Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eff You, Cancer!

Me and my Lo

Back in 1997, I volunteered my time to act as a camp counselor at Camp Quality (now Camp Wapiyapi), a camp for kids with cancer and their sibs.

I was partnered up with an 8 year-old boy who had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; he was just slightly older than my own kids.  After wrangling three children aged between three and six, I figured I was pretty well prepared to chase after one boy with cancer.


From the moment we met, Lo and I just clicked and he kept me on my toes the entire week.  We all lived together in communal bunk houses, each counselor and camper paired up in bunk beds.  One day, Lo ran into the bunk house to change out of his wet shirt - there were a lot of wet shirts thanks to the abundance of water guns - and one of the other counselors was in there when Lo whipped off his shirt, exposing his chemo ports on his chest.  The counselor looked at him and said, "Lo, I didn't know you were sick."

Lo looked at him like he was an idiot and said, "I'm not sick!  I just have cancer."  And then promptly raced back outside to continue to play.

The whole week I played like a kid and fell a little in love with Lo.

After camp was over, I turned him back over to his mom, who I also fell in love with.  No matter how much I tried, there was no way I could even imagine what it had to have been like in her place.  Single mom, no contact with the sperm donor, and an otherwise healthy kid suddenly diagnosed with a horrible life-changing disease.

We kept in touch; I made the drive to visit him and his mom a couple of times that year.  Digger began to refer to him as the older brother who didn't live with us.  Lo got progressively worse, to the point that he ended up getting his wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  When his mom called to tell me that Make-A-Wish had contacted them, my heart broke.  For me, up until that point, Lo's cancer was still very abstract.  I knew he had cancer, but I didn't have to deal with it day in and day out like his mom.

She wasn't calling to break my heart, though.  She was calling to tell me that Lo wanted me to go with them on his Wish Trip to Disney World and that the Foundation had approved me to join them.

In January of 1998, we headed off to Disney World.  The limo picked us up at Lo's house and drove us to the airport, where we flew to Kissimmee, Florida.  Give Kids The World is a village specially designed for kids with terminal illnesses; they provided us our "house" for the week, which acted as our base of operations.

Just like at camp, I spent the entire week playing like a kid.  Only, this time, I was pushing Lo around in a wheelchair.  Oh Lord, did he hate that.  That child despised being singled out as "that kid with cancer" and he felt like the wheelchair advertised the fact.  We let him go the first day without the wheelchair and he had such bad leg cramps that night and was so exhausted that we were able to talk him into it the rest of the trip.

I returned from Disney World with a heavy heart.  Even though we'd had a great time, I knew that only kids who were terminal got granted wishes.  Telling him goodbye to come back home was horrible.

But then he went into remission.

And went to Camp Wapiyapi in 1998.  I couldn't get the time off to be his counselor again, but I met him and his mom at camp to see him off at the beginning of the week and picked him up at the end of the week.  When Camp Quality became Camp Wapiyapi, they changed venues, which worked out even better for me.  Camp was now in Allenspark, about two miles from the Lodge, so I stopped in to see him during the week.  I'm not so sure that his "new" counselor appreciated it, but since it meant I got to see my Lo, I did it anyway.

I picked him up from camp and took him for a trail ride at the livery and headed back to town to meet his mom to go to the Bill Engvall show.  I did the one thing Lo hated.  I pulled the cancer card to get him back stage to meet Mr. Engvall.  I hadn't seen Lo so mad in the time I'd known him.  He crossed his arms, sat his skinny butt down on a bench and refused to talk to me.  And refused to talk to me.  And refused to talk to me.

Until they called us backstage and Mr. Engvall greeted us with a big smile and hugs.

Only then did Lo forgive me for pulling the cancer card.

Since that time, we don't spend that much time together.  Life got really busy for both of us and he started to get healthier and healthier.

I don't see him a couple of times a year anymore, instead I see him every couple of years.

