Sunday, June 26, 2011

Relay for Life: Kicking Cancer's Ass

Over the past 24 hours I participated in the first annual Relay for Life in my hometown. Not only was I a team captain but I was also part of the planning committee. It was amazing. Relay for Life is the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. 

I set off to write this blog about how amazing this weekend really was, as Little Sis sent me a FB chat to let me know that she just found out her grandma was diagnosed...all the joy I had just deflated. I thought, today? After the experience I just had, another one? Little Sis's grandma may not be blood related to me, but she is family. I've known her for over 20 years and spent a great amount of my childhood with her- a lot of my happiest childhood memories involve her. I told Little Sis that she has to fight back and she can't give up. I don't know any details just yet, no stage info, something to do with her liver and spleen. It was just hard to hear today. Obviously any day, but I kinda felt like today was off limits. Right? I guess not. Cancer doesn't really care. To Little Sis's Grandma- I love you and please fight back and keep fighting back. 

Relay Summary:

My journey began about 9 months ago when I was contacted at work for the committee to use my facility as a meeting space. I was all over it and asked our department to sponsor the event with in-kind donations. I joined the committee, formed a team, and was pretty pumped. I recruited my second in command, my super star at work. With AP by my side we had it on lock- we were in charge of the kids area, no brainier for us. We worked hard, recruited a small, but mighty team- Moovin' for Moolah-that consisted of staff and co-workers- all walking for different reasons- all wanting to make a difference. 

It was a learning experience- we learned a lot of what worked...and a lot of what we can fine tune. All teams were to have an on-site fundraiser and a fight back theme. We tried a few on-site fundraisers- we tried to have a cool-off station where people donate to sit under the misters, no one wanted to pay- so we ended up taking our sign down and people started flocking to it, glad we brought it, but disappointed we couldn't earn some moolah. We also set up our pitch burst- a less crazy version of a dunk tank- you sit under a water balloon, people throw a ball and the balloon pops, pretty cool. We charged adults to throw balls and let the kids throw for free- I think that was the highlight of the kids area...we made a little bit of money there. Our big fundraiser was our BBQ. G-Dawg slaved away along with my manager and rest of the team at our food station, we ended up clearing about $400. Word on the track was our chicken was the bomb and people came running when they heard we were running low- we sold out on food, awesome. :) G made an excellent teriyaki chicken- which we served as rice bowls or a sandwich, we also sold turkey hot dogs, both were accompanied with lemonade or water. 

Captain & Cook

Our Fight Back message was educating walkers about the Road to Recovery program, a program offered by the American Cancer Society that provides transportation to and from doctors appointments for cancer patients. It's a really cool program. We had coloring pages that we designed that were license plates (cow themed of course) if a person signed up for more information to become a volunteer they received a new car (a toy car attached to a necklace). We also had a car race where we gave away Relay firsbees to the winner......and we WON a prize for the best Fight Back theme- AP and I were puuuumped up. 

It was an emotional roller coaster, highs and lows. The morning was set off by watching an 8 year old and 3- year old cancer survivors walk the survivor lap in the lead. So many emotions overtook me ranging from joy to anger. Why did these two children have to suffer through treatments and fear? Their life is forever changed - yet they smile and laughed through their first lap of this event, as many other survivors did. 

Movie screens, wind, computer malfunctions, urg...two hours of stress and tears, but the ceremony was amazing. The pain and exhaustion we feel today is nothing compared to those fighting for their lives, fighting to stay with their loved ones. 

We were a baby relay- meaning it was our first one, so our fundraising goal that the American Cancer Society set for us was $25,000. The Committee set our goal at $30,000. Well....we surpassed our goal, actually we crushed it. We raised over $62,000 and counting for the American Cancer Society. Amazing. 

I can't even explain everything that happened over the course of 24 hours- but this was just a small peek into our Relay experience. We learned so much and next year is going to be even better. I will update with our team total shortly. 

Survivor Bingo Prize
Thank you Kristi's Yum Pops 
for helping us decorate!
K&A even walked a few laps with me!

Moovin' for Moolah!!

Hoping for a cure

To find out more information about the Relay for Live visit To find out more information about all the programs the American Cancer Society offers visit

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Over Extending...

Some days I feel like I do it all...other days I feel like I can't do enough. Pay the bills, clean the house, bathe the kids, cook dinner, get gas, go grocery shopping, work full time, volunteer, soon to be lunch time swim lessons for the girls, visit family 2 hours a way, keep in touch with friends, update my facebook status...and my kids aren't even in school yet! Being a woman is exhausting. 

This is pretty much the busiest/most stressful time for me at work- we're wrapping up the school year and starting summer- we have staff schedules to manage, sign-ups to monitor, certifications to clear- on top of end of the year purchasing and parties...I should know better...I should know that scheduling swimming lessons during the week of staff training and our first week of summer camp is not the best idea. There was logic behind it, I think. 

