Saturday, September 30, 2006

Well, stick a needle in my neck and call me Bussi

That pretty much sums up my day.

I had to be at the hospital at 7:15 Friday morning. Ugh. Two of the ladies from my church generously came to help me out. Ms. Kay, who was Bug's "teacher" when he was two, came and got the kids ready for school and stayed with Bug. Her mother, Ms. Louise, who cared for Bug at Mom's Day Out for his first two years, drove me to the hospital and stayed with me throughout my adventure there.

Basically, I checked in, changed into one of the hospital's lovely, chic, open back gown (so that all could glimpse my ginormous ass), then I climbed into bed with Joshilyn's lastest book, Between Georgia. And I began the waiting game. On the upside, I got through half of the book (oh, and WHAT a great book it is!). On the down side, that hospital was damn cold! Especially when all that is between you and the a/c is a twenty-seven year old wisp of cotton. Then I remembered that I had a blanket. Heh.

After waiting an hour and a half, then nurse came to get me for my procedure.

Nurse: What's your name?

Me: Sugarmommy Lastname. But I go by Buffi.

Nurse: Bethany?

Me: No, Buffi: B-U-F-F-I

Nurse: Bussi?

Me: Yeah, because that's a name you hear all the time...
::on the inside::

Me (out loud): No, Buffi. You know like the Vampire Slayer.

Nurse: Oh!! Buffi!!

Me (on the inside): Dimwit.

And it was all downhill from there. I eventually made it into the ultrasound room where the sonographer looked (unsuccessfully) on the left side of my throat for the nodule that was on the right side of my thyroid. Actually, she was really nice and, in her defense, the report she had only said that there was a nodule, not which side it was on. She quickly found it. I'm just cranky.

Then the radiologist came in and looked at the pictures and briefed me on what was to happen. He gave me a small shot of lidocaine in my throat to numb the skin and then proceeded to stick at least four loooooong needles in my throat to reach that stealthy nodule on my thyroid and retrieve some cells. Who knew that your thyroid actually had nerves?! Those needles hurt like a sonofabitch when they went into the thyroid! All in all, if you are considering letting someone stick needles in your neck, I would advise against it.

Then the brainiac nurse came to pick me up and deliver me back to my room. There, I waited, drifting between reading my (very wonderful) book and dozing. Periodically interrupted to have my blood pressure taken. (And of course it was a little high. Duh! They just stuck a bunch of freaking needles in my neck! AND? You interrupted my book. Again!) All the while, Ms. Louise sat with me and read her book.

Finally, the nurse came in to tell me that it was almost time to go. Actually what she said was, "The doctor said that you could go after 90 minutes. That's two hours. So, you got back in here at 9:40 and it's 11:30 now, so we'll go ahead and get your paperwork ready..."

Did you catch that?
Louise and I looked at each other with that did she just...? look on our faces. We agreed not to confuse the poor thing with the facts so as to escape before any damage was incurred by either one of us. I think that we were both afraid of losing a leg or something.

I arrived home just as Bug was finishing his lunch and heading to his room for his nap. I assured Ms. Kay and Ms. Louise that I would be fine getting Bug down for a nap and then take one myself. Which I did. For three and a half hours. With the blessed cooperation of my SugarBug, I slept until about five minutes before Bear and SugarPlum arrived home via another church friend. SugarPlum then assured me that if I needed to go back to bed that she could take care of the boys for me.

And then I cried. Because, holy cow, how sweet is that?!

So, I am good. I should have test results next week. I am expecting all to be fine. If it's not, well, you'll know that too!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Promises, promises....

Um, yeah, so about that whole "I'll post later this week" thing....

I've been scolded by more than one friend lately for the serious dearth of posts from Candyland as of late. I realize that it seems that I have all but fallen off the planet.