He graduated high school the year RCC and I met, so we drove out to see his graduation.

The following year, RCC and I got married, so Lo and his mom drove out to our reception.

Today, I got a call from his mom.  "Is this really Lo's mom?" I answered the phone after seeing her name show up on my caller ID.  My heart stuttered between being happy to hear from her and dreading potentially bad news.

"Yes it is!" she answered cheerfully.  "Does your mom still own the Lodge?"

Now, there is pretty much only one reason people call to see if Mom and Bill still have the Lodge and that's because they're getting married.  The only question I had was, which of them was getting married?  Lo or his mom?

My Lo.  My little Lo, who will forever be 8 years-old in my mind, is getting married.

Excuse me, I'm getting a bit verklempt.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We all know what assume means?  It means you make an ass out of, well, just me.

Digger moved back home in June with the whole pregnancy scare thing.  All American, who is Digger's best friend, moved in just after Thanksgiving when he and his live-in girlfriend broke up. (<-- not quite sure how that happened; the moving in part, not the breaking up part.  His ex is a bitch to the extreme and I would gladly run her fake-tanned, bottle-blond, bitchy ass over. Take the worst of Teen Moms and triple it, that's All American's ex.)

So, the other night, RCC and I were already in bed when I heard the boys come home about midnight.  I had just gotten enough sleep that it woke me up and I couldn't immediately go back to sleep.  The boys were wound up and they had obviously brought people home with them, which started the slow simmer of my temper.  RCC and I had to work in the morning and they were down stairs laughing and having a good time.

I was starting to get cranky, but still didn't want to exert the energy to get up, get dressed and go kick some 20 year-old ass, but the thought kept growing.

I start to fall back to sleep and I hear it, "psshh", a can being opened, some giggles and another can being opened.  Oh, hell no!  Those boys are not downstairs drinking beer in my house!

My slow simmer started gaining momentum and I thought even more seriously about getting out of bed, getting dressed and going down to kick some 20 year old ass.  But then, even that thought pissed me off - why should I have to get up, get dressed, and go kick some ass?  Those ingrates should have some respect!  I compromised, I picked up my phone and texted All American, told him to keep it down.  I sent Digger a message telling him to rein in his boys before I had to do it.

About four a.m., I was D-O-N-E.  I shot up out of bed, startling RCC, and started getting dressed to go kick some 20 year old ass.

And then I heard the front door shut and it got quiet, so, ass-kicking got a bye and I went back to bed, still fuming about the audacity of those ingrates bringing friends home for drink and debauchery.  I went to bed knowing that this is what my living room would look like in the morning...

Imagine my surprise when I finally dragged my exhaused self out of bed for work and saw piles of this instead...

Did you know that the sound of a Dr. Pepper being opened is exactly like the sound of cheap beer?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two Elbutts for Mr. Daddy

Mr. Daddy's in surgery today, having his traitorous, cancerous thyroid removed so he can live a long and happy life with his wonderful wife and children.

While I was texting Rachel this morning, we got to talking about elbutts.  You know, elbow butts, because she had posted a big ole hairy elbutt of Mr Daddy's on Facebook earlier in the week. The thread had started about Redneck Crack and went downhill from there...
Photo Cred: Rachel
...ending up with elbutt.

And I realized, as we were texting back and forth about such mature subjects, as two full-grown women are wont to do, that when assuming this position...(get y'all's minds outta the gutter...this is serious, right here!)

Sorry about the pixelation, I thought this was a vector image.
Photo cred: iStock Photo
AnyprayinforMrDaddy, I realized that when you assumed the position.  The prayin' position, that is, you actually have TWO elbutts!

Feel free to steal for your own blogs...
I don't know how to do the cool html code-y thingy,

Love you Mr. Daddy, Rachel, and Itty Bit.  Sending Two Elbutts your way!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The EL/EM diet vs the EM/EM diet - WTF?

