About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Days of Fun

Our visit thus far with GranEde and GranDude has been full of adventure, enjoying each other and loads of laughter.  Saturday we all drove over to Manchester to pick them up from the airport.  We hadn't done any exploring in Manchester, so we stayed and went to two of the amazing museums they have over there.  We saw the Manchester Museum (sort of a natural/world history museum) and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).  If you are ever in Manchester, we highly recommend both, but the MOSI was AMAZING.  Part of it is in the world oldest surviving passenger train station and it is a beautiful old building.  There were trains, planes, Victorian sewers and all sorts of really interesting things to see and do.  At the end of the day we walked on the Curry Mile and picked from an amazing array of Indian restaurants.  It was DELICIOUS food.

Sunday we slept in and spent the morning cooking a fab brunch.  In the afternoon we took off for a tour of the Theakston's Brewery.  GranDude and Dadam did the tour first (no kids under 10 allowed) and then GranEde and I did it.  It was fascinating and the free sampler and two free 1/2 pints at the end were a super bonus.  We cached our way home and had dinner in Harrogate.

Yesterday we spent the day visiting and cooking and cleaning to get ready for Pesach.   One of my best friends from high school was visiting a mutual friend in London and came up for the day.  It was a really lovely day.  Our Seder began a bit later than we had planned and we ended up putting the kids to bed around 10:30, but it was a great time.

As we were putting the kids to bed, GranEde laid down in Leila's bed and pretended to go to sleep.  I told Isaac to go find a particularly horrendous toy trumpet that we have (given to us by GranEde and GranDude) and to blow it to wake her up.  He jumped up and ran to the next room.  It was taking him an awfully long time to find the toy and at last he came in wielding a rolled up car mat.  He held it above his head and said "I couldn't find the trumpet so I'm just going to whack her with this!!!"  

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Pesach!

Having the kids in a Jewish Day School has been a really nice experience.  We have seen them learn so many new things.  They are excited and involved and interested.  It is beautiful to see the light in their eyes.  Every holiday has been celebrated and talked about and experienced at school. 

Spring is when we celebrate Pesach (Passover).  During this holiday we remember the Jewish people being set free from slavery in Egypt.  We eat matzah for eight days and we have two ceremonial meals called Seders.  There are loads of songs, a myriad of symbols and many rituals to learn and observe.

The school has been abuzz with excitment.  Our children each had school seders (Talia had one that she memorized a part for and Leila had one at nursery) and they all made different ritual objects to be used in our home seders.  It has been so fun to see them so incredibly energized about their Judaism and their participation in it. 

I can't wait for our Seders.  GranEde and GranDude will be here and the kiddos have already organized a mini-recital to happen during the Seder.  I am already imagining our table, beautifully set, with family and tradition coming together to observe and celebrate. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

As Of Late

I have been basking in the absolute-beauty-full-of-life-glow that my children all seem to give off.

I am sometimes concerned that this will one day disappear; they might grow too big and overnight they will no longer hold that magic.  I want to hold on to them and freeze them just as they are, so curious, so bright, so full of love.

The pathology report scares me.  I prayed that there would be no cancer, that the nodule that was growing would prove to be just an ordinary growth that sometimes happens on thyroids.  But it wasn't.  It was cancer, a tiny bit, but there nonetheless.  And all of a sudden I feel like I can no longer ignore the seriousness of the facts.  I am scared for the future.  The good news that it was all well contained feels like a paltry second-place-prize.  The truth is that it worries me.

And how to resolve these feelings that what I have should not cause me to worry about the finality of cancer; what I have is so "curable" and "survivable" and "easy".

Alright then, head up, time to wipe the tears and move on.  None of us knows how long we have here.  I'm off to bask in the glow of life.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Today GranDude and I were in the kitchen debating what needed to happen next.  GranDude was commenting that the dishes were going to need washed and that he probably ought to go ahead and get started on them.  Leila turned to him and said "No GranDude, you want to read me a story!"

