About 6 weeks ago I wrote out a week by week to-do list for Ian and I so that we could spread out the work of all of the big and little details that would need to be taken care of before our move to Africa TOMORROW.

This was a good thing to do, I am easily distracted but current crises, and important things get pushed to the background.  We were  doing pretty well on the to-do list, or at least I was telling myself that until I realized that I was reading the dates wrong and was actually a week behind on all of the tasks.   A few moments of panic set in, but then I remember that I have amazing & wonderful and incredibly gracious friends and family to help with this transition.

My kids are used to being with Ian, myself or family almost 6 days out of every week.  In the last 9 out of 10 days, they’ve “visited” friends and family for extended play dates and nap time.  While this has given us the opportunity to get so much done, it has taken an obvious toll on the kids who are much more cranky and upset than usual.  My good friends and mother have reminded me to give them grace during this time.  I think I’m doin pretty well on that.

Anyhow, as if preparing to move to a 3rd world country wasn’t enough, Ian’s dear grandmother (she’s 94 and until fairly recently had a lot of fire and spit to her) has taken a turn for the worse and was put on hospice this weekend.  We’ve become accustomed to seeing her tired and weak….but in this last week you can see the shift that comes in a person whose body is in the last stretch and is ready to go home.  It is hard to think that we will not see her again, that she will most definitely pass here shortly.  She is a wise woman and leader of this family that we will miss dearly.

I don’t know about some of you, but I believe in spiritual warfare and that when you are about to embark on a faith journey that is going to have some amazing outcomes…that you are tested.  I kind of felt like we’d been there, done that in this last year and that we were finally on the home stretch here.  Then, on Monday, I got a call back from the dermatologist with the results of my biopsy on a new mole that had popped up.  I knew it wasn’t good news when they didn’t leave a message and when the nurse handed the phone to the doctor when I called to check back.

My diagnosis was melanoma in situ.  Wow, malignant cancer was SO NOT the news I was expecting to hear 3 DAYS before leaving for Africa.  So, yesterday morning I went in to have it removed. 

I guess you can look at this 2 ways.  The “poor me” I have cancer, why did this happen way

OR

the “Thank God” I went to the dermatologist (thanks Erin for continuously bugging me until I made the appointment) way of thinking.  In Situ, means in place, in the top layer of skin, or Stage 0 Cancer.  Mine was just starting to go into the Dermis layer of skin, so I had a pretty good chunk taken out of the back of my leg.  Another silver lining:  Sitting on an airplane seat for 20 hours sure does provide “pressure” to that wound site…and is a good excuse for some Vicodin.  Did I say that???   And, a prescription for 4 tubes of  prescription antibiotic cream sure does come in handy when moving to Africa!

Here is some information about Melanoma In Situ:  http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-cancer/melanoma-in-situ.aspx

Did you know that:

Q. What is melanoma?

A. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells. Melanomas may appear on the skin suddenly without warning, but also can develop on an existing mole. The overall incidence of melanoma continues to rise.

Q. Is melanoma a serious disease?

A. More than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.1 Advanced melanoma spreads to internal organs and may result in death. One American dies from melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes).1 Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.2 If detected in the early stages before it reaches the lymph nodes, melanoma has a 99 percent five-year survival rate.

And thank God:

Q. Can melanoma be cured?

A. When detected in its earliest stages, melanoma is highly curable. The average five-year survival rate for individuals whose melanoma is localized and has not spread beyond the outer layers of the skin is 99 percent.

 

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We’ve finally succumbed and have become a 2 computer family…that is 2  computers completely owned by us.  We decided to look into a netbook for me…cute, little and just the right price for  looking on the internet and blogging.  What else does one really do anyhow??  At least, “What else does Anne really do anyhow?”

Here’s what I ended up getting with some handy 1st hand review information from my friend Rhett Lee. 

As opposed to the last computer purchase previously discussed in another blog, I went and test drove web books so I would know exactly what I was getting.   I like this picture because it actually shows how small it is.  It is a heavy web book though at 3.2 lbs.  With that, it still has a 10.2 inch screen and nicely spaced keys.  Oh gosh, I’m getting kind of geeky talking specs like that.  Stop me please!  Next thing you know, I’ll be talking like this about cell phones!

Anyhow, what with moving and all (yes, we are finally out of the house and it is sparkling clean for the renter), this is the best post you are getting.

I know, I know.  Where are the cool pictures from the Tacoma visit, or Eli’s early birthday party with his buddy Jackson?  Or last minute get-to-gethers with friends?  Still safe on the camera, which was thankfully found.    I’ll write “blog update” on my to-do for leaving for Africa in 5 days list.  Right there with “change life insurance beneficiaries” and “write will”.

Phew.  I’m ready for bed.  Are you as tired as I feel?

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Blag

That’s my new made up word for blah blog. I’m in a writers funk. I’ve got plenty to write about…but I’ve temporarily misplaced the camera, and our recent adventures just wouldn’t be much fun to write about without pictures.  img_0098

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Pretty please….

For the second middle of the night in a week I have been awokened but that voice from the other room half crying half yelling, “Mooooommmmeeee, I threw up.”  

I tried to explain to the neighbor across the street who doesn’t have kids yet (or maybe never after talks like this) that some pukes are better than others.

She couldn’t really believe me, so I explained.  In my humble opinion, liquid puke is so much better than food puke, simply for the reason that food puke requires a much greater degree of clean-up to ensure that the mess does not get dropped on the floor and transferred to the washing machine. 

Done that before.  Absolutely disgusting.  Cleaning vomited food out of the clothes washer has to be one of the most loving and dreaded tasks a mother can truly do for her children.

