Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Canine Cancer - again?

Ok, we had to put Sprite to sleep in December, before she was even five years old, because of lymphoma. Now, just 6 months later, we find out that Sudz has cancer too. Not the same type of cancer, but cancer nonetheless. Sudz has Stage 2 Mast Cell Cancer. Huh?? Check this out: Pet Owners Crash Course in Mast Cell Tumors

I'm still not up to speed on linking to this blog, so bear with me if the entire address shows. On Wednesday, as we are preparing for the excitement of our nephew's graduation, we have to have a "discharge" meeting with the vet. See, Sudz had an ultrasound earlier to see if any of the cancer had gone into other organs - there is a word for it - but I can't spell it now. I just can't do it. How can another one of our dogs have cancer?

I'll tell you why. We have BOXERS. One of the items you'll read on any website about cancer or Boxers is that they go together. From all the years of being inbred to keep the breed's qualities such as a short snout breeders have successfully locked one or more cancer causing genes into these poor dogs.

We met with Dr. S. last night. All of us. Me, the Husband, Nanny Extraordinnaire, the Palentologist and Twinkletoes. We went for the "discharge appointment". I've never had to do this before. I automatically think the worst. While we were in the waiting room, I pay the bill. Less than $400 and there is no cytology charge on my itemized billing. Good or bad? They found too much or they found nothing at all?

Dr. S. finally came in the room. Without the dog. The kids are beginning to get antsy - we never told them that the tumor removed from him was cancerous. I couldn't bring myself to do it. How do I tell them their second pet in a year has cancer? They've only seen the ending of their pet's life from cancer. They've never seen a survivor. So - Dr. S. finally tells us: the news is good! The cancer has not spread. She cannot stress enough though the importance of one more surgery. This is to clean the "dirty" cells from the area surrounding where the tumor was. Getting "clean" edges is what I think they called it. She said all the girls in the back told her that she had to find a way to talk us into the surgery. It will save his life. It will give him possibly 4 or 5 more years with us. I told her we would talk about it. And then, she brought Sudz in. I think we might have been more excited to see him and know that the news was good than he was to see us!!

By the time we got to the school for the Nephew's graduation (not even five minutes away), I was already on the phone with the vet's office setting up Sudz' next surgery for 6/29. This way, he'll be able to recuperate without the kids (all of them!) while we're on vacation. Hopefully it will be more relaxing for him. Only time will tell. How can we not do what the doctor says will save his life?


The Nephews graduation went well!! One received an award. We're so proud of both of them!!! I can't wait to upload my pictures and post them here. Hopefully they came out well!! Good going guys!!

a BIG day ...

... today is graduation day from the elementary school for two of my nephews. I cannot believe that they are so OLD (which we all know means that I am old.) When I came into this family they were just 2 and 3. Amazingly small creatures who have always made me smile. I am so proud of them and their accomplishments. I know that they'll excel in whatever they put their heads into during their high school years. They're scholars and athletes and just good guys all around. I wish them all the best and hope that they know that I love them. Yes, I know its corny and they're going to be in high school -- and I'm not even their "real" aunt, just an aunt by marriage. It is my wish that they never think that -- they always know that they are my family, part of my heart and I would do anything for them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Twinkletoes

Our baby is FIVE today. Can you believe it?
I have lots more to say but not a lot of time to say it today ...
remember this?

To many more healthy and happy years. I love you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Could Just Scream ...

There are few things that bother me more in life than people who don't listen fully or gain complete understanding of an issue before they take action. I've done it before and it rarely ends without someone being offended and upset and another person being embarrassed because they either over-reacted or reacted without knowing the "entire" situation. Usually the case with gossip, right? Not this time. This time it involves the Paleontologist and school!

Being in kindergarten, a half day kindergarten, there is a lot to learn in just 2 1/2 hours a day, for 180 days. Also, being a boy, I'm told makes it harder to learn in that 2 1/2 hours a day and couple that with a "late" birthday - the end of July - and its a recipe for disaster. When we went for our last parent - teacher conference, the Paleontologist's teacher advised us that he is immature. What 5 year old boy isn't? The kid has been in school since infancy so we already know that he has issues sitting still and since he's started to talk, he demand attention. Constantly. Even if it isn't his turn. He is a work in progress and he's awesome! As frustrating as it is for us, as his parents sometimes, I guess its even harder for the people who only deal with him for 2 1/2 hours a day. The teacher asked us if we wanted him to repeat kindergarten or send him to first grade. Is there really a parent on this earth that says "yes, I want my kid to repeat kindergarten"? Ok, so we made the the call to send him to first grade.

