Elves have sparkly blood.

I can't wait to see what Emily does with Awkward tonight. I've officially handed over the reigns to her. She's awesome.

Oh, and she's finally admitted out loud that she knows there's no Santa. Apparently in 5th grade she saw a Hannah Montana toothbrush under the covers in my bed that ended up in one of their stockings.

It might be the end of that era, but it's the start of a whole new, fun one.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Shall Return

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth,  I assure you. I'm just at the point of side effects in which my fingertips hurt and typing is extremely painful.

But I'll see ya soon!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vanity. Only Skin Deep?

I've never been a particularly vain person. I didn't wear make up for 7 years (except the extremely rare occasion) I only began wearing it again when I went back to work last year and as soon as the warm temps hit and I got some sun on my face I stopped again. Since cancer I've only worn it two or three times just to give myself a boost.

I wasn't overly traumatized about losing the breast, my prosthetic, though heavy and chilly to put on first thing in the morning looks completely natural. I'll admit there are some days where I'm just not 'feeling it' to be topless around Sean but thinking back, I'm sure there were days like that before I righty hacked off. We all have "I'm not feeling so sexy" days. And wardrobe issues have developed with regards to cleavage and the lack there of on the right but it's getting sorted out.

I had a little more trouble with the hair loss but was perfectly content to wear my scarf and wait for my hair to grow back.

The thing is, I want to go back to work in March and let's face it, I'll still be bald. I don't think a scarf everyday will be professional and it will also bring about the questions from all the parents. I don't want to have to deal with that day in and day out. I'm sure they'll all know within an month of my being back to work but it doesn't need to be immediate ("Oh, the head scarf....she has cancer!")

So I went to Blossom and got me a wig.  And holy crap, Thank God for insurance because I had no idea how expensive this stuff is!

It's growing on me. I wear it everyday, even if it's just a few hours, to get used to the feel. At first it felt like it was falling off all the time but I'm getting used to how it should feel and look and I'm starting to really love it. And yet, part of my feels like it's silly vanity. Beauty is more than skin deep, I'm the first to tell my girls that, and justified it with 7 years of not wearing make up and 'dolling' myself up. If someone didn't like the natural me, screw 'em. And yet now, the natural me has one boob and no hair and I do my best to hide that. Strange how things change.

But part of beating cancer is mental and if making myself feel good is wearing a wig and a fake boob then it's on.

At any rate, here it is for all my readers who are no FB friends. My new do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bad Little Blogger

I'm sorry I've been so MIA lately. I've been shirking my blogging responsibilities. Where has Tasty Tuesday been and where has Shameless Plug Sunday gone? They'll be back, I promise, I've just been knee deep in Christmas, ( I thought I was done...Hahaha, silly me!) and chemo and decluttering...just to name a few things.

Where to start?

Tomorrow is chemo number 5. For those keeping track I have one more after this (Praise the Lord!).  I didn't suffer as much with this chemo but my energy level is lower than it used to be and the effects lasted longer. This one's effects last longer and there were two three days where the pain was ridiculous but overall I'm handling it better. The downside is my nails. My toe nails, in particular are thinning and I fear I will lose them before this is all over. I'm wearing my nail hardener and polish like I was told to. Oh well.

On the weekend I took Connor and Mary to the Hearthplace Christmas party. It was for kids who were in the kids connect program (kids who's parents have cancer) and for the kids who have cancer themselves. It was a lot of fun, the kids had a blast. They had different activity stations for the kids to do Christmas crafts. They had treats and coffee for us grown ups. They had a magician, Larry Potter. He was great. They had this little area that was divided off, no adults allowed,  for the kids to go into and they went "shopping" for gifts for their parents and then wrapped them. So under the tree now are two gift each for Sean and I that are truly a surprise and picked out by the kids themselves. I'm so excited to see that they are.
While we were there we got to see the little guy who Mary had donated her toys to. I didn't get a chance to meet the mom because it was so busy. But I have to relay the cutest story ever.

So the little boy from this post was sitting and waiting patiently for his turn to sit on Santa's knee. Santa called his name and he ran up and sat with him, smile from ear to ear. Santa talks to him and gives him a gift. The little boy tears into the gift right then and there and one of the toys was a beyblade. Well, his mom told me later (I'll explain about meeting her in a minute) that the one thing he'd asked for was a beyblade. The kid went NUTS. Screaming, jumping up and down, hugging Santa....I've never seen a kid more happy than he was right then and there. It was fabulous. It made the day to see it.

I've had a burst of energy and thought it was time to get my crawl space cleaned up....again. Only this time I'm trying to declutter some more. I had 8 file boxes of resources for work. The thing is, with my new job, 90% of what I've accumulated in the past 15 years is of no use to me anymore. But I didn't want to just recycle it. That was my sweat, blood and tears. So I offered it up on freecycle to anyone who wanted it. I'm really fussy with who I give things to on freecycle. I want manners in a reply. I don't want the person to assume that just because they want it I'm going to give it to them. If they don't have manners I'd sooner drop it off at Goodwill than give it to them. And I tend to give things to people I've given things to before...I don't need my address floating around out there too much.

