Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving '08

Thanksgiving Day was interesting. I welcomed the holiday with being at the airport at the stroke of midnight waiting for my Mom at LAX. She was coming back from a 3 week trip from her home country, Costa Rica. Her plane landed early, so had to be escorted two terminals downs. I rushed over just to learn that all together 4 planes and all their passengers and crew were clearing customs, so it was over an hour delay. It was good to see my Mom and was happy to hear she had such a great trip. My grandfather is my last living grandparent and is a strong 78! He makes his living building homes and as he gets older it hurts to do stuff like writing, so he didn't send any letters home this time. Instead, he made fresh bread that morning, so I just had to break my diet and try one. Man, he is a GREAT baker! It was so tasty! But I was good and only had one.

A few hours later my immediate family had a delicious breakfast of soy sausage, turkey bacon, chocolate chip pancakes, fresh fruit, my grandpa's bread, and egg whites. YUMMY!!! It was a small gathering as two of my sister's and their hubbies are now out of state and this year Jayla was with mom.

Afterwards, Jay and I got ready and headed down to San Diego to Jay's niece's (and boyfriend's) place. I was wiped out from the trip to LAX and waking up to make breakfast, so minutes into the drive I passed out. I guess I missed 2 hours of Thanksgiving Traffic. When we got there we were welcomed by the lovely couple, 3 kitties, a dog and a HUGE feast!!! Jay's niece was telling us that she wants to attend a culinary school and have a catering business focusing on cakes and baked goods. She was going to bake a cake for a friend's b-day part on Saturday and look at the amazing job she did!!!

I jokingly told Jay that she could make our wedding cake. Jay's response "oh lord!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's not a real party, unless there is a fight

October is always a month of much celebration with three family birthdays and all. This year I had three work birthday's, as well, and Jay's BS graduation to add in on the celebration month. It was a special month with my niece turning the big 1-6. I don't recall my 16th birthday, but I do recall being able to apply for my driving permit. My niece's parents were throwing her a huge birthday day bash and rented out a local community center for the event. It was a dance room that has huge floor length windows that looked directly to the street. There was a candy bowl station that with tons of treats to make your own goodies bag, tons of people, DJ .. and did I forget to mentions 80's themed! These kids were dressed SO cute! Why didn't I have style like that back in the 80's? My sis, Messy Jessy, flew from North Carolina to join in the celebration and we dressed alike for the event. The nite was going great with some little hic-ups. Like the birthday girl having a fit that her friends were not dancing much. Oh and then there was the party crashers. I walked out o the dance room that lead to the outdoor eating area to see a group of teens just looking out on the dance floor. They weren't causing trouble or giving dirty looks, just looking in awe. I invited them in thinking they were my niece's friends and they said they were "scared" to go in. The red flags were immediately raised and soon my niece came out telling the group that they were welcomed in but not her *niece pointing at some chick* because that girl was an unwanted and uninvited guest. I guess the girl talks a lot of trash on all my niece's friends and recently started up the trash talking on my niece. Naturally, my protective aunt-instincts had me keeping an eye on my niece and this group. Good thing too cuz all of a sudden I saw my niece dart out for the parking lot and I literally ran to see what was about to go down. As I turned the corner I saw my nieces dad and that girl yelling at each other. I passed up my niece to hear her dad telling the girl to leave and the girl telling him that my niece was a bitch. OH HELLO NO! I ran up, texted myself the license number of car she was in, told the girl to get the F in her car before I called the cops to escort her little ass out and she sheepishly did. I envisioned throwing the girl across the parking lot jujitsu style. LOL! I seriously did, though. I know... I am like 10 years older, but someone had to get this uninvited guest and her posy the heck out of the party and if she would've swung, I would have happily introduced her to the pavement. The funny thing is Jay had said earlier that evening "it's not a real party unless there is a fight" and jokingly I said I was gonna be in one. Now here I found myself about to. I acted like I was calling the cops and the group left. Boy, I don't miss HS!
The weekend got even more interesting as the next day we celebrated my oldest sis' b-day by going to a play. For some reason we thought it was going to be a comedy, but quickly learned that it wasn't once it started. It was a drama filled play filled with murder, ex-cons, corrupted government, drugs, alcohol and tons of cussing with an ending in the main character and a psychopath falling in love a burning themselves to death for fear of some bugs. It was so far from a comedy!!! But hey, at least we all got to go out together as a family, right?
It was the birthday of my sister who lives in CO on Sunday, so I called her to wish her a Happy B-day and had sent her some gifts throughout the week. It was the big 3-0 for her and I wanted her to have a special one. I tried sending her flowers for that weekend, but she lives in such a small town that neighboring cities do not delivery to her "remote" location and the ONLY florist in town was on vacay for two weeks. Even 1-800flower, and wouldn't deliver. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. My sister got a good laugh at my amazement that there was only one flowershop in her city. You just don't hear of that in Souther Cali.
The next weekend was Jay's big graduation day!!!