Beel, for years, has said he's going to make a million bucks by writing a book called the EL/EM diet.  That would be, Eat Less/Exercise More diet.  Which is the key to losing weight, but it's not what people want to hear.  We all want a quick weight-loss solution, which is why it's a multi-million dollar industry.

The EL/EM diet worked for me for 26#, at which point I plateaued with a lot of pounds to go.  My body said, "I'm happy where I'm at, thankyouverymuch."  And I said, "I don't give a damn, I need to lose more weight."  And, well, we got into a bit of a snit with each other, with the body winning.

And then I got the Bodybugg; I could track calories burned, which I did for six weeks, but I never really bought into the whole food diary thing.  And I stayed plateau'd.  My body told me, "Nanner, nanner, nanner, I told you I'm happy where I'm at."  At which point, I said some very not pleasant things to my body, who smuggly gained five pounds just to make her point.  She's a real bitch, that one.

So I took my problem to my fellow Buggers (yes, that's what we're called) and they told me I now had to follow the EM/EM diet.  Eat More/Exercise More diet. 




Seems counter-intuitive, but the way it was explained to me makes perfect sense.  At some point, you're body's going to stick it's tongue out at you (I told you she was a bitch) and plateau.  She's found some sort of balance, but it's a tricky balance.  You decrease what you eat (Eat Less) and increase your exercise (Exercise More), which in turn increases your caloric deficit (what you burn - what you eat = deficit).  Make that deficit too big (over 1,000 cals/day) and she goes into starvation panic mode.  Instead of burning calories, that crazy bitch your body starts storing calories and the scale begins to creep up.

The fix?  Promise the crazy bitch your body that you're not starving her to death and start giving her more calories to burn (Eat More), then start burning those calories (Exercise More).

I increased my caloric intake by 400 calories/day and increased my calorie burn about 300 calories/day and dropped 2.5# in one week after being plateau'd for almost six months.

Seeing that loss has energized me in a way nothing else has been able to.  I'm actually enjoying going to the gym (but I miss The Little Bastard El Poquito Diablo like you wouldn't believe) and seeing my progress on the Bodybugg program.  In fact, as soon as I wrap up my posts here, I'm headed to the gym for an hour and I'll go back tonight when RCC gets off of work.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

We're Thinking of You, Mr. D and Rachel

I wish I could take credit for the new button on my side bar, but credit goes completely to Foursons and My Four Bubs

Rachel and Mr. Daddy, this is just a little something to let you know we love you and we're thinking of you. Hopefully it will bring a smile to your faces.

If anyone would like to steal the button to post on their own blog, please feel free.  Just copy and paste the code under the picture.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolution Check-in

I thought I'd look back at those pesky old resolutions I had for 2011 and see how well I did with them.  Should be interesting.

#1 Be healthier.  My goal was to lose 40# by my 40th birthday.  FAIL!
#2 Write, write, write.  Finish HUNTED LYON.  WIN!  Start on LYON'S ROAR.  FAIL!
#3 Spend more time with my little girl.  WIN! Never mind that some of that more time was 'round the clock care when she colicked, but it still counts.  And I *did* take exactly two riding lessons to learn how to cue better.
#4 Continue my Master's program.  FAIL!
#5 Be a better person. DRAW.  There were times when I had a handle on it, and there were times when I failed spectacularly.  Like when I told my big boss that he was screwing our students over by taking away a classroom for our free GED program.  What I said: "I think our tuition-paying students are getting screwed by losing that classroom."  What I should have said: "I'm concerned about how our tuition-paying students will react to the loss of a classroom, and subsequently, the decrease in the number of classes we can offer each mod."  However, that was the biggest foot-meet-mouth moment I had with my boss this year, so maybe I should call it a win.

I don't feel too badly about my 2011 resolutions.  Maybe when I look back at my 2012 "goals", I'll feel even better.

How's everyone else feel about their 2011 resolutions?  Did you meet them or not?  Was it a draw year, like mine?