Our weeks around here are just crazy. The three SugarBabies are at three different schools. SugarPlum and Bear both have to be at school at the same time. Luckily their schools are only about a mile apart and SP likes getting there early. Bear still insists on me walking him to his classroom, which means that Bug goes in as well. Bug's school is only twice a week and an hour later, so we have a bit of time to go back home, pack his lunch and get ready. But the afternoons are just insane three days a week. Bear and SP have soccer practice on the same days. SP at 5:30, Bear at 6:00. At two different locations (natch). So I get the kids home on those days around 3:45, blow through homework, fix a picnic supper and get those two dressed for practice. The boys and I eat our supper on a blanket while we watch the first few minutes of SP's practice, then we load up and go over to Bear's practice. SP's coach delivers her to me when their practice is over and she eats her sandwich. By the time Bear is done, we get home just in time for PJs and bedtime stories! Wednesdays, we have supper at church at 5:00 and the kids have choir at 5:30 followed by Mission Friends and GAs at 6:30. Hey, at least we aren't bored! Add into that mix Pampered Chef shows on the weekends and the occasional weeknight PLUS two soccer games every Saturday. WHEW! I look forward to the one day a week that we can sit and just "be." As much as the kids love soccer and I enjoy watching them play, I am already looking forward to the end of the season and a little time off. Until basketball season starts. Heh.

Turns out that I am pretty darn good at this whole Pampered Chef thing. My first three shows have netted well over my goal for my first month and I have one more show to close before the end of the month. Plus, I have four shows already scheduled for October and two for November. I really love what I am doing. I have always been a big fan of the products, so I suppose my "passion" for it (how corny does that sound?!) has helped me sell it. If you want to take a look at my PC site, let me know. The "rules" governing those sites are a little fuzzy to me and I'm not sure that I wouldn't get in trouble for linking it here. But if you ask, I'd be happy to send you the link.

In addition to the whole sales gig, I am working at my church's Mother's Day Out once a week. In the two-year-old room. Yes, I am insane, thanks for asking. Actually, I am the "helper" to the other girl in there who actually does the plans and leads the class. I agreed to do it, initially, to help meet our ridiculous mortgage payments (yes, I know this is the house that I had to have, that is why I'm not complaining!)(okay, maybe I'm complaining a little bit, but I realize the hypocrisy)(but the house? totally worth it!)(could I have more parentheses?)(I'm multi-parenthetical!)(somebody stop me -please!). Plus, with me working there (at the church...stay with me here), Bug gets to go to preschool for half price. But I'm telling you, those five hours with little kids wipes me out for the day! I don't think I will ever be able to go back to teaching!

I am very extraordinarily blessed that my parents drive in every weekend to help me out. My mom lets me sleep in on Saturdays (unless we have a morning game) plus she cooks and does laundry! GrayGray plays with the kids and does a ot of yardwork and whatever else I need him to do. I do pay for these services in the form of extreme guilt trips. When I go out of town or even out for an evening, I get to hear about how traumatized the children are and how it's like they have lost BOTH parents. And if I should have to, heaven forbid, miss a soccer game?! Well, you might think it's the end of the world. Which has led to my having to make some very difficult choices. Like missing a good friend's wedding because I can't deal with the emotional price it might exact from my parents and children. But I can't say anything about it to my mom because I'm not sure I could do this without them. I don't want to cut my nose off to spite my face. (Didn't you hate that phrase when you were a kid? It made absolutely not sense to me.)

I'm telling you, this single-mom thing is for the birds. If SD ever thought that he might get rid of me, he's got another thing coming. I won't ever do this again voluntarily! And to all of my friends out there who are single parents: You have my utmost respect and my sincere apologies for my whining.

So......this is a long, long, long, long, loooooong way of saying, I'm sorry. I will try harder to actually post a little more often. No promises the rest of this week though. Today, I go have blood work and pre-admit done for Friday's thyroid biopsy. Not a big deal, really. Just a needle biopsy to confirm the scan I had done in May saying that I am cancer-free. I promise to let you know the results.

Thanks for sticking with me, y'all. You are the best!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

*quick post*

I'm still alive, just unbelievably busy. The Pampered Chef stuff is picking up, but it is seriouly cutting into my blogging time. I'll let you decide if that is a good or a bad thing. Heh.