Jayla came down from Az for the festivities :)

And so did my Mom!

And this was our celebration cookie cake from mrs. Fields...YUMMY!!!

Congrat honey! All those hours of studying, cramming, driving to SD is all over! You did it!! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The mark

Ummm... I wrote this about two weeks ago, but saved it instead of post. oops! But like they say, better late, than never.

Wow... can you believe it's been officially a year since Jay popped the big question and we became officially BF & GF. We moved kinda fast... less then a year into our relationship and we live together, but it didn't seem fast -- Instead more natural. Jay was coming home Saturday from visiting Jayla in Az, so I knew we were going to have a chill anniversary. It was an impromptu trip which prior to the trip, both of us had signed up for The Boot Camp Challenge.
(Don't I look like I am dying???)
The morning of the race I woke up at 3AM!!! Something was telling me to check my phone alarm and good thing I did because it was set for PM not AM. I hadn't decided whether I wanted to do the race yet, but just in case I did, I thought I better set it my alarm correctly. I woke up at 6, which was the time I wanted to leave and decided I better make the 100miles drive to the Marine Recruit Corp Depot.
Once I was there, I was proud that I got myself out of bed and was about to do the race. The race was harder then last year. Maybe it was because I was doing it myself. This years cadence that was over the loud speaker was rifles going off, people yelling and bullets flying... less motivating then the marching cadence from last year. When I got to the 2nd push up station (where the DI don't tell you how many push ups to do) near the end of my three miles and did like 5-7 guy push ups and said F-it and got on my knees. Bug mistake as a DI came to "motivate" me to get off my knees and do my push ups lower. I did like 5 more and just got up and kept running. LOL! I know this a boot camp challenge and I think I failed with that stunt I pulled. Nonetheless, I finished! YAY! I think my time was 42 mins and some change. But if you delete all the wait time, then probably 5 mins or so would be shaved off. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Monkey Around

You are now reading the blog of an official zoo volunteer! I just got back from orientation and will start volunteering 4 hours per week. Yippee! I wanted to start off slow and see how it goes so I don't get burnt out or over commit. Some people were signing up for 24 hours per week and I thought they were insane or didn't have a full time job and go to school. I can't wait until I don't work full time and can volunteer on Thursdays because that's vet day and I would be able to work along side the vet. That is too cool and the exposure I need. I was so happy to have the opportunity come up. Now I need to go shopping! Well I don't "need" to but want some pants and boots that i don't mind getting dirty. I am extremely excited *cheesy smile* and it seems that the zoo personnel are awesome and very passionate about what they do. It's exactly what I need to be around!

And yesterday I got a great tutoring session on chemistry. I was a little nervous since my search for a tutor came up with a bad experience. My first tutor had a big head about the knowledge he had to share and I was like a little peon that should be in awe of him. First thing I noticed when I walked into his house was that he had a cat. Good thing I am an animal lover, but I thought it was weird that he would not have mentioned it. There are so many people that don't like kitties and many more that have allergies to them. That should've been a sign of the unprofessional ism that was awaiting me. The tutor kept wanting to cover things that I didn't or need covered, then told me that if I have someone in front of me that has 30 years of experience I should take advantage of it. I told him that I was trying but he was helping me in areas I didn't need help in. Plus he was a smoker and my eyes were getting itching. I asked him if he smoked in the room and he said he had the Ozone 3 on, which I took to be a yes answer. I explained to him that it made the studying environment uncomfortable and he started up his criticism of me. He said that I was too much of an independent student. WTC? Then he said that if I wanted to ace my test, I need to see him again and could only do so by purchasing a 10-pack worth $420. When I told him I wasn't interested, he insulted me and questioned my finances and if I could hit up my parents. Obviously this guy was not a "patient tutor" as he said on his business card and someone I wouldn't want to see again! Friday was a totally different experience. This new tutor was VERY patient, nice, wanted to cover things that I wanted to explained on, printed guides out for me and helped me see chemistry in a lighter light. I saw one of the errors that I was making and now am feeling more confident. I purchased 11 more sessions with him, which will work out perfectly with the school semester.

Life is filled with blessing and I am so grateful for all of them this week especially! "

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm alive... Photo Update

BIG Thanks to Paul, because if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be blogging. He was GREAT and fixed my laptop that had 344 viruses. Probably due to download from limewire. You would think that I would have blogged the night that I got the computer, but sorry school started and I have been a go student and studying my little heart away.