We're not dummies. Rutgers offers this reading class during the summer for all age groups. We signed Twinkletoes up for one and the Paleontologist up for the one for students entering first grade. The program runs one day a week from 6/22 through 7/20. It costs an arm and a leg but guess what? Those kids are pretty important and we'll do anything to ensure they get the best education they can get! Anyhow, the Paleontologist will be in class for 2 hours, then will have at least 4 hours of home work to be done throughout the week. The purpose is for us to "learn with him". Sounds good to me. As long as we can do it, lets go!

Then, on Friday, we receive a letter from the Paleontologist's principal that he's been "invited" to a summer school program, through the district, free of charge, from 7/2 through 8/9. But, we need to let them know by 6/13 - you know because school is dismissed for the summer on 6/18. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to let you know they're going to do something about some of their shortcomings in the classroom.

So, we weigh our options. I email the principal to say "yes, we'd like our child involved BUT we have vacations planned for the first week of July and the first week of August AND he's enrolled in this Rutgers reading class". Then, I place a phone call to the basic skills teacher who is running this evidently new program and ask her to call me back. I have questions. I'm not going to be an overbearing mom and put the kid somewhere where he can't excel but I want to know a few things. I get to my desk this morning and I have an email from the basic skills teacher advising me that the Paleontologist will not get the full benefit of the program because "regular" attendance is required as the class is cumulative. Ok, what part of "call me" did she not understand? I'm fuming. I email her back, with a copy to the Principal (since she copied the principal on her email to me - its only fair). I tell her I wanted to speak with her because I have questions about the program. I leave her another voice mail message. Then, she finally calls me back.

She indicates that she responded to my email that I sent to the principal, not checking her voice mail messages before she did. Then she proceeds to tell me that the first and last weeks are for assessments - (so will he really be missing a lot of work??) Then she tells me that the program through school only runs Monday through Thursday so that this Rutgers program will not interfere with his "summer school". Ok, so I'm still not getting what the big deal is. She kept questioning me whether I still wanted him to attend. Isn't any type of regular classroom setting better than none at all? Yes, I still want him to attend. I guess she knows she's defeated. She offers to stay late one day of Jonah's first week or come in early one day (notice she didn't offer to come in before the class actually starts or to see him before school lets out) to do his evaluation with him. And, maybe she can do his final evaluation after he's back in school for the fall session (yeah, you'll get a lot out of him after he's not been in any type of classroom setting for four weeks.)

But, whatever, the kid is going to summer school -and it looks like i am going to have to be one of those interfering moms.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What a NERD!

Ok, only I would do this ... master scrapbooker and taker of pictures -- I would attend a retirement party for one of my favorite high school teachers and coaches and bring with me a camera with a DEAD battery. Hello? What was I thinking? I am still trying to figure it out. I haven't seen some of the people in attendance in over 15 years. Teachers, classmates ... ugggh. I'm so mad at myself I could scream!
Kudos to the planners of such a fantastic party. They did well in bringing many people together to celebrate a Mr. Morgan's epic career at PHS. I think that he was a little overwhelmed that so many people cared so much about him and that people came from near (Moorestown, Medford, etc.) and far (Pennsylvania, San Diego, Connecticut) to pay their respects. Not often something like this happens. It was great seeing everyone and talking to people that meant the world to me in high school.
I, being the pain in the rear that I am, received special dispensation to bring the Palentologist and Twinkletoes to this party although the invitation clearly read "Adults Only Please." Had I not been able to bring them, we'd have been sitting at home - probably spending a lot of time n our respective bedrooms because it seems that these kids have a certain knack for talking back and being smart alecs these days. Instead, I took them (almost as my security blanket) to this party - not knowing what to expect. Jamie, the host, welcomed them with open arms. He has kids, 4 of them, infact - 2 of them were the same ages as the Palentologist and Twinkletoes. It was awesome!!! I almost didn't know that they were there. They played with each other without killing each other, they played nicely with the other kids. They were respectful of the adults that were there and used their manners. They made me very proud!! Of course, they also made a liar out of me but I'll take that any day over having to yell at them constantly for silly stuff. I was able to have adult conversations with people I haven't seen in over a decade. Can you imagine not seeing people that you cared so much about at one point in your life for that long??? It was truly a fantastic day!

Friday, June 8, 2007

What a week!