Anyway, one of the people who replied was the Mom of the little boy mentioned above. Turns out, she's a teacher and will be teaching JK/SK next year. So I gave them all to her. Mary and I got to meet her this afternoon and she sounds like a really nice person. I was glad to help her and her little guy out.

Finally I got me a new wig. Sean and I went Monday night and I tried on about 10 of them with the help of a stylist. She looked at a pic of me I brought from when I loved my hair and we played around with colour, length and style. I finally settled on one that Sean seemed to really like and it's growing on me. It will take some getting used to though.

But now, dear reader, I'm going to leave you high and dry without a picture of me  and my new do. You see, for any of you ladies who've ever been to a salon, you know the harsh lighting makes you look totally washed out when you're not wearing make up and since I've already washed my face and haven't yet had a chance to take a pic...you're gonna have to wait. Soon though, I promise. When I'm all dressed up for my work Christmas party on Friday.

Tata!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Update

Yes, I've been MIA for a while (I guess a few days is a while for me)  I've been busy, not feeling great and generally kind of blah.

I'm having trouble getting going. I'm tired most of the time and not really feeling 100%.  This is the first week I've been unmedicated since my last treatment (well, the last couple of days) and I find my body is going through a withdrawal from the percocets. I'll truly be glad when chemo is done and I can be done with those.

A few months ago I had to fill out some forms for the Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer Clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital to see if I was a candidate for genetic testing - to see if my particular cancer is the hereditary kind.  They wanted to know my entire family history of cancer on both sides for as far back and laterally as I could determine. It wasn't too hard since the history of cancer in my family, on both sides, thankfully, is not very strong.

The clinic called yesterday to do a phone interview. They basically confirmed all the info I gave on the questionnaire. The clinic determined that I am not a candidate for genetic testing, the reason being that between the types and patterns of cancer in my family history combined with my particular make up of my cancer there is only a 2% chance it's genetic. I could, of course, opt to pay for the testing myself (upward of $3500) but I don't see the need. Princess Margaret Hospital knows their cancer and if this clinic says there's a 98% chance it's not genetic that's good enough for me.

What this means is that my daughters, while they will still have to be diligent in checking themselves and will have to have routine mammograms at a younger age (because I was under 40 at diagnosis) their risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer is not anywhere near as high as it would be if it were a hereditary cancer.

She also told me that through the Ontario Breast Screening Program women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer (which would include me - as a recurrence) can have yearly mammograms/breast MRI's.  She said she could input my info (family history as well as my cancer) into the program and it would determine my likelihood of a recurrence and therefore whether or not I qualify for this as well. She said the risk factor would need to be 24% to qualify.

I was on pins and needles again, it's been a long time since I've had to hear 'new information' on my cancer and at the moment I'm enjoying the blissful ignorance of hope that between surgery and chemo I'm cancer free and will stay that way for the remainder of my very, very long life. So I told her to go ahead and put the info in and then I held my breath.  Based on the info put in (family history and my own cancer) my risk factor for a recurrence is 16%.  That's not a bad number if you ask me. I don't even qualify for the program. Yay!  Now, that's not to say I won't still be getting regular checks, my Dr will  see to that, it's just that under this particular program, I don't.

So, yesterday was all about good news.

And yet, for some reason I'm still feeling kind of crappy.

I was supposed to go for a wig fitting this morning at a local salon that specializes in it. I need a wig for when I go back to work. Plus, frankly, I'd like to go out once in a while and not have everyone automatically know I'm a cancer patient.

I packed up the wig I have (that I don't like) and a picture I have of a time when I really loved my hair. Sean and I went to the salon for my scheduled time and it was locked. No one home. We waited about 15 minutes and finally left. I called and left a message.

A few minutes later the stylist called, her car had broken down. Sean, ever the skeptic, thought it was an excuse and maybe it was but she sounded genuinely upset that she'd missed us. So I'm going back Monday afternoon. We'll see if I can find something.

And last but not least on my updates....
Mary went and bought all the toys for the toy drive.




Her intention was to donate them to a local toy drive. Then, one day, earlier in the week I read an email on our local freecycle network. A little boy who's been battling leukemia for the past 3 years has been donating toys to the Scarborough Centenary Hospital's Sick Kids Satellite Unit. His Mom was putting a call out for anyone who wanted to donate toys. 
This struck me on so many levels. I complain about 6 months of chemo, this little guy has been doing it for three years. Three years.  What a tough, brave little boy.

I talked to Mary, showed her his Facebook Page and asked her if she wanted to donate the toys to him for his toy drive.

So last night we drove out to his house and dropped them off. Unfortunately, no one was home but I left them at the door and his Mom emailed me last night to say she got them and thanks.

So, that's about it for now. I'm sure I'll work myself out of this funk soon enough. Sean's working some overtime tonight so I'm going to cuddle up on the couch with a beer and maybe rent myself a chick flick. And I'm going to enjoy some all by myself 'me time.'