I have joined the group of bloggers that can't blog from work anymore cuz of stupid work "securities." So... time for an update!

Surgery went well, except for the thyroid hormonal imbalance crap that is coming to an end. I was always feeling on edge and like I was PMSing. It was a constant urge to want to cry or yell at anything and everything. I totally lived up to the California road rage crazy person during that time.

Then, there is the other women's worst fear... uncontrollable weight gain, which I am happy to report that is finally coming to an halt. YAY!!!

So since the last time I blogged
Natalie turned the big 21! She had a cool party at her house that was Vegas themed. She has casino tables, hookas, open bar and DJ. It was a fun night. We went shopping for dresses the weekend before and yes, you will see me re-wear it later, but hey! I really pay $70 for a dress, so have to make good use of it.

Jayla came down for her 60 days with dad. We had action pack time of zoo visits, family parties, and endless movie time of the Doodlebops.

My niece and I went to see Wicked. It's an AMAZING show! I would highly recommend you see it. It was so funny and I barely realized that it was a 3 hour show. Now that speaks volumes for a show.

We saw it at the Pantages Theater, which was a neat place filled with art and carving at every corner. Like this walker fountain that is at each end of the theater.

Not too long after, we (my sisters & I) had our garage sale of my Dad's stuff. It took over a year, but we finally did it.

We woke up SUPER early and pulled things out before daylight. Before 6AM we were having our first customers.

Luckily, the local Salvation Army had a special event going on that day and scheduled a pick up for later on that day. We made $527. Woohoo! It was a littler surreal seeing the rest of my Dad's stuff get loaded in the truck.

That following Tuesday, I had surgery on my thyroid. My sister had came from Colorado to help with the garage sale and for support for my surgery. My Mom, sisters, niece, Jay and mom's pastor were there during my hospitalization and boy was I spoiled! I came home to roses, balloons and decoration that Jay put up and for the following week ice cream, sushi and home cooked food entered my tummy.

After seeing this dried bloody, tape (that I couldn't removed for a WEEK!), the scar was tiny! Check out the last picture on this post and you can barely see it. My doctor did such a great job that I sent him a thank you. I got tons of compliments on his work, that i just had to let him know.

Shortly after, my lil sis was heading of to North Carolina. *sadness* I threw her a good bye party. She requested that my oldest sister show off her Flamenco moves...

And she delivered!

And then my Mom and lil sis did, too! (My family is the best!)

Then my Mom had a b-day! Happy birthday Mom! The fruit tart was YUMMY!

This great view of the sunset was taken at the Ritz for Cindy's bridal shower.

It was a great, personal time. Everyone had such great stories to share and were super cool! The food was tasty, too. I was craving truffle french fries for weeks after.

A co-worker wanted to do a play date with her son and Jayla, so off we went to the San Diego Zoo. And Naturally, had to stop at the photo spot. Too cute!

Jay's niece and her boyfriend met um with us later on. I never new that San Diego Zoo was such a large park. I had gone for a 5:00AM workout and felt the burn while we walked up and down the hilly park.

And then... the BIG moment! Cindy's wedding!!!!!

Here's the bride visiting the table next to us. It was a great time and I got to sit with my old jujitsu buddies and got caught up on their lives. We had to leave right before the cake cutting cuz Jay had homework due by midnight, but it was a good time.

So that's what's up with me in a nutshell!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Had surgery

If feels so weird not to be able to check blogger from work, but it is now officially block from my work computer and my computer at home is down. My buddy Paul is going to come check the home one out.

I will post what I have been up to a little later, but wanted to give an update on my surgery. It took place this past Tuesday the 15th. I had to spend the night just in case I bleed or has too much swelling blocked my air ways, then I would be close to help. They only removed the left side of my thyroid, which is a good sign. I see the doctor on Monday to get the pathology report. I was able to finally take a shower today and boy did it feel good.

I have had nothing but a lot of tender lovin care before and after my surgery. There were 60 people at my mom's church praying and fasting for 3 days. HOLY MOLY! My sisters, Mom, Jay, niece and my mom's pastors stopped by and tonight Cindy is stopping by to show me her engagment picture and drop off some DVD's to entertain me while I am home. When I arrived from the hposital Jay had the place filled with purple balloons, roses, a card and party garland. It really lifted my spirts to have the place decorated and so much love. Everyone says I have a good color and seems to be healing well, so off I am to the road to recovery.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fat Bottom Girls

I think I was indirectly called fat (not phat) today. The IT guy was working on my computer last night and left me a note that he still needed to work on my computer in the morning because he could not retrieve my folder that magically disappeared.

