Saturday, March 29, 2008
Buddy the dog chases Froggy (and her cheese stick) through the house. Froggy yells, "Take it easy, Buddy!"
Froggy sits on training potty for a long time. Mommy gets impatient and says, "Where's the pee pee?" Froggy quickly, and very seriously puts her finger to her mouth, saying "Shhhhhh, pee pee hiding."
When we pick up meds at one of our many pharmacies, Froggy loves playing with the stuffed animals that strangely all pharmacies stock. While I'm in line, Froggy picks up a little blue bear, walks up to the counter, holds up her bear to the pharmacist and says, "How much?" I was so impressed I bought her the damn bear.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I happen to like musicals, and was interested in how they could have added song and dance to such a tragic story. If you're unfamiliar, the film is about a boy with a disease that causes his cranium to develop abnormal calcium deposits, causing his eyes to be 3 inches apart, with major facial deformaties. But his existence and positive spirit change the lives of everyone around him. He helps his mother get off meth, and reconnect with her true love, and it is his dream to ride a chopper to Sturgis, but he dies before he has the chance.
There were moments that were difficult to watch -- when his mom sings to him in bed, saying how she wishes she could fight his battles and make everything right. Sob sob. At one point I scanned the nearest exit, in case I had to bolt for a hysterical cry in the lobby. But, I pulled through and pretended not to be a basketcase. Ahh, the irony of acting in the audience.
It was an interesting show, and if you can get over the fact that bikers spontaneously break into song, it's a great story and very touching. If you're in the area, it's worth seeing. And our friend, and Froggy's swim coach plays the cute biker with the bandana, the drug dealer, and the rabbi. Yep, I'm serious. Sometimes I love LA.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
My friend "Gorgeous Hair" keeps me abreast of the world outside strollers and diapers, playdates and The Doodlebops. She always knows the cool happenings in LA, screenings, and improv shows, bands and pop culture icons on display, readings and plays. So when she invited me to a screening of the 1990 movie, Wet, Hot, American Summer, I thought it would be a hoot. It's a spoof on camp movies from the 70's and 80's, films like Meatballs, and Little Darlings. It's hilarious, and some of the cast and crew promised to appear at the after-party.
It's rare when I go anywhere without a kid on my hip, or my hunky husband by my side. I'm no meeskite, but it was strange when men began interrupting our conversations with questions like, "So did you like the movie?" and "How's the popcorn?" and "Are you Jewish?"
We were vaklempt. Then "Gorgeous Hair" and I looked around the room. Yes, it was Purim, yes, we were attending a screening of a film produced, directed, and starring an almost all-Jewish cast, but...this was like someone's Bubbie had posted the event on her Yente Myspace account for all the nice Jewish boys to find a nice Jewish girl night. We thought about leaving... I mean, we were imposters. I was raised Presbyterian for Christ's sake, and I'm married... but I still had a glass of wine left, and all I wanted was a night out, not impose on Shidech night at the Silent Movie Theatre. Oy vey. Not that I'm kvetching...
Then the most adorable mentsh sat down next to us. He was probably late 40's, balding, a little heavyset, and it was obvious he settled for the two shiksehs in the corner. He was awkward, but confident and said, "Ehh, I'm looking for a nice Jewish girl, you know? Pretty, yes, but you know, just a nice Jewish girl." And as he spoke, telling us the reason for Purim (I had no idea, silly Goya), I realized he was the physical embodiment of a dear, dear friend of ours, Herman, who passed away at 96 last year. He was endearing and charming, and looking for the love of his life...and it made me think about Herman and how he was married to his soul mate for over 65 years. And how strange is it that all of these men were searching for their true loves on Purim...at the screening of Wet, Hot, American Summer. No one was there for the movie, except me and my shikseh friend.
We were not anyone's true love, but we did listen. Someone introduced his friend to me and I said, "I'm married, I have a toddler, I'm such a vaybl, it's not even funny." He breathed a sigh of relief and we talked about how I met my husband at Trader Joe's, and how grocery stores really are the best places to find love. He asked me how I knew my husband was "the one," and I said, "He walked in that grocery store like he had found what he wanted, and I believed him." He said he was inspired by that and hoped he could find the same, but ya know, with a nice Jewish girl.
I went home and kissed my husband and baby, feeling blessed to have my little family. And very mazldik for a night out.
Friday, March 21, 2008
I just don't think I can do this anymore. I'm responsible for our family's financial well-being, making sure the meds, doc appts are in order, bills are paid, the house is clean, groceries stocked, cooking done, fundraising, our taxes, every detail of our lives, the things that keep us afloat are handled. And I'm just exhausted. I am so exhausted. I haven't had a real break in two years. I just want a couple hours where there isn't major stress, where no one is sick, or having seizures or freaking out, where there is just peace. I just need a moment of peace. And even when FD and I get out to a movie or dinner, my mind is still on Froggy. The worry never leaves me. It's like I'm constantly preparing for disaster, imagining in my mind how to escape the earthquake, the fire, the nuclear fallout.
