Sunday, October 31, 2010

What Happened This Halloween

Halloween 2010 Candy We'll Probably Hand Out Next Year
My daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, and I live together. None of us has any money, so when it came to getting candy for Halloween, all we could do was pull out the giant bowl of candy we still dig through from last year's take at Halloween.

I stayed home to hand out the year-old candy while everybody else went Trick-or-Treating. We still had so much candy and had returned so late from celebrating Audrey's 6th birthday at Chuck E Cheese, that we had only an hour left to hand out candy.

At one point, I decided I'd look for something good to eat. It wasn't until I got to the bottom of the bowl though, that I discovered some already opened candy (which I discarded), pennies (which I took out to save for the kids) and a bunch of cough drops.

Imagine the poor kids who came to our house going home and asking Mom or Dad to have ONE PIECE, PLEASE? and then discovering they had just thrown a cough drop into their mouths.

Sorry, little trick-or-treaters, but look at the stash you'll have for next year!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Little Sister Saves Big Brother From Scary Robber

As the oldest sibling in a family of three children, I am well aware of the "perceived" hierarchy that exists in families who have more than one child. My younger sister and I frequently picked on our youngest sister by telling her she was adopted (she wasn't) and that aliens, disguised as specks of dust, were following her in the basement ready to kidnap her and take her away to a distant planet.

She claimed she didn't believe us, but we knew she was lying – I mean, we were so obviously superior to her. And like most kids, we always made sure our parents weren't around to hear us taunting her.

Which leads me to...

My daughter-in-law, Michelle, and I were talking earlier today about our shared fear – basements – when she remembered the time her big brother, Mario, woke her from a sound sleep to investigate their scary basement.

Mario was in junior high at the time, three years older than his tiny (even now, she barely hits five feet tall) sister, when he sent her downstairs with a bat and a knife to investigate sounds he heard in the basement (remember – she's afraid of them).

He thought maybe a robber had broken in and he had a plan, so it seems, to save the entire family from the dangerous robber by sending his LITTLE sister downstairs with a bat and a knife.

Michelle's job was to bang on a pole with the bat every ten seconds and to swing the knife around so she could slash the robber in case he crossed her path, which was probably smart of Mario, because at her height, she probably would have cut him in the groin.

If ten seconds passed and Mario didn't hear any more banging, he would know a robber truly was roaming the basement, because when the banging stopped, Mario would know that his little sister was dead – killed by the robber.

Mario's job? To call the cops when the banging stopped.

I can't explain to you why this story cracks me up so much – maybe you have to know these two people to understand the hilarity of the situation, but I really would have loved to have seen this scenario played out in person, so I could have watched mini-Michelle slash and bang and slash and bang and slash and bang (one-two-three…ten – bang) while Mario stood upstairs – phone in hand (probably counting in his head) – ready to call the cops when the banging stopped.

It never occurred to Michelle at the time that maybe her parents were better equipped to deal with potential robbers or sounds emanating from the basement – her big football-playing brother needed her help and she was going to face her fears and protect her family by wielding a knife and banging on a pole.

OK, I need to stop laughing right now and take a breath. But what I really want to do is to send a bat and a knife to Mario so he can save it for his son in case he and his wife ever have a daughter. That way his son's little sister can learn how to protect her family.

Blurry photo of Mario and Michelle was "borrowed" from their sister, Vicki (thanks, Vicki).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Emotions Connected with a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Since September 2009, when I was first given a breast cancer diagnosis, I have been chronicling my breast cancer journey with details of the initial diagnosis, chemotherapy, and radiation.

The first four parts of my journey were very technical and clinical. This last journal entry talks about the emotions I experienced during my first year after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

I invite you to read Diagnosis: Breast Cancer – Part V,  I welcome your comments, and I thank you for reading.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please do yourself and your family a favor by giving yourself monthly breast exams. It could save your life and prevent your family from experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Understanding 3 Year Olds

"This time never never again say that thing to me."

Here's "that thing": My daughter and her family have the movie, The Cat In The Hat. I have the same exact movie.

A couple of weeks ago Nolan wanted to watch MY Cat in the Hat movie. I told him that my movie was the same as his movie and that since we were watching it on HIS TV, we could watch HIS movie, which was right next to HIS TV.

He didn't want to watch HIS movie. He wanted to watch MY movie. So I got MY movie and held it next to HIS movie.

"See? It's the exact same movie," I said convincingly.

"But I want to watch YOUR movie."

"Nolan, look," I said holding the two movies side-by-side in front of him. "It's the same movie."

That's when he started crying. That's when I wondered, why does it matter which movie he watches if I have the same movie?

Dinner was ready, so we all ate dinner and he forgot about it.

Until the next day.

That day Nolan wanted to watch MY Cat in the Hat movie. Not his. Mine. And just when I was about to argue with him about how MY movie and HIS movie were exactly the same movie, he said, "This time never never again say that thing to me."

"That thing" apparently meant pointing out the fact that my movies and his movies were the same movies.

Recently, in order to downsize, I put all of my movies into a portable carrying case, ridding myself of all of the plastic cases. It saved me a lot of room. Now Nolan and Audrey enjoy leafing through the movies to find one they want to watch. What's perplexing about this ordeal is that they have HUNDREDS of children's movies. I have less than 20.

Despite the fact that they have so many more movies from which to choose, it looks like we will be watching MY movies from now on. Why?

If anybody out there can understand the thinking of a three-year-old, please explain his reasoning to me, because while I pride myself on figuring out the thought processes of toddlers, this particular toddler has me stumped.

In the photo above, Audrey and Nolan sit next to their plastic cup and paper plate creation. Behind them sits just a fraction of their movies.