He came in and made the file magically reappear and before he left he said that “since I was a good sport” he felt that he could share a story about him this morning. Apparently this morning he woke up, turn off his alarm and laid there thinking of stuff he needed to get done that day. My computer problem popped in his head and THEN he said that Queen’s Fat Bottom Girls came on. I asked him “what’s that supposed to mean?” and he said “I knew you were a good sport!” and walked away. Obviously, I thought he was telling me I was fat/heavier/bigger, since we were talking about working out and how in the last year I have gained 28 lbs and have been struggling to get if off AND was wearing jeans today. Jay thinks he was telling me that I have a nice ass.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Waistline check

On the way to work yesterday I heard this clip from CNN. The Japanese government is forcing companies to check the waistline of all employees and if they are deemed overweight then the company gets fined and the company can fine the employees. A part of me wishes they did that here in the states for my own benefit.

When I was in the Navy I knew I had to be in shape, to not only fit in my uniforms that are only issued every 4 to 8 years, but it was part of the job and promotion standards and requirments. Maybe that is what I need to stay in shape - a job that requires it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Finally a date!

Finally… I heard from the surgery schedule and the big day is on July 15th. Ironically, it’s a day before my Dad’s birthday.

Before leaving on Friday my boss asked if I had spoken to co-worker Cindy. She was the one who had thyroid cancer 4 years ago and the one that has a huge, visible scar that got me worried. Of course I didn’t! I couldn’t see myself just walking up to someone and asking them questions about their health condition. What if it’s personal and she doesn’t want to talk about it? Plus, it’s hard for me to open up to strangers. My boss said he would ask her to speak to me and moments later she called me into her office. She was very upbeat about the whole situation, which made me feel good since she went through the surgery, had her entire organ removed and found out she had cancer, went through radiation therapy, found out she was immune to radiation and is “incurable” since she is immune and is expected to live into her elder years. Her scar is bigger then the average scar because she had cancer and it went into her bone, so they had to cut deeper to cut the bone. *wiping eye brow* I shouldn’t have such a big scar! She told be the good, bad and ugly about the surgery and iodine radiation. I left work feeling better about the whole situation.

I’m glad that I have such loving supportive people in my life that keep checking up in me. Last night I told Jay the way my family is and during times like this they are around a lot. He looked around our very tiny place and said “all your family is going to be here?!?! Where will I go?” Luckily, Jayla will be in AZ with her mom during that time, so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting her to daycare (since I can’t drive), etc.
The people that will be there like 24/7 are my Mom and sis from CO. In the evenings I imagine I will see more of my little sister, Jessy and oldest sister, Sharon (which might come with my two nieces) after they get off of work. Plus, the occasional visit from their husbands and my friends is going to call for a full-house!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Life Lessons

Yesterday mark year #2 of my Father’s passing. All day I was feeling super anxious, my tummy was upset and I felt like I wanted to toss my cookies. Maybe it was because I didn’t sleep well the night before (we don’t have A/C and it was hella hot here), or could it be because my Statistics midterm was later on that evening or simply that it was the anniversary of my Dad’s death, which feels so weird typing the words!

Half way through the day I decided I wasn’t going to stop by the beach and drop off roses as I do for Father’s Day, his b-day and this day. I think a part of me didn’t want to face that another year had passed by. There's not a day that passes that something doesn’t remind me of him or a memory flashes by. This year it just seemed harder then last year. But I changed my mind and glad I did!

After class... yup, that Statistic class where the A/C is still not working and we just happen to be having our summer heat wave… I went to the beach. I stopped to get some roses for him. When he was alive, he had some rose bushes at his house that he used to pick roses from and leave them by my room. Sometimes he would make me a fresh juice in the morning and leave it on the fireplace mantel with some roses. When I got to the store I already knew I wanted to get him roses, especially the red and yellow colored ones and what do you know? There was one of those bouquets of roses left.

I made it to Balboa pier and it was packed. On this summer day there were tons of people fishing on the pier and coming from the Ruby’s restaurant at the end of the pier. There were even some people in the water. It did look refreshing!

I walked the pier and looked for a spot that didn’t have tons of fishermen and was private. I found the perfect spot. I have this thing I do when I go and drop off flowers at the beach for my Dad. With each flower/rose I drop into the ocean, I recall a fond memory I had with him or thank him for something. Yesterday, I thanked him for some important life lessons he taught me. Afterwards I walked the pier and watched people get excited over the fish they caught. This one girl was holding up her fishing rod with the tiniest fish, but she proudly gave the biggest, cheesiest grin as she posed with her catch for a picture.