I have a show tonight to get ready for. Hopefully, I will have time and the energy to post Wednesday or Thursday. There has been a lot going on. Some of it even good!

Until then, thanks for your emails and notes of concern. You guys are the best!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Carlos Samaniego...I never knew ye

As you know, I was born and raised in Texas. I have always considered myself fortunate to have been able to grow up in the United States and especially in Texas. In high school, I was very active in choir and dance. And, after high school, as you know, I went to college and became a teacher. I have had the opportunity to live in many different places. I am proud to be an American and proud of our country.

Carlos Samaniego was born in Uruguay on December 31, 1971. At some point in his childhood, I'm not sure at what age, he moved to Texas, not too terribly far from where I grew up. He attended Permian High School and, from what I gather, he was one heck of a baseball player. At one game in particular, he entered as the pitcher in the third inning and shut out the opponent. From there, he eventually became a Bond Trader in New York City.

On September 11, 2001, my family and I lived in England. My husband was a fighter pilot and I was the Ways and Means chairperson for the Officers and Civilan Spouses Club. I was the Mommy to four-year-old SugarPlum and three-month-old SugarBear. On that particular day, my father-in-law left after visiting for two weeks. We had taken several trips during his stay and we enjoyed him thoroughly, but we were exhausted and, honestly, I was glad that he was headed home. We made plans to see him and my sister-in-law and her family in Mississippi at the end of October. SD took his dad to the airport very early that morning and SugarPlum and Bear and I all slept in and had a lazy morning watching Nick Jr and playing.

Carlos Samaniego woke up on the morning on September 11, 2001, most likely at his home in Richmond Hill, NY. He likely ate breakfast or at least had some coffee. He went to work that day at his job with Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center. You know what happened after that. He was confirmed dead at the WTC site. He wasn't able to follow through with any plans he had made to visit friends or family members. He didn't get one last phone call to tell his mom or his brother or his girlfriend that he loved them. His life was snuffed out abruptly and violently by the cowardly, unfathomable acts of evil, evil people.

I did not know Carlos Samaniego. Pretty much all I know about him is what I have told you right here. From what I have read that friends and family have posted about him, he was a really great guy. One friend wrote of Carlos:

I cannot remember Carlos ever having a bad day. He saw the good in everyone and everything. I know Carlos made life better for people around him. My life is better having known Carlos.

He sounds like someone I would really like to meet. The chances of that happening would have been very, very slim, but you never know. However, it makes so very angry that I will never have the opportunity to know him. Yet, I am pleased that I have been given this opportunity to honor his life and be a voice for one who can no longer speak.. His life was more than one than 1/3000th of a tragedy. His death left a hole in our world that will never be filled by anyone else and we may never know how far the ripples of this loss will be felt. If by chance, a friend or loved one of Carlos stops by here, please know that you have my deepest sympathies for a pain that must be almost unbearable even five years later. God bless you all.

We will never forget....

To read more tributes to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, go here. Or just visit 2,996. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Because I lack the brain cells to form a proper post at this point...

In my ongoing effort to improve the health and well-being of my readers, I will now share with you these questions and answers I received in an email from a friend. I found them both logical and enlightening. I share because I care, people.

Your Health and Nutrition Questions Answered!

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life, is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it . . . don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.


Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.


Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!


Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.


Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...No Pain!


Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?


Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.


Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!


Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.


Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'round' is a shape!


Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sad, sad day...

On behalf of the SugarBabies and myself, I wish to express my most sincere condolences to Terri Irwin and her children. I know that our family will miss Steve and all of his shows. He is a big hero in our house.

Crocodile Hunter, you will be missed very, very much!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thank Heaven for four day weekends

I knew it would be different this time around. For a thousand different reasons, I knew that kindergarten would be different for Bear than it was for SugarPlum. First and foremost, they are two different people. Obviously. Boy and girl. Firstborn and middle child.

