Sunday, February 28, 2010


So I was at Mom's this weekend and Conor was identifying all of us in the room. I explained to him that my name is also "Erin" and not just "mommy". He didn't get it. I mentioned to Mom that sometimes Conor calls me "Babe" because that is what he hears Morgan call me. All of a sudden, clear as a bell, Conor yells out:

"Hey Babe, can you get me a beer?"

HA! Priceless.

This kid. He just kills me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

An Update

Since I posted not long ago about my friend Reina's son Tanner who was diagnosed with Lymphoma not long ago, I thougt I would also post her most recent updates from her blog. It looks like good things are happening over there!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 10:37 PM, PST

After another overnight stay at the hospital and antibiotics every 2 hours.....we got to go home. As soon as the doctor said she was going to do the release paper work I practically jump from my bed and told mommy shoes mommy! We were home by noon and first thing first....wahwahs (waffles). After my nap Grandad and Grandma got here! So excited and we played and played. After a long day I slept in mommy and daddy's bed. I was fighting in my sleep......or maybe people trying to give me medicine.....I guess I hit mommy. Ssshhh...don't tell her I secretly was getting her back for making me take that yucky medicine.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 10:44 PM, PST

y woke me up at 6:30am this morning....we were going bye bye....but this time with Grandma. I was so excited....didn't even think about eating or drinking. We waited in the waiting room...this lady thought I was so handsome and kept talking about my eyelashes....I didn't like her talking about me....think maybe I was a little tired. Before my PET scan the doctors gave me nigh-night medicine....I guess I'm a cheap date. Two hours later they were done and when I a woke next mommy was holding me. It was a good nap, I was so peaceful....oh wait I'M THIRSTY...WAH please (water). No one would give me anything! Fine I'll get it myself, so I tried to legs wouldn't work! What did they do to me, I couldn't get my legs to do anything! Help

Next up my lumbar puncture, we hopped back into the car for day treatment. My friend Trinity was there....she was like sleeping beauty. It looked so good I tried to lay down too...but only if someone would please give me some drink! I tried walking gradma and mommy to get me drink....even resorted to trying to get coffee....mommy said they had to run to the store. They're always out....this hotel Legacy really needs to improve their breverage service! While we waited mommy was talking to Trinity's mom and grandma....I was bored so I pulled out mommy's shirt looked down and up at mommy and shined my dimply lil smile at her......she said, "Your just like your father" We all laughed.

Finally we went back for my LP and again the nigh-night medicine...did they not hear me I wanted water! Oh-well this feels alright and grandma and mommy were there.

Mom: Well since Tanner doesn't remember I'll fill on the treatment. Dr. Norwood told us that the intitial PET scan looked great 70-80% gone! By far the best news and day so far! Grandma and I we're like two giddy school girls shopping! Tanner was under so they started the procedure.....all the while grandma Carol was asking me questions. I'd explain and answer but I was no Dr Norwood. She asked if she could speak to the doctor....well if you don't like my answer. We giggled and Dr Norwood quickly commented on our obvious good mood. While Tanner was coming around, we discussed our plan going forward. Adding another chemo medicine starting March 4th. Consisting of 15 cycles every 21 days. Port surgery still scheduled for Monday if all goes well.

Tanner: First time I woke up in a decent mood. I didn't want anyone to touch me...but Dr Norwood quickly had me laughing. 30min later we were out of there....and headed to TaBell! When we got home, grandad was taking my jacket off and he knocked mommy's pop off the counter. Mommy was sad I was quick to slap grandaddy on the chest and said grandaddy did! Oh no! Rest of day was relaxing and playing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Toddler

Well the good news, of course, is our little baby girl. Yes, we have a short list of names, but we're not divulging them just yet. Stay tuned. (OK, turns out Morgan, who can't keep a secret to save his damn life (love you, babe!) has told just about everyone. Our short list is, in no particular order: Leah, Allison, Finley, Maelle (pronounced Mai-Elle)(there are way too many parentheses). We are still looking for middle names so, family members, shout out any family tree names that might suit as a modern day middle name.)The cutest little baby foot you ever did seeScary alien face baby. So cute.
Proof positive its a girl. If you're not sure what those three lines mean, please consult an anatomy textbook. After all, folks, this here's a family blog.
Baby Girl doing summersaults. The little dots are here spine and her head is curled down in the bottom left of the picture.