Last year I remember asking my Dad for signs that he was there, but this yearI sat on a bench (the one that Jessy and I sat at for his b-day) and told him that I didn’t need one this year, cuz I knew he was there with me. I stared out at the ocean and sky and witnessed a shooting start. WOW! It as if he wanted to say hi!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Met my surgeon today

Finally, my doctor's appointment with my surgeon was today. My thyroid doctor is one of those people that has probably been in the industry 20+ years and somewhere along the line he must have forgot that while he deals with this information/situation every day, it's the patients first time hearing the medical terms, etc. He doesn't go into too much detail, so I was thinking that the surgeon was going to be the same. What a wrong assumption to make!

My surgeon and his staff was AMAZING!!! My Mom and I were very impressed the upbeat staff, the no wait,and super clean and modern office.

The surgeon was very informative, took his time to explain the procedure and my test results that the thyroid doctor had sent over. Looks like the surgery will be in the next 3-4 weeks. A surgery scheduler will call me from within the next week to set something up.

A little about the procedure: I am going to have the left part of my thyroid complete removed. That is the side that is enlarged and has the two nodules (growths). During surgery the partial gland will be sent to pathology and if they can detect it's cancerous, they will remove the entire gland during the surgery and I will come back for iodine-radiation following the surgery. If pathology needs more time to review the tissue, then they will sew me up and get back to me in a week with the result. If it is cancerous, I will have to go under the knife again to remove the other half of the thyroid and start iodine radiation following the surgery. Finally, if (and this is the one I am praying for!!!), if not cancerous cells are found during or after the surgery, then I will be away from work for 10 days and not be able to drive during this time. Not bad at all!

Either way, I do have to stay the night in the hospital just in case there is too much swelling or bleeding occurs which can block my air passage. The doctor says it's very unlikely, but more of a precautionary procedure.

Oh and I met the PA that will be there before and after the surgery. She was SUPER cool! She said her job is to do everything beside the surgery, so she will be there before and after my surgery to check up on me and call me once I get home.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going green

I found a great website that allows me to rent school books for the school semester or quarter for not only a very reasonable rate and free return shipping, but they also plant a tree for every book rented. They have programs in the US and Central America and my tree is being planted in Guatemala. I got a $120 book for $43.00 and did the Earth some good! Woohoo!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Times have changed!

Yesterday while picking up Jayla from my sister’s house, my Mom told me the cutest story. She went to pick up my niece, Lizzy, from her last day of school. She wasn’t ready for the sight she would see when see walked in the classroom. Kids were literally crying and would hug one of their classmates, have a moment with them and switch to another classmate or the teacher. These kidz kept saying in between their tears “I’m going to miss first grade!” My Mom said she had to wait sometime until they were all ready to say good-bye.

I never recall crying on the last day of school. What I recall is watching the clock like a hawk, running out of class with a huge Chester cat grin and eating all my snacks in my earthquake preparedness pack during my walk home.

Later on my niece insisted that she need to be taken to the track to run because she needed to get her sadness and nervous out of her. This kid is 6 years old! Now, I know I never acted that way or asked to be taken to the track when I was little. Exercise was a form a punishment when I grew up, never a stress reliever! So the whole family, My Mom, sister, 2 nieces, Jayla and Jahnice’s friend went to the track. Lizzy ran some laps with Jayla following her, Jahnice and her friend walked behind them my sister read a book and Mom video taped the kidz (She is such a grandma!).

They headed over to Yogurtland afterwards cuz Lizzy needed another stress reliever. Now, THAT I do recall doing! Haha! As they sat there enjoying their soft-served yogurt a classmate of Lizzy’s came in. She got up, said nothing but hugged the kid for some time, let go and walked back.

School must be a wonderful place now cuz I never mourned it they way Lizzy has. I guess that is a good sign of quality education.

Sharing my treasure

I had a little extra time on my lunch and decide to stop by Juice It Up for a wheat grass shot and some fresh carrot juice. This group of kids came in asking prices of the smoothies and yogurt bowls trying to figure out how they were going to split the goodies amongst each other and how much stuff they could get with their dough. The leader in the group started to order and asked another girl exactly how much she had. She sheepishly asked the group to come to the table. The continued to press her and she just walked over and dropped all her change. She must have emptied out a piggy bank recently or something. The group realized her concern and went to count the change with her. All together they had a little over $10.00 and I saw them fill their hands with the coins and make it back to the register.

I those remember those summer days back when I was a little kid. My sisters and I would search the house for change or hit up the folks. After we all had a dollar we would ride to 7/11 and get slurpies or to this liquor store that had cheap candy. You get there and do the math trying t get as much as possible.