I made a cake today to practice putting fondant on.  During dinner Dadam, GranDude and I were all chatting and Talia interrupted to say, "Stop talking, Mummy, and get us some cake!"

At dinner the other night Talia announced that I was now "old enough to go out by myself."  Thank goodness!  When can I start doing that???

We have all had such a nice time with GranDude.   It was such a relief to have him here to help out.  I got loads of resting time in and he helped tirelessly with dishes, food, and child-wrangling.  We are all happy that he and GranEde get to come back in just a few weeks time to share a vacation with us!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy To Be Home

Happily surgery went well.  Wednesday I came out of recovery to a room full of children playing with their GranDude.  I think I may have frightened them a bit with my disorientation and moaning.  (I was very nauseated post surgery.  It was HORRID.)  They went and played and ran around while Dadam stayed with me and I dozed.  They all trooped off to dinner and I dozed some more.

After dinner they came back to see me before going home for bed.  It was quite traumatic for all involved. I still had my IV in, there was blood all around the port, my incision on my neck was a little oozy and I had a bandage on my right hand where they had taken labs from.  After some questions and some kisses, the time came to say goodbye and there were lots of tears.  Talia started crying, then Leila and finally Isaac began.  Elie just looked very sad.  We did our nighttime prayers together and then they left.  I was so sad to have to send them away and so sad to be alone and so sad to not be able to help.

First night was rough, but I made it through dozing fitfully.  Yesterday was a good day.  I was able to get out of bed, take a bath and get dressed in my own clothes.  By the time Dadam, GranDude and Leila made it back to me for their post-lunch-visit I was ready to go home!

The kids were thrilled to see me laying on the couch when they got home.  It was great to be here with them.  They are still occasionally checking that I won't have to stay in the hospital again.  There are lots of questions about the incision and what is going to happen with it.  They are excited to have a weekend of adventure with Dadam and GranDude.  My plans aren't quite as grand:  I'll still be resting on the couch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can't It Just Be Simple?

When Isaac was five months old, I found a lump in my neck.  My midwife felt it and told me it was my thyroid.  I went in and got it checked out.  Fast-forward through unnecessarily boring medical procedures and we decided it needed to be removed.  I only wanted the half that was growing stuff taken out.  We knew we wanted to have more babies and I did not really want to have to mess around with getting my thyroid levels balanced in order to do that.  So we left half in.  After the left half was taken out, the pathology reported that it was cancer.  Bah.  But because the other half had no growths we decided to just leave it alone. 

Time passed.  I became hypothyroid and started up on thyroid medicine.  Enough time went by that I was considered to be in remission.  It was sort of a weird declaration because I never really thought of myself as having cancer; having cancer requires strength and sacrifice, having cancer means you've faced your own mortality and come away a stronger person, having cancer is a struggle and a marathon.  I had simply gone in for surgery and been able to go back home to my beautiful children the same day. 

Now though, the remaining half of my thyroid is growing something.  Thanks to modern technology and the knowledge that these sort of things require frequent monitoring, we've caught whatever it is very early.  Tomorrow I'm going in for surgery to remove the remaining half.  If it is cancer, I'll have to do a round of radioactive iodine.  And if it isn't we'll just keep on keeping on. 

I'm not so bothered by the surgery.  The surgeon will cut open my neck and take the thing out.  I have to stay overnight for monitoring and, god willing, I'll be home again on Thursday.  Meh. 

What really worries me are my babies.  GranDude made the trek over here to be an extra adult and that has eased my mind somewhat.  But I am very worried about them missing me tomorrow night and being afraid because I am in the hospital.  I love them so much and the thought that something bizzare and strange could potentially happen and take me away from them is really hard to deal with. 
I also know that not taking care of this problem will potentially lead to much more certain harm and long-term anguish.  Bah. 

They will be okay.  I'll be okay.  We'll get through this together.  But sometimes, I just wish it could be simple.