On top of my normal life duties I'm part of our local Relay for Life committee- which is amazing, and I'm so excited to be this involved with the American Cancer Society. Although, let me tell you...trying to host fundraisers the week before staff training and on the last day of school was also not that smart of a move on my part. I just completed making 57 balloon weights, I've spent $$ on balloons and beaded necklaces and other sorts of graduation goodies to sell at two of the local 8th grade promotions....I'm panicking now, scared that we're not going to sell enough- oh well at this point all we can do is show up. 

I can't imagine what life is going to be like once the girls start school- field trips, class parties, homework, a million birthday parties...and when they turn 7 and start club volleyball...ok, yes, I'm planning this four years in advance (I actually looked into it when the girls were still in the womb, but that's besides the point). How do mothers do it? How do you stay on top of everything and still enjoy life? Why is over extending a normal thing for mothers? How do you cope? I'll take an answer to any one of these questions...

Ok- end rant...I could go on and on and on and on.

More exciting news: G-dawg brought home  book 3 of the Hunger Games trilogy- can't wait to start it and Tim McGraw on Friday!

Potty training update: K hasn't had an accident in a few days!!!!! :-D Diaper is still drenched in the morning, but during the day- she's gone potty in the toilet all day without an accident. Knock on wood. K really wants her fishing pole. A has had just a few accidents- it's getting better, but she doesn't seem to be bothered by number twoing in her pants. Gross. She also wants a fishing pole, but not nearly as bad. 

Ok- have to wake up in 6 hours. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making the right decisions

After G and I graduated college all of 5 years ago we made a decision to apply to jobs all over California- the first job one of us would be offered we'd move and "start" our life together. I was the lucky one to find a job first which moved us to Sacramento, about 2 hours north of our entire network of family and friends. Our parents, no joke, live 49 seconds away from each other- and we were about to move away from all we knew and loved. Why? Well living in the Bay Area is expensive as heck and jobs in our field were few and far between. At one point three houses were bulldozed and 17 (or so) townhouses were built and selling for nearly 700k. How were two recreation graduates (yes, that's what we have our degrees in...recreation) going to afford to "start" a life together when we could hardly afford to live on our own? We made the decision and moved up north. A little over a year later I found myself pregnant with K & A...2 hours away from all my loved ones. We bought a huge house- with a 5% interest rate- and pay what it costs to rent a decent 2 bedroom apartment back home and "started" our life. We were married with two children, homeowners, and each have a decent  great job. I'm living my dream life. 

RW- 20 years ago, my life consisted of playing with my cousins, calling my grandma every night at 9 pm to say good and I loved her, visiting with my Aunts, playing cards with my Uncles. My extended family was everything to me. We celebrated everyone's birthday-every year, we had family dinners, we gathered for no reason, and it was awesome. I spent Christmas Eve with Cousins JN & JM- we even heard Santa's reindeer on the roof one year. We sought after Easter eggs in the backyard, and one year I paid my Diablo (card game) debt with Tower Records gift certificates. I spent the majority of my free time with some sort of family member. It was awesome. My cousins and grandparents meant the world to me. 

FF- present day, I find myself wondering- did we make the right decision? Is having a huge house, no commute worth my children not growing up next to their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents? Is it worth the every other month visit and pain of figuring out where we're going to sleep and arguing about who were going to visit (or not visit...)? Hearing A say, I wanna go to Yiayia's house...over and over and over? Are we depriving our children of their family? The same family that meant the world to me as a child? G's outlook on it is different, he and his brother are "Irish twins" 14 months from one another. His extended family are people I couldn't point out if my life depended on it. Family to him was his mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. 

My girls are happy, loved, spoiled very well taken care of, but are they missing out on the unannounced visits with Crampa and Yiayia? Or swimming with their cousins, or playing at the park with Grandma? They technically won't know any different, but I can't help but feel than pang of guilt every time A wants to go to Gama Wells (G's mom) house or see Cousin Finn. It sucks. Would trying to start over, living in a smaller home, becoming low man on the totem pole in a new union- fearing layoffs each budget term, be the right thing to do? I contemplate it- G says no. Who is right? Probably him. Probably me. Would we ever move back? He says no. I say maybe. Will my kids grow up differently being so far away from their extended family, that it changes who they could or should have become? I do my best to call multiple times a week, visit when we can, spend as much time as possible with them, make four stops a visit to see Auntie & Uncle, cousin here, cousin there. Is it enough? I can only hope so. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A short escape

We recently went to Vegas (super fun trip) and G-Dawg and I each brought a book....Well I'm about 150+ pages and four months into The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo- I really have all the intentions of finishing this book, I just can't seem to not be able to not put it down. Anyway, G started reading The Hunger Games-I had no interest in even finding out what the book was about because he usually only reads books about zombies or sports. FF to yesterday, G says to me- you really should read this book, it's going to be the next Twilight. Katniss (the main character), apparently reminds him of our three year old K, and her little sister as our three year old this intrigued me and I decided to give it a shot. I started reading yesterday at about 8:30 pm (read about 4 hours) and couldn't wait to get the girls in bed tonight so that I could pick up where I left off (which was about halfway through the book). Only I couldn't wait until the girls were in bed, so as the girls watched an episode of Olivia, I read. As I drew the girls a bath, I read. While the girls bathed, I read (in close proximity to the bath tub). I then followed our normal bed time routine I poured a bowl (ok, I really had two) of Lucky Charms and dove back into The Hunger Games. Three hours later, I finished and I have to say...I loved it. It made me tear up, it made me laugh, I feared having nightmares, I couldn't put it down and couldn't wait to finish it. G says he's bringing home book 2 tomorrow...Catching Fire. Although, now we have to fight over who gets to read it first....good thing he works tomorrow night, which gives me an edge. So I'm not going to recap the book...but just wanted to share that I really liked it and can't wait for the next two books. 

Potty training update- K only peed in her pull-up once all day (she even stayed dry through her nap at daycare). A pooped in her pull-up- but never peed (even through nap) 

Yay- today was a good day. :) 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Potty Training

Ok- so K&A are 3 and not yet potty trained...we're getting there but let's face it- they'd rather wear pull-ups and go on about their day. Our journey began last summer when Auntie Misty decided she was going to move forward with my grand plan of potty training...2.5- a little young we thought, but what the heck, they are home all day long so why not give it a shot. And nearly 10 months later...we're still working on it. I don't understand. It's one of the most frustrating things. They understand, they tell me- "hey mom, change my poop!" Really? If you can yell at me from your play room to "change my poop" you should be able to walk over to the bathroom and release the chocolate hostage yourself. 

Back story for todays potty training moment: I'm home from work today with an uncomfortable A and a happy K. We have no daycare today because J took a vacation day- no big deal. I had a plan to get to work, but then A woke up screaming in the middle of the night (2 am) and seemed to only be consoled when G-Dawg or Mom was in the room. Eventually I gave up and G-Dawg brought her in the room....K followed seconds later. Since G is working nights, he was staying up playing Zombies on Black Ops (productive, I know) so the girls and I laid in bed and we finally settled back to sleep at about 3:15 am. Fast forward (FF) to the morning- Addie continued to cry, seemed to be really uncomfortable, started gagging in the hallway and puked up yellow spit. Great. FF to the potty story. So I'm posting my first blog and the girls haven't gone potty in a while. So Lazy Mom says- go potty or I'm turning off the TV. They just went into the playroom and next thing I know, K comes out to tell me that A peed all over the floor. When I say all over the floor, I mean it's a puddle about two square feet. So here I am, on my hands and knees cleaning urine up with antibacterial spray and Addie walks in, so proud of herself because she put a pull up on....AFTER SHE PEED ON THE FLOOR. Not more than 4 minutes later, she goes in the bathroom sits on the toilet and poops one of the smallest poops I've ever seen. So I guess we're 1-1 today for A. 

Rewind (RW) to a few weeks ago while we were visiting The Bay. A peed her pants while at Yia Yia's house. I'm cleaning her up in the bathroom when Uncle M comes in and informs me that Cousin Blake (who is younger than K&A) is potty trained and has been for a year. Thanks bud. 

FF to a few days ago Cousin JM calls me to discuss our upcoming trip to Boise. Which will take place in a few weeks- we're not real sure yet where we're staying because Cousin JN is having a baby soon and so Cousin JM offered us to stay at her house. Although, the first question she asked was if the girls were potty trained yet, because JM BF doesn't want them peeing all over their house. Really? 

What do I do? How do I get them to understand that we don't pee our pants. We've used sticker charts, M&Ms, other rewards, they can't go to preschool until they are potty trained. When they are home they wear underwear, at daycare (3 days a week) they have to wear pull-ups. Normally with me they are pretty good, but they hate going to the bathroom. Right now the big thing is if we can get through a week without accidents they can get a fishing pole (I's what they want). Pull-ups to them are just diapers and they know they can pee in diapers and it won't make a mess. It's gross. It's frustrating. I guess they aren't ready? Moms ready...diapers and pull ups are expensive. 

On another note, it's seriously pouring in June. What the heck? 

To Blog or Not to Blog

Why blog? Why not? I've been thinking about this for a while, mostly because a good friend of mine started a blog and it makes me smile when I read her posts, but she's hilarious, I am not as funny (although, I think I am...others beg to differ). So what's the purpose? Will anyone read it? Does it really matter if anyone reads it? I don't think so. I think it's a way to reflect on my life- even if I'm the only one who ever reads it. What do I have to contribute to this not so new internet craze? Probably nothing, but I am a mother of twin 3 year olds who feels like I'm barely getting through the days. I have a fantastic life, but that doesn't mean it's easy. I have good health, a home, a loving husband (who is also quite funny...but don't let him know I said that), two beautiful smart healthy girls, a fantastic job....but I figure I'm still allowed to complain once in a while. So what could I possibly have to "complain" rant about? Good question...

Horrible 3s
Mom's groups
Potty training
Being a single mom half the week
Finding time for myself
Giving 100% when I really should be giving 300%
Living away from the South Bay
Getting to the gym
Being a working mom
The grass is always greener
You know...typical mom stuff. 

And with that...let's begin.