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Where does the time go?

9 years ago today I was sitting on the couch in the dining room, getting ready to take Emily to the zoo. I stood up and sploosh (yep, that was the sound it made) my water broke. 7 hours later Mary Jo was born.

Mary was by far, my easiest labour and my easiest delivery. She was also 9 days early. I am convinced it's because a few days earlier we'd gone on a very bumpy sleigh ride to get a real Christmas tree.

My water broke at about 8:30 in the morning and I didn't start having contractions until 1:30pm. By the time they got painful enough to get an epidural it was too late to get one and I was ready to push. And it was only 3:30 pm. Two pushes later, there she was

Mary has been full of spunk since the day she was born. Her personality reflects her red hair and she keeps me on my toes. She's funny, smart, beautiful, caring, generous and loving. She's a fabulous big sister to Connor and a great little sister to Emily. And she knows just how to push everyones buttons to make them crazy. I wouldn't trade her for the world. And I can't believe she's 9 already. We've reached that point where she's in between little kid and big kid. I had a few parents ask me what she'd like for her birthday and this year, I was at a total loss. She still likes toys (sometimes) but she also likes the 'big kid' stuff like shopping, iPods and brand name clothes (though she's still too tiny to shop at a lot of those stores)  

We had her birthday party yesterday. That was an interesting experience. We had a luau themed party, which in the end worked out to be grass skirts and lei's, a tiki themed cake and a tiki pinata. We also had a daiquiri bar (smoothies) and fruit kabobs. I do have to pat myself on the back because besides the chocolate in the pinata (one of her friends has a peanut allergy so I couldn't fill the pinata with a standard pinata filler - I had to buy the safe/peanut free stuff)  I managed to throw a birthday party with fruit as the snacks and the kids were begging for more. Ha ha, jokes on them...they had healthy stuff at a party.

I told Mary earlier in the day that while her friends were here I'd wear my scarf (I don't wear it at home) so her friends wouldn't be wigged out (no pun intended) by her bald mom. She told me I didn't need to, all her friends knew her Mom had cancer and that she had no hair. I opted to wear it anyway, more so because for the most part, I don't think the parents knew and I didn't want to shock them at the door.

I was right. It wasn't so apparent with the parents of the kids I didn't know since they'd never met me (and vice versa) so I couldn't gauge their expressions but with the parents of the kids I do know. I could see the change in their eyes. The realization. The "Oh, my!"   I actually joked with Sean because one of the Dad's came and was walking with a cane and I said to Sean "I really wanted to know what was up with the cane and he really wanted to know what was up with the head scarf and neither of us asked" 

What I find the most interesting is the kids reaction. Kids amaze me. They are so non chalant, relaxed and matter of fact. I remember being worried the first time Mary's bff slept over after I'd shaved my head. She's known me for most of her life and to see me the first time with no hair I expected a bit of a double take, stare or even a blatant "Whoa, you look weird!" (because she's comfortable enough with us to say that without it being taken the wrong way) but there was none of that. It was almost as if she didn't even notice I was bald. And Mary's friends were the same way, they didn't even seem to notice the head scarf or lack of hair. I sometimes think adults could take a lesson from kids. Not that the reaction from adults bothers me - mostly - but I can't stand the head tilt/sympathy look. Don't feel sorry for me. Sure it sucks but I'm not sitting around feeling sorry for myself and I don't want pity from anyone. This is a bump in the road of my life and it's going to make me and my family stronger when it's all said and done.

Anyhow, the party was a great success. Mary and her friends had a blast. I'm sure my neighbours wanted to call the cops because there were seven 9 year old girls in the backyard screaming at the top of their lungs. And my beautiful, intelligent, bundle of energy was the loudest of them all.

And I wouldn't trade that for anything....well, some earplugs maybe.

Shameless Plug Sunday - The Snuggled Stitch

I've said, fairly often, that I'm done having kids. So my need for bibs, burp cloths and the like is, well, not there. But then I saw the Rah Rah Ruffle Pants and I was sold!

Today's plug is for The Snuggled Stitch.  You can visit the Etsy Shop here.

And it's not just bibs and burp cloths (though if you're still in that stage and need those things, she's got 'em!) but the Rah Rah Ruffle Pants are so cute!! If my girls were young enough that they'd wear them, I'd get them a pair each - maybe with Canadien's material to make Daddy happy.

Amanda, the owner and creator of these super cute creations has recently added embroidery to her repertoire and I've fallen in love with the Christmas hand towels.

I'm in the process of having a skirt made for Mary. It's a 'very Mary' skirt. You'll recall, Mary's style is Phoebe (from Friends) meets Herb Tarlek (WKRP) smashed together with Punky Brewster (or Blossom, depending on which generation you're from)  She's got a style all her own and the skirt Amanda is creating will reflect that. I can't wait to see it!

I highly recommend visiting her Facebook Page (go ahead and 'like' it while you're there) and her Etsy Shop. She's got a lot of great products and does great custom work!