Thank goodness the week is finally winding down ... the past few days have been hectic, crazy, and has me thinking that there is something "off" in the world .. cosmically. People have been short-tempered, some don't listen, some are driving crazy, some are fighting and bad stuff is happening to good people.
Don't get me wrong, I'm right up there with the best of the nutty people lately. I even *freaked* on the Palentologist in the middle of the night because he wanted a drink and I didn't feel like getting out of bed. I had already been up twice with the dogs and water from the bathroom sink wasn't quite good enough because he wanted juice from the fridge. Then we got into an argument -- he with his temper -- telling me that if Idon't get up, he'll never go to sleep again and me *tweaking!!* because, how dare he yell at me after he wakes me up after I just fell asleep??? I proceeded to send him back to bed and I stomped downstairs to get the juice while he slammed his door -- it was 3:30 - my alarm goes off at 4:30 - then when I brought him the juice, it was in a "soda" cup (a diner leftover) instead of "juice" cup (tupperware) and he wasn't going to drink it because it was not in the right cup. Now, who cares but him, what kind of cup he is drinking out of, as long as he is DRINKING??? ugggh. He wound up drinking a few sips then I put it on the bookshelf at the top of the steps where the rest of the cup has gone bad from not being refrigerated. I did wake him up this morning and apologize for yelling at him in the middle of the night. I hate sending him to sleep mad and/or crying. He gave me a kiss and a hug and went right back to sleep. Think he even remembers?
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that today will be the day that things begin to slow down and I won't be the only one who is trying to calm down. Of course, with 2,000 things to do on Saturday alone, who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Thought for the weekend: Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out. Anton Chekhov

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Is it a full moon?

Just wondering...there was a one car accident behind our house this morning. I was the lucky one that got to call 911. Here a young man went off the road into a telephone pole, and smacked his head pretty good on the windshield. No other cars were involved. He was okay, got checked out by the EMTs and was waiting for a ride to come get him when I left for work. The power is knocked out on the entire "circuit" ... a bunch of blinking lights are out and a major traffic light on 206 was out with State Police directing traffic there. My friend lost power during her shower (it really does suck!). Luckily, our power is still on, which means the kids get to watch thier morning shows before school today. Then on my way to work, I had two people make sudden right hand turns, from the driving lane, with no blinker, right in front of me. Hello -- who taught these people how to drive???

And - there is something I need to know. Last year, I had a list of what the Palentologist needed for kindergarten -- supply wise. 3 #2 pencils, a hard pencil case, 2 jumbo glue sticks, 2 packs of markers, 1 pack of 8 crayons, scissors, etc. Well, don't you know he comes home yesterday with his pencil case. Guess what is inside? Not everything but a lot of it. The 8 pack of crayons - doesn't even look like they were used. Both gluesticks - used but barely. Markers and scissors are missing. Three #2 pencils: haven't even been sharpened. Why did I bust my butt the week before school pulling this stuff together if they didn't even use it??? Do I still fill Twinkletoes' entire list of items for kindergarten this coming fall??? Just wondering...

Hope you have a better day than I'm having!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


...the same. Weekly weigh ins were today. I'm the same as last week. Ugggh. The other girls are losing weight. My boss is losing weight and I'm stagnant. Could it be that I ate at PJ's last night? The scale is definitely tipping in that direction. Next Tuesday is the final weigh in. I have to drop a good 5 lbs during the week otherwise, this team may just string me up!!!

The Palentologist and his Dad went to the NASCAR race in Dover yesterday which was rained out on Sunday. They had an awesome time!! I think that the entire experience was definitely overwhelming for him and his Dad thinks that he may have gotten a little vertigo from climbing up into the grandstands and watching the cars go round and round and round ... but he was okay last night. A little whiny at dinner but other than that ... he can't wait to go back in September. He let us know that Twinkletoes and I are invited to that race. This one was just for "the boys".

We had a good weekend too. The kids nearly melted at the Tball field at their afternoon game on Saturday but we made up for that by going to the swim club afterwards. The entire way to the swim club, they were asking "can I go off the diving board?" "can we go down the slide?" -- it took me a while to explain to them that they may have to "remember" how to swim. Its been quite a while since they were in a pool. After about an hour in the pool, I was no longer worried that they'd drown if I turned my back for a minute. They remembered, and remembered well. Twinkletoes just puts her face in the water, arms back and swims like a mermaid. When she puts her arms into it for a freestyle stroke, she just gets confused. We'll work on that again this summer. I have them signed up for lessons but not scheduled - yet. I should probably get on that ... today. The Palentologist has to remember to keep his rear end up or he's going to be swimming to nowhere -- fast! But he's not sinking and that is what counts in my book.