Just as I knew before he was born how different he would be than his sister, I knew that this school year would be different than any of SugarPlum's have been.

SugarPlum LOVED kindergarten. She has always loved school. And while she doesn't always enjoy her homework, she would rather DIE than not do her homework. She almost always strives to do her best. I don't think that we have ever really had any discipline issues with her at school - other than the occasional "talking when she should have been listening" sort of thing (which frankly was a relief because it showed that she IS a real kid and not a robot!). Parent/Teacher conferences have always been enjoyable because I get to hear what a delight she is and how they wish that they had a class full of SugarPlums.

Now Bear is in kindergarten. And let me begin by saying that he is, by no means, the polar opposite of his sister. Bear has been anticipating and looking forward to kindergarten all summer. And he does love it. He enjoys learning and playing and participating. He calls each of the children in his class "my friend." He thinks the world of his teachers. But homework? Oh, it is the bane of his existence.

When he is done with school for the day, he feels entitled to come home and play until supper. Which is pretty much how life has been for him for the last five years or so. The fact that he has homework to do just pisses him off. And it's not as if he has to type a dissertation or do calculus or quantum physics. He has to write his name six times. Oh. the humanity of it all! Actually, he has to trace. his. name. Seems he needs some work on those small motor skills. I know few boys who don't. And Wednesday night, in addition to the name tracing, he had to work on writing the letter 'A' and the word "apple." I thought he might have a stroke.

The other "issue" with Bear this week is that he has been having some "Self Control" problems. It seems she has been throwing rocks on the playground and *gasp* "Sticking his tongue out at other people" (which led me to wonder...wouldn't we all find it more troubling if he were sticking his tongue out at himself?). I taught kindergarten. I know that self-control is a big deal and something that kids need to get a grip on before first grade. I have absolutely no issues with the teacher taking away his sticker for these infractions. Bear and I talked about it and I made it clear that this was unacceptable behavior. And I signed his conduct folder for the day and put it in his backpack.

And then left his backpack at home in the morning.

I will take some of the blame for this because I was yelling at everyone to get their butts out to the car already while I filled his water bottle. And the water bottle goes in the backpack...and you see how that played out, right?

So I walked him into class and told the teacher that we made it out of the house without his backpack and that I would bring it back up to the school shortly. I made it clear that I am usually not one to "rescue" my children from predicaments like that, but since I did carry most of the blame for this one I would take care of it. And then the teacher said something about how they need to learn to be responsible for their things and if he didn't have his folder that her wouldn't get his conduct sticker today and that she had TOLD him that if he didn't have his sticker he wouldn't get to choose from the treasure box.

And I felt my heart break a little. Because something about the tone of her voice or some other...intangible that told me that she doesn't really think as much of my sweet Bear as I do. She seemed exasperated or annoyed or something. But there was this huge part of me that wanted to go over and grab him and hug and kiss him a little extra and tell him that no matter what, I think he wonderful and perfect and we could work on all of his other "stuff" together.

I don't know, I am probably reading WAY too much into what Mrs. Kindergarten said. And I realize that nobody is going to love my son the way I do. But I just hate to imagine that any of my kids might be thought of as "that kid." Probably because I was a teacher and "that kid" was the one who aggravated the crap out of me. And Bear is just NOT "that kid." He is such a sweet, loving, compassionate, enthusiastic little boy. He loves everybody and is convinced that everybody loves him. Not in a narcissistic way, but just in that sweet, naive way that kids are when the world hasn't shown them anything different. And I am just hoping and praying that this teacher sees past the little misbehaviors to the precious boy that Bear is. I know, I know I sound like "that mom" now.

When I picked him up, he was in a good mood and seemed to have had a good day. I asked Mrs. Kindergarten if he had a better day and she said, "It was some better. He just needs to get a feel for the rules and boundaries. He'll be fine!" Which made me feel a little less weepy. Hopefully next week will be less...dramatic.

And, for the record? He got a lollipop from the treasure box yesterday.