The last couple weeks have been more than I can bear. On top of all the stress, Froggy isn't going to bed til 10 or 10:30, so I have no time to myself, not a moment to recuperate, to remind myself that it's worth it, that someday life will get easier. Honestly it feels like there is no end in sight. I'm starting to have panic attacks, and night terrors, and it's my body telling me I need to slow down. But what do I give up? Sleep? Cleaning? Cooking? Working? Taking care of a toddler with CF? Do I let the meds slip, the doc appts? There is so much responsibility, I feel like I can't breathe. And there's nothing I can do about it. This is my life right now, and I need to accept it.
Tonight, I tried for 2.5 hours to get Froggy to go to sleep but she is wired. No amount of rocking, holding, begging, pleading could get those little eyes to shut. We had a bath, a wind down, we read stories and I rocked her. I sang, I hummed, I shushed. And it's like she wolfed down a pound of chocolate covered espresso beans before bed. Instead of sleeping, while mommy had her emotional break down, she watched me sob and said, "don't worry mommy." So on top of everything, I have the guilt of knowing that Froggy is 'sharing' in the responsibility of my parental stress. Great, I just bought her a few hundred hours of therapy.
I'm sure tomorrow will be better. But tonight, life sucks. It just sucks. And Froggy is now jumping on the chair while eating cat food. I think this qualifies me for the worst parent of the year award. Oh well...
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Do you see the love? Sissy Snugs and Froggy.
Feeding the Koi Saltines!
Photo by FD
Photo by FD
Photo by FD
A Camelia for you?
Froggy is totally enamored by her big sis. She won't let anyone hold her hand on walks, but the second she is with her big Sis, she reaches her little hand up, with such admiration and adoration. It amazes me that at 2 years old, Froggy knows that Sissysnugs is one of her soul mates. I know how she feels. My sister is my best friend and I can't imagine walking through life without her.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Because I'm so computer illiterate, it took me months, but alas, here it is!
I will email the link, with a fundraising letter to anyone who would like it, so you may send it to your address book and we can reach our goal of $30,000 for Team Froggy's Legs.
Visit our fundraising video for Froggy by clicking HERE!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
"Imagine your bedroom. It can be messy a million different ways, but it can only be clean one way. The reason life is so messy is because statistically speaking, it's just more likely."
When Froggy was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and then a seizure disorder, I questioned "why." It's natural to feel there is a reason for suffering, a greater purpose for the pain we experience. And I've never truly made peace with it all. But the chaos theory gives me a kind of comfort that more conventional methods of dealing with "why bad stuff happens to good people" do not. For some reason, the randomness of it all, the complete powerlessness, the "no rhyme or reason" mentality makes me feel like, "hey, it's nothing personal." And strangely, that makes sense. It's not God picking on us, or making our family an example like Job, it's just the chaotic way of things. It is simply more likely that things goes wrong, than right.
I don't know exactly what I DO believe, but I'll tell you what I don't. And maybe the truth will find itself somewhere between those lines.
I don't believe that we were chosen to be Froggy's parents, or that Froggy chose us as Mom and Dad. I don't believe that God has a plan for us. I don't believe that, because if I did, I would also have to believe that children choose crackheads and sadists as their parents, that God places babies with tweekers and prostitutes to make a point. I don't believe in Karma or reincarnation, or the idea that FD and I are paying for our past life mistakes. I definitely do not believe that Froggy has willed this disease into her life because of negative thinking or as lesson for her soul to grow. I don't believe that I am being tested, or that Froggy has entered our lives because of divine intervention to teach us selfless love.
I have considered all of these possibilities. But have come to the conclusion that FD and I are carriers of a CF gene that we passed onto our child. She had a one in four chance of being born with our recessive gene, and unfortunately, she was. I think she has a seizure disorder because she fell on her forehead and suffered damage to her frontal lobe. I happen to believe that all of these things happened because they didn't "not" happen. It is life happening to us. And how we deal with it is our choice.
I understand that people need to find a reason or purpose for "bad things" but I simultaneously question why we don't feel the need to find purpose behind the positive. Why are we worthy of only good, and horrified with the negative? Why do we say, "why me God?" as if others are somehow deserving of our pain.
I don't doubt that we have grown for having Froggy in our lives, that because of adversity we are living a rich, joyful life that will challenge us in ways we never thought possible. And I believe that God smiles every time we turn sorrow into meaningful joy. But I believe in a hands-off God, who empathizes, without orchestrating. He's like a therapist who sits there and says, "And how does that make you feel?" But to say he chooses our circumstances would suggest that he picks favorites. And that seems more like Jr. High than divinity.
I believe that we are better for having Froggy in our lives, for embracing the chaos that naturally comes with parenthood. It's a risk, a beautiful, scary, sad and lovely risk. It's life. And I guess I'm okay with that.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
While relaxing on the sofa, Froggy pulls up my shirt, starts slapping my belly, yelling, "fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat" to the tune of Jingle Bells... I couldn't help but say, "And whose fault is that?"
Today on our walk, Froggy wrapped her hands around a rose stem to smell it, then looked at me knowingly and said, "Mama, roses have horns."
While reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" we read the page where the caterpillar eats one cupcake and one sausage, and one lollipop. Froggy was announcing each food, when we came to the slice of watermelon. I said, "then he ate one..." and she replied, "birthday hat!"