They started debating what they could afford, so I just placed what few dollars I had on the table and said “here you go.” I forgot how much more money is worth to kids. They all looked up at me, jaws dropped and I heard an echoing “thank you!” As I walked out I heard a kid scream “God bless you” is the happiest voice. It was too cute! If only I had a camera to remember their expressions, but I guess I will have to rely on my memory and hope it can easily retrack it. But knowing me and my memory, probably not going to happen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On Grade standby

My last official day of class was Sunday, MAY 25th. According to the school policy, grades are supposed to be posted on or before the 5th of the following month. Most teachers are good about getting grades in the following week following the last day of class. Actually ALL my teachers have had a great track recorder, so I was surprised to not see a grade posted for my Philosophy class. I check online daily and hello, we are way past the date grades were supposed to be posted. Yesterday, I checked and yippee I see an entry. I scroll across the screen and am surprised to see a “RD” as a grade. What they heck is that? Naturally, I freaked out because that’s just my nature and at the time the only thing I could think “RD” stood for was “redo.” It seemed logical then, but SO silly now. I searched for a school online catalog (I’m so resourceful!) and come to find out that RD stands for “report delayed.” I could have told you that the report was delayed along time ago. Now I am on standby until the teacher post my grad to get my AA diploma. I remember in the beginning of the class he said his arm was in a cast (or something like that) and he was grateful for online classes, so maybe he still hasn’t recovered fully and that’s what is causing the delay.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A dose of what I needed

I had a dream last night that it was the day of my surgery, they put me under and all of a sudden I was in a white, never ending room and my Dad was holding my hand. I asked my Dad if I was dead and he told me no and that the surgery was being performed, so he wanted to look after me.

I heard someone calling my name and as I opened my eyes I saw my Dad peeking from the hospital curtain and I reached out for him and burst into tears yelling “do you see him?!?!” The curtain moved as if he let it go and my family asked “who?” I didn’t reply and just cried because I knew he made his way back to heaven.

Today I goggled thyroid surgery and saw real pictures of the procedure. As my eyes got bigger and my freak out meter started to rise, I got a text from my sister letting me know that I was in her thoughts and she just wanted me to know that. She went on to say that she worries about me, but feels confident that I will be okay after the operation and ended with letting me know that I could count on her and her family’s help!

What perfect timing!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Follow appt w/ thyroid doc

Yesterday I had my appointment with my thyroid doc that did my biopsy and is recommending surgery. It cracks me up and is alarming how their office works. It’s as if the office doesn’t know what my visit is for and the doctor doesn’t read my file prior to walking in to see me.

The medical assistance took my vitals and then asked the reason for my visit. I looked at her puzzled thinking shouldn’t you know that, but of course I didn’t tell her that and instead said that after the doctor had called me with my biopsy result he asked for me to come in and see him. She said “oh, so are you hypo or hyperthyroidism?” I said neither and that my blood work is normal, but my gland is enlarged. I know that my test results are in the system, so why is she asking me? She then asked if I was coming in for a biopsy today then. Didn’t I JUST say I got a call from the doc about my biopsy results and that is the reason for my visit??? So we got it squared away on why I was there and then was left to wait for the doc to come in.

He came in and I greeted him and asked how he was doing. I like his reply of “I’m living a dream, how are you?” I said I am good except for the fact that I need to have surgery. He paused, looked me up and down and asked why I needed to have surgery. Are you serious??? I thought. Should I be concerned that my doctor doesn’t know who I am and why I am sitting in front of him? He looked up my reports in his system and went through them with me again, answered my questions and sent me off to get an EKG, chest x-ray and breathing test. All in preparation for my surgery. I was the youngest patient in all the waiting rooms and felt like at any moment one of the other patients was gonna croak!By the time I was done, I felt drained!

So what I learned yesterday - I will be out for a week if my nodules are non-cancerous. They cut me open just about the area where my right throat meets my chest.

If it is cancerous tissue, then I will be out longer and have to come back for iodine-radiation therapy.

*crossing fingers* that it’s not the second one!

Later that evening I got a call from my sister from CO. She said that her friends really wanted me to know that they would be praying for me. It just really touched me. My eyes got watery and I thanked her for letting me know and she said she would be calling me A LOT, which made me giggle cuz she means it! We had probably talked 3 or 4 times in that one day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fishing in the toilet

Yesterday I made it home 20 minutes earlier then I normally do and took that opportunity to visit my sister who just got out of surgery before going to my first day of Statistics and Probability class. I made a quick stop by Walgreens and picked up some magazines for her.