Anyhow, back to the middle of last night.  Lucy insisted on directing me on every step of the clean-up.   Like she’s had experience in this kind of thing like every 2 year old.  I heard,  “Get that”, “Over there” followed by a frantic, “It’s on MY FOOT!  GET IT OFF!”  She was actually much to chipper and talkative for having just vomited, and for it being 2 1/2 hours before my dear alarm clock was set to go off.

The OUST previously mentioned in another post is getting a good workout.  I’ve been sanitizing everything but the dog (especially cause Eli is the only “dog” in our house now).  I’m holding out to be the only one in the house who doesn’t get sick.  Pretty please?

What have you been doing lately at 3:32 am?

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My twin brother Andy, his wife Kori, and our mom all came to visit us over Spring Break.  We scheduled in a few chores:  updating our computer with awesome software, pawning off some of the things in our house so they wouldn’t have to be packed, and visiting an antique store for Andy & Kori to buy some knobs for an antique french door they have in their Idaho house.  We started out with a great morning over in Sellwood, at a coffee shop named img_01061 http://www.bluekangaroocoffee.com/.  Kori bought the drinks…thank you!  I had a spicy chai, it was one of the best I have ever had!

They had a nice little play area for the kids, complete with a mini table and a basket of toys.  There was plenty of room for the adults and their “serious” talk, and also the kids to play around a little.  As a mom, I appreciate that so much!  I did notice that a nice pair of ladies moved from their table shortly after we arrived in the kid section, we were happy to oblige and take over their spot.

 

After our spell there to dry off and warm up, we sauntered across the street to a toy store, and then down to 1874 Antiques, where Andy & Kori browsed for the perfect doorknob set.  They found one, and I can’t wait to see how it looks on their office doors.  They’ll have to post a picture on their blog.  Hint, hint.

After that, our jaunt was cut short my the kids’ need for naps, so we went home and met up with Jasper Grammy who had arrived while we were out.  Jasper Grammy is named so because she has a wonderful black & white cat by that name.  She just thought she would be “grammy”, but the kids like to embellish & I kind of like the name because it is special.  That evening, after a wonderful corned beef dinner (there can never be enough corned beef mind you), we decided to go out for an adventure.

We took them to www.uwajimaya.com, Uwajimaya, an Asian specialty supermarket providing the widest variety of Asian groceries and gifts and freshest meat, seafood and produce.

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We had a great time looking at the gift items, and also the grocery items.  My favorites were the wind up sushis and animal themed kitchen gadgets.  The rest of the family found some interesting items as well:

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Then we headed home to do the kids’ bedtime routine, which consisted of a very drawn out “snuggle” with pretty much everyone in the house.  Including Jasper Grammy:

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Snuggling is a big deal to Eli right now.   He loves that physical contact, and will take every little bit of it that he can get.  Aunt Kori must have done a bit of head scratching, because after they left, Eli informed me that it felt good and I needed to do it just like Aunt Kori had done it.  Apparently I don’t do it quite right.  We also have the tradition of “stories”, which are different from books.  Stories are made up on the fly while you snuggle.  It is great fun to see what different family members come up with for Eli.  Mine usually have a moral message, others are just funtastical creations….on the level of Willy Wonka.

The next day, I can’t even remember what we did in the morning.  That is so bad.  But, we did get a sitter, and decided to make a reservation so Kori could experience so good seafood.  That didn’t turn out as we expected, when we hit Dan & Louis Oyster Bar at happy hour time instead of at our reservation time.  We couldn’t pass up the thought of $1.95 salads and $2.95 oysters, so we altered the evening’s course a little.  Then we tried out Kincaids (but left before ordering…), a random bar for a happy hour priced drink (that ended up not being priced for happy hour), and then Oba for fru-fru drinks and some fun food.    Andy had an amazing girly cocktail that included a habernero pepper.  Sweet with a serious kick.  I had an amazing key-lime pie drink.  Mmmmm.  Strong.

During all of that restaurant hopping, we made a stop at Voo Doo Doughnuts, a Portland landmark.  http://voodoodoughnut.com/.  We liked so many of the choices, that we got a pretty large box.  I’d post a sampling of the doughnuts, but some of them aren’t so kid friendly.  Here is Andy with his bacon wrapped maple bar though:

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Ian and Andy thought they were pretty good.  I’ll stick to ones with sugar thank you.

Speaking of sugar.  If you’ve ever spent any significant amount of time with the Frahms, or Ian for that matter, you’ll know that we like sugar.  Any kind.  But Andy and I have had a love of Sour Patch Kids for quite some time.  Probably for more than a decade.  When Kori and Andy took their dogs out for a walk, this is what they came home with.  We used Andy’s head for size reference:

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Now I know that this makes it look like he has a small head, but he doesn’t, he’s a brainiac…this is just an incredibly HUGE bag of SourPatch kids.  Truly, there is a God who loves us.

After all of that fun, we all had to say goodbye.  Frown.

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Random funnies

We use a lot of OUST spray in this house.  Right now I have the citrus version that is a disinfectant and a sanitizer.

Sometimes I read labels, just for fun.  On cereal boxes, pretty much anything.  It’s a strange habit, I know.

Today, I read the OUST label.  On the back it has this warning:   DO NOT USE ON PETS.   I found that extremely amusing.  I pictured someone spraying their dog down.  Obviously people do that, or they wouldn’t have to put that warning on there.

The other funny thing is that Lucy has progressively turned into a “bag” lady.  My pictures document her journey of containers:

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Seriously.  I don’t know how this could progress any further.  A 32 gallon trash can?  You should hear the noise this thing makes as she drags it out of her room in the morning, drags it to every room she is in, and tries to get it into her crib at night.  Simply hysterical.

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