The "outside" shot.

We are truly pleased as can be that we are having a little girl. It really did take about a day and a half for the news to sink in. I must have woken up half a dozen times on Monday night and the first thing I though was "I'm having a girl!". Then, all day yesterday I would get this goofy little grin on my face every time I thought about her.

She's a mover and shaker and didn't make the ultrasound technician's job very easy. She kept bouncing around, doing summersaults and generally being stubborn about having her picture taken. In fact, we have to go back for another ultrasound next month because they just weren't able to get good shots of part of her heart or her left foot. My midwife assures me that they didn't see anything wrong, they just couldn't see some of what they wanted to see. I'm choosing to believe that everything is perfect and she was just being shy.

Now, onto the bad. Today was a rough day. Heavens! Has Conor been testing my patience! The whining and the flailing and, all of a sudden, the hitting and pushing. Really, the whining and all the rest is annoying but the hitting and pushing are Bad, bad, bad. And honestly, I don't know what to do. So far I either:
1. tell him firmly "no hitting" and then walk away or
2. tell him firmly "no hitting" and then put him in a time out

Neither are working. I know he's just being a 2 year old and he's developmentally "right on track!" But, seriously? I want to kick him off this track and onto a nicer, pleasanter, friendlier track. Or send him off to the circus until he can behave properly.

I think what I'm most frustrated with though is my reaction to his behavior. He's a toddler and is expected to not have full control of all his actions. I, however, am an adult and I am expected to have full control over my actions and, more importantly, my reactions. He just pushes me to the edge and all of a sudden I'm yelling this mean nasty yell and he turns to me with this scared look in his eye and I think "oh no. I"m one of THOSE mothers." You know. The yelling moms. The type of mom I really, really, REALLY don't want to be. And it makes me sad but at the same time, once I get there, its really hard to get back on the good side.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this only to say, we had a rough day. Its over now (thank GOD for early bedtimes) but I'm still disappointed in myself.

I should probably just go look for cute baby girl clothes on the internet. Yeah, that will solve all my problems!

Monday, February 15, 2010

20 weeks

I'm halfway there!

FEeling good lately. Lots of energy so I've been doing lots of cleaning. Also, lots of yardwork. Very strange as I generally hate yard work and getting dirty in general. Oh hormones! What you do to a girl!

Pregnancy # 2 is sooo much different than pregnancy # 1. I was asked today if I was planning to do anything differently this time around. And the answer is a BIG. FAT. YES! First and foremost, I'm going to enjoy this pregnancy. There was so much going on when I was pregnant with Conor. I lost my job so I went from working 12 hours a day to working 0 hours a day. We moved. I sat at home all day every day with my biggest excitement being my weekly trip to the grocery store. I ate. Like, a lot. A lot of cereal and PB&J sandwiches. A lot of orange juice. A lot of whatever the hell I felt like. And so, I gained 50 pounds. Let's put that in perspective, shall we? I was 125 pounds when I got pregnant with Conor. %0 pounds later I delivered him at 175 pounds. And I'm only 5'3". I was huge and uncomfortable and I felt terrible and I had back pain and leg pain and "I'm bored and lonely pain" and "get this dang kid out of me" pain. And ultimately, I was very jealous of those women who enjoyed being pregnant. And so, I am enjoying this pregnancy. I'll start by exercising some self control and NOT eating everything in sight and I will remind myself, again and again and again if necessary, that this is the last time I will be pregnant. THis is my LAST chance to ENJOY being pregnant. And, this is about ME, not about the particular baby I happen to be carrying. And so, pregnancy is fun.

I am also not at all worried about the baby or following the 50 kajillion rules that the baby books tell you about. In fact, I sometimes get a little revelation and go, "oh yeah! I'm pregnant". Unlike my pregnancy with Conor, it is not the only thing on my mind. Which I feel both great and guilty about. On the other hand, I am SO MUCH more connected to this baby. I talk to him (oh yes, I"m certain its a him) more and I feel like, whoa, I know what is coming. I know I'm going to be head over heels for this kid. With Conor, I wasn't aware of the depth of feeling a mother has for her child. Oh I know it now and while I don't know how it will be possible to love enough for two, I know, without fear or reservation, that my heart will burst with joy and love on the day that I meet him.

I also burp. A lot. You know, not to get too sappy on y'all.

Also, my skin is a mess and so is my hair. I have cuter clothes this time around though. You take the good with the bad, I guess.

So, I'm halfway through and rather than wish it over, I'll enjoy these next 20 weeks (or so) as much as I can.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Dear Conor,

Hello, Love Bug! Did you know you are two years old today? Of course you did! All morning long you've been saying "today CONA'S birthday" and following that adorable statement up with "I'm twoooo". And the way you say "twoooo" is just beyond cute.

I said it last year, and I'll probably say it every year until I finally get it, but I can't believe you are two! How did this happen? But you are most definitely a two year old. You are becoming independent and vocal and you want everything to go EXACTLY. YOUR. WAY. All the time.

I've noticed over the last few weeks that you are like me in so many ways. For one, you insist on doing everything perfectly the first time. In fact, if it doesn't work immediately, you give up, throw a fit and politely request (through your screams) "help, please." I'm learning to encourage you to finish what you started and when you do accomplish it, you are so proud of yourself. And I'm proud of you too!

You're so tall and strong and rugged. Just like you Daddy. Speaking of Daddy, you love to play tackle together. When he gets home from work, one of the first things you like to do, is say "ready, set, hike" and then run full speed into his chest with your head and shoulders down. And, if Daddy hasn't said it quickly enough, you always compliment yourself with a "good tackle".

In fact, you're always reminding us when we forget to say things. If you say 'thank you' and we don't immediately follow it with a you're welcome, you're quick to remind us of our manners. "You're WELCOME", you'll say in a little sing-song voice. You also like to remind us to say "good job" when you've done anything you feel is of merit. You put a toy away..."good job", you choose to calm down instead of sit in time out..."Goooood choice".

I said last year on your birthday how impressed we all were with your vocabulary and it has grown by leaps and bounds over the past twelve months. I stopped counting the number of words you could say at 100. You are remarkable and talkative and FUNNY! Did I mention funny? Because you have Daddy and I laughing so much! You can recite the entire alphabet, identify each letter by sight, tell us what each letter "says" and identify letters by the sound they make. You love to read books and count and before long I know you'll be reading stories to ME!

Oh! And when you get hurt, or when you've been scolded, you look tearfully up at me and say "I needa HUG!". And oh, my heart! And so, I drop what I am doing and we hug and hug and hug and I hope you'll do this a thousand times a day forever. But I know you won't so I promise to stop what I am doing and hug you whenever you need one.

You're going to be a big brother soon and you love to look at Mommy's growing tummy and give it the sweetest gentlest kisses. Of course you also like to jump on my belly while we are snuggling in bed together or reading on the couch. I'm nervous about how you'll react to your new baby brother or sister and I'm afraid you'll think that you are somehow second place in our hearts.

I can tell you now that you will always be my first born, always be my angel, always (no matter how big you get) by my sweet baby boy. I love you so much little man and I'm so glad, so proud and so much better for getting to be your mommy.

Happy Birthday, little one. I love you to the moon and back!



Friday, February 5, 2010

A little lighter

I've been posting some pretty heavy stuff lately so I thought I would lighten up a bit. Kristen sent me this email earlier today and it had me laughing out loud. Being much funnier than I am, I'm going to post her words today. Enjoy!

Want to know what's gross? When your doctor says, hey you should start taking fish oil supplements. They'll be good for the baby. So you buy them and they are huge. But they're soft gels, those always go down much more smoothly than some big gross not soft gel.
Until this morning when it just won't go down. And you do that weird gross choke cough thing and the big pill ends up in your hand (along with a mouthful of water. awesome!) and you throw it back down. But it's kind of lodged in your throat. So you drink a bunch of water and assume it will go down.
And then you flip your head over to blow dry your hair and hey! Look at that! The fish oil soft gel has dissolved and now there's a ton of fish oil IN. YOUR. MOUTH. And all morning long you cough and burp and taste revolting fish oil. Yum, fish oil for breakfast.
Seriously, the most disgusting thing I have ever experienced in the morning. It's still lingering, 4 hours later. I keep eating so it will go away. It's not working.
Take away lesson... Don't take fish oil supplements.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I don't even know

I've been mulling this post over in my head for the past few weeks but I'm having a hard time finding the words. My friend's son was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma a few weeks ago. Tanner is 2 and a half. For the record, that's only 6 months older than Conor. Take a moment and let that sink in. Think of what you know about cancer and think of what you know about two and a half year olds and try to put those two pictures together.

Reina, Tanner's mom, is an old friend who has settled into an acquaintance. She throws a "Girls Christmas Party" every year and 20 or so old friends get together to drink and socialize and exchange gifts. Most years I only see Reina and many of the other girls at the Christmas Party.

I stopped by last night to drop off dinner to Reina and her family. Another friend established a dinner calendar and I think Reina's family has dinner ready for them through at least the middle of February. Last night was also the first night I had met Tanner or his older brother, Tyler. Like I said, Reina and I see each other only at the Christmas party and its a NO KIDS ALLOWED type of shindig.

Walking into her house, carrying my stupid enchilada trays and seeing Tanner in jammies with no hair, well, I was barely able to keep it together. I just kept looking at him thinking "Oh my God, he could be Conor". And then thinking, and I barely want to admit this but maybe I'm not the only one, "Thank God, its not Conor." Oh the guilt. Of course I wouldn't wish this, cancer, on anyone, but I feel lucky and guilty and scared because it hasn't happened to us. But it could. It so easily could.

What I'm struggling most with is the why. I know, logically, that there is no why. There's no simple way to explain why some kids get cancer and some are perfectly healthy. And I think I can deal with that. I get the whole, 'bad things happen to good people' thing. But here's the thing, Reina and Ty's older son, Tyler, was diagnosed with Transverse Mylietis when he was about 9 months old. From what I understand, this is an extremely rare condition which has, unfortunately, left him paralyzed. My first thought, when I heard about Tanner's diagnosis, was, 'maybe Ty and Reina have some weird genetic incompatibility that creates diseases in their children'. Again, the guilt.

See, logically, my head knows that this, their situation, their life, is largely just luck of the draw. But I feel like I need to make some sort of scientific sense out of it, I need to give it a reason, because my heart can't handle the alternative. And that alternative is that if it can happen to them (TWICE), then it can happen to me and my family and my child(ren). And that, that is almost too terrifying to think about deeply.

And I think that's the main reason its taken me so long to write this. Its simply too hard to think about. Its too hard to reason. And there are those who say this is God's will and I'm finding that to be a hard pill to swallow. I get that we can never attempt to "know the mind of God" and even if you don't believe in God, I don't think you can expect to "know" all the whys and why nots of this world. But, I want to understand, because if I understand then I can stay away from it. I can take a step back from whatever the logical reason is that this is happening. But I know there is no logical reason and that scares me.

Tanner's particular brand of cancer is a double edged sword. Because it is a blood borne cancer, it progresses extremely quickly from Stage I through Stage IV. However, the cure rate is, I believe, over 70% which is wonderful news. That stills leaves a scary 30% to consider and I don't know how Reina can function with that 30% staring at her in the face. I refuse to write it here, but we all know what that 30% means.

And so, I cry. I cry out of sadness for Tanner and Reina and their family and I cry out of happiness and guilt for myself and my family. I'll spend a few more minutes reading stories to Conor tonight and give him a few more kisses before I turn off the light.

If you're interested in finding out more about Tanner and his journey, visit his CaringBridge website at: And if you pray, pray for the Jenkins family, and if you don't pray, do whatever it is you do to send out good thoughts, vibes or whatever. And hug your babies.