Man, it was heart breaking to see how much pain she was in and how pale she was. You can tell when her daughters would come in that she would try to tuff it out a little, but I know her way too well. Her hubby helped her sit up and let me take over while I assisted her to go pee. It was quite comical! I helped her pull down her pants and her hospital undies. For those who have never had to wear them or even see them, they are these full covered, white, fish net panties. As I sit her down, I accidentally step on her toe, but once I removed my foot from on top of hers and sat her down she asks where her pad went. The hospital had gave her one just in case she bled. I patted down her leg thinking it fell down one of the legs, but nope. I search the floor and nothing! Mind you it hurts her to laugh and talk, so she tried to be as serious as possible when she mumbles that she thinks it fell in the toilet. Shame had left the building a long time ago as I look from behind to see if it was there and sure enough it was! I told her to sit tight and I was going to pull it out and she mumbles sternly that she will. She actual thought I was going to put my bare hand in the toilet water. But I told her my plan was to get it out with a plastic grocery bag, the way you would pick up dog poop. After the pad extraction, she tried to do her business but was having a shy bladder moment or was afraid that it might hurt. I didn't know what to do, so I just turned on the water (cuz I hear that helps) and played with my niece's dinosaur shower toys until my sister was done peeing.

I got her situated in bed, go her some med and was on a hunt for a heating pad, but no luck. Luckly I live only a few blocks away from home, so got one and was off to class. Talk about a productive 20 minutes!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sister Surgery Update

Just got a call from my family at the hospital with an update on my sister. Her surgery is complete, it all went well and they were able to do a laprascopic surgery insted which means she can come home today, no staples, less scars and her recovery time is down to 2 weeks instead if 4-6. YAY!

Good bye Crazy Month of May

Friday my Mom graduated with her Masters Degree! Yay Mom! After the ceremony, we all met up at my sister's house for a great celebration! My aunt Ligia was cooking the meal and Jessy and I had decorated the night before. We walked in and saw a table with cookware. Cook this me the surprise my aunt had hinted about in an email a day prior? At first I thought she was going to do a sales pitch to us and a full on presentation, but she just let us know that she is cooking the food in the pots and what the benefits were. On the table was a demonstration of what a pound of fat looks like. Ew! Only at my family event would they have this!!!
To much of everyone's surprise dinner was delicious! Honestly, we were all scare of what she would cook and Jay and I even hit the El Pollo Loco beforehand. She had prepared chicken, rice, beans, plantain banana cooked in molasses (Costa Rican style baby!!!), vegetarian lasagna, salad. Another aunt had brought sweet rice, which is like a rice pudding with cinnamon and raisins in it. For dessert there was fruit, ice cream and a white cake with strawberry filling.
Then came the entertainment. Can you tell my Rudy's expression that it was quite entertaining???
My aunt came out in a Costa Rican costume (Sorry, I was cracking up that I didn't even manage to take a picture of it!) and did a dance for my mom. It didn't look like a dance at all! It just looked as if she was walking around the living room, would stop and pull out an apron from her skirt and move it from side to side and paraded the living room again with an occasional "this is for my sister!" It was hilarious!!!!
Then, my sister preformed for those that missed her show at my graduation celebration.
What happened next would go down in family party history! My aunts, uncle, and mom took turns going up an dancing to flamenco music. Oh my GAWD... It was hilarious, to say the least! They were getting so into it, moving their dresses around that it practically flashed many of us SEVERAL times, their feet would move faster and the more we laughed, they faster they danced and more they got into it! It was all fun and games until they were trying to get me to go up there, but I'm no fool!
Here's my Mom and her brother and sisters (minus 1 in CA and like 10+ in Costa Rica).
And you know how I always refer to my family as the paparazzi? Well, here are some of them in action.

Here's my Mom with her daugthers minus the one in CO. She came down yesterday, though, and we are going to photoshop her in some of the pictures.
Sunday was my sister and niece's flamenco recital at Tapas Restaurant.

They did such a great job! It's was adorable to see my niece do her dance and the outfits were amazing! I joined in on the celebration a bit much and broke my diet with a shot of patron and a mojito. Don't shoot me! Unfortunately, I am a light weight and lunch was not served until two hours later and I was buzzed and felt a little sick from only those two drinks. During the performance I remember asking my oldest niece for water, but I didn't toss my cookies which is a good thing!!!
While we were taking pictures outside Lizzy kept reading this postcard!

She is up with technology and I can just picture he googling "genital warts." All I can say is I hope her parents have parental control on the computer!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

My skinny Jeans

Today is causal Friday and when I put on my jeans I didn't have to do the squeeze into my jeans dance that I used to to squeeze myself into them. YAY! I'm getting slimmer! I'm on week 3 of this diet and last time I weighed myself I was 10lbs lighter. I think I will keep on it through June and then get off, whether or not I hit my goal and just workout and watch what I eat from there on out. I am so happy that stuff is actually fitting. It's a great feeling to have your pant fabric move back in forth as you walk verse it hugging the skin.
Wednesday night was Jayla's last night in CA and the next morning she would hit the road with her Mom and grandparents to AZ. It was such a sinking feeling to know that, plus we had spent the night at Jay's which was so empty. It just added to the sad vibe of the night. I made it to Jay's before the two arrived, so I ate dinner and put on the idiot box to entertain myself. They came in after 9PM with Jayla happily repeating that they went to the park. They must have had a blast because the entire night see would be thinking and then say "Nessas? We went park!" It was adorable. After the nightly routine we got to stay up and watch Alvin and Chipmunks.