Dogs ... Guinness is good. Jack is good. Sudz was at the vet yesterday. He has a lump on his chest. Dr. T. said that it is about 7 mm -- too small to aspirate so we made plans to bring him back on Thursday a.m. to have it removed under a local anesthesia. While he's out, they'll clean his teeth and cut his nails. So, there is an upside to the story!! They'll send it away for a biopsy -- the problem with these Boxers is cancer. I don't know what we'll do if it is cancer -- just keep our fingers crossed and hope that the lump they're going to remove is all of it? I cannot bear to tell my kids that another of their pets has cancer ... especially since we just lost Sprite at the end of last year.

Scrapbooking ... haven't done squat. Nanny Extraordinnaire and my Stepmom went to an all day crop on Saturday benefiting the Pinelands Watershed Alliance. They said it was the best one they've been too and they've been checking out a lot lately. I haven't gotten anything done in ages. This weekend, we need to make an "All About Me" poster for Twinkletoes. You'd have thought since I've known about this project that I would have been working on it diligently for a while? Nope, not me. Its due Monday. We'll do it on Sunday. Good thing we have most of the supplies on hand out in my garage "surplus" scrapbook store.

Think that is it for the day ... I'm sure I'm forgetting something ... but it's going to be a beautiful day. Make the most of it!
2 hours later -- I remembered what I forgot ... the Nanny Extraordinnaire only has ONE carseat since the Dad has the other in his truck from taking the Palentologist to the races yesterday. YIKES!!!!

Friday, June 1, 2007


T.G.I.F. That says it all. The trip to Jamaica seems like a dream and that it didn't really happen at all...its strange how that happens, isn't it? You have a few days of relaxation then -blam- you're right back where you left from, and then some!

The Puppy - Guinness is healing well. His toe, thank goodness, does not need to be removed. Thanks to the Nanny Extraordinnaire for all of her hard work getting him better. It was all the husband and I could do to make sure he got his medicine at night, then we abandoned them mid-treatment to jet-set to Jamaica. Now if we can get rid of these stinking mites -- which are not contagious to us or to other animals -- we'd be batting a thousand!

The Palentologist - kindergarten is almost over. I think that he is looking forward to having a somewhat "free" summer. He is enrolled in a reading class through Rutgers for 6 weeks for two hours a week, plus homework. But he's excited that he's learning how to read and all that other fun stuff that goes with kindergarten, so its all good. :-) LAX is over. Its debatable whether he'll play again next year. Tball will be over next week. He loves that so we'll be in quite a quandary next year when it decision making time. No more two sports per season for us. We're quite lucky we survived this spring!

Twinkletoes - preschool graduation is on the 15th of June and there is no one more excited than our Twinkletoes. She has come such a long way -- can you believe she will be five on the 19th? I can't. From her early beginnings -- 4 weeks before her due date at a mere SEVEN and a HALF pounds!!! (can you imagine if she baked for another 4 weeks??) She now gives her brother a run for his money weight wise! She is now finished LAX and had expressed an interest in playing again next year, until last night when she overheard me telling another Tball mom that she probably wouldn't play Tball again next year as she likes LAX more. She found it necessary to tell me that she IS going to play Tball again next year. Typical woman! She will be taking a reading class through Rutgers this summer as well and she's also let me know that she will be in the kindergarten enrichment class for a few days a week too -- because it is not fair that her brother gets to go to two schools when he is in kindergarten and she will only get to go to one. Overachiever? Perhaps. I'm afraid of where she'll want to go to law school!

The Birthday Girl - Ok, so I missed her first birthday and all the fun surrounding it. I'm SORRY!! She looks like she had a great time and I'll be sure not to schedule another vacation at her birthday time -- forever. (If my sister holds me to this for the rest of my life, I am in some deep you know what!!) Looks as if they had to put her in a kiddie pool to get all of the cake icing cleaned up from her entire body. And from what my sister has been telling me, she (and her brother too) love the Backyardigans stuffed animals that we gave her for a birthday present. I would have brought her back a nice pair of earrings or something of the nature if my sister didn't give me an answer of "when she's old enough to ask" - when I asked when her ears would be pierced. Twinkletoes had hers done before she was a year old. No problems, mon! *smile*