Luckily she will be back in CA for summers with Daddy on June 10th. Since Jay works on Sundays, I will be watching her and I have a few things planned already. A must do is swimming and I got the lil tike a Strawberry Shortcake bathing suit. She looked too cute with it on and kept touching the fabric while looking at herself in the mirror with amazement. I can't wait to hit the pool with her. I remember loving it when I was a kid, plus I will get a tan while we are out there, too. Which I desperately need!
I caught her pouting because she wanted to watch Alvin and Chipmunks on the floor and was denied!
I got news that my oldest sister is having surgery on Monday. She has a Dermoid Cyst in her ovary that is the size of a grapefruit! She will be out of commission for 4-6 weeks! Crazy! I hope I don't get put out of commission for that long. I wish I could be there, but I am already taking off time today for my Mom's graduation and next week for my doc appointments and that evening is the first night of summer school Statistics & Probability class, If you miss the first day, you get dropped from the class. I am sure she will understand and it's not like she will be alone. She will have my Mom, her two daugthers, husband and friends there, so maybe it's good that I don't see her until the next day when there is less people.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Grad Celebration!

It’s been a crazy week, but I am enjoying keeping myself busy. Jay is almost completely moved in and things are finding its place. We have had some funny moments taking stuff to my sister’s house and Salvation Army at wee hours of the night, Jay making a racket and me thinking the cops were going to come and arrest us for dumping.
Friday night was my graduation celebration at Tapas.
(Me, Cindy and Mr. W)
It’s a cute restaurant with a Spanish feeling to it. The walls are colored brightly and articles and painting of Spain are found through out. There are even Flamenco dresses up on the wall. My sister and some girls from her Flamenco school were performing that night, too, which added to the Spanish feeling.

(Me and my sister, Sharon, who was one of the performers)

Cindy and Mr. W, my aunt, cousin, sisters, nieces, Jay and Jayla and my Mom all came out to join in on the festivities! It’s funny that almost everyone I greeted commented something along the lines that they didn’t know it was a causal dinner, because I was in my puma shoes, black pants, a fitted t-shirt and track jacket. Honestly, I had a wardrobe malfunction that evening. Two to me exact. I was planning on wearing a white, Spanish looking, halter-top dress, but with the rain I didn’t want to be giving everyone a show or be freezing, so I went with plan B. Of course, I didn’t try on plan B at my house and just put it in my overnight bag. It was a cute light blue sweater that my sis gave me, which was COMPLETELY see through and let’s face it, my family doesn’t want to see my goods. Since I was at Jay’s and had no other clothes, I went in my PJ shirt and causal clothes.

(Me, my bro-in-law and Messy Jessy)

Dinner was great and it had that homey feeling to it, like the feeling of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (not the food, but the feeling of it). It was random conversations, laughter and tons of pictures. For dinner I had hot tapas of stuffed roasted piquillo peppers with poached salmon and a salmon salad. It hit the spot!

During dinner Cindy was looking through my camera and bumped into this sequence of pictures from my grad day:

You might recognize the last one from two post ago. But who would have thought that it would take three tries to get Jay to have a "normal" pose. Jay isn't a fan of taking pictures, so will purposely make faces or bunny ears every chance he gets.

Towards the end of the show they have audience participation and naturally my sister who was performing called my up. My lil niece, Lizzy, and Jayla followed me up and we did a little Flamenco. Ole!

It was such a special night!!!

(The guys took their "MySpace" pose and met their picture quota for the night)

(Yup, he is at it again!)

(My niece, Jahnice, and I)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Do you ever have those friends that to them you are very important, sometimes to the point where they tell you that you’re their “best friend,” but you don’t see them in that same light? They call you when they need a shoulder to lean on, a sound board for problems or just to vent. They call you with their good news and you are there for them! However, when it comes to what is going on in your life they are just not there!

I was happy to see a call from a friend and wanted to catch up. I thought maybe they were calling to see how everything is going on with me, how the move is going with Jay, heck maybe, just maybe an update on my graduation or the latest with my doctor appointments, but no they just wanted to update me on the good news in their life and had to go. Time and time again this person cancels on me and is just not there.

I know you are not supposed to have these silly expectations. I’m even one that advocates for not doing something out of obligation, more because you want to and have a genuine feeling behind your actions. I understand we get busy in our lives and at time selfish or self involved that looking up at those around us just doesn’t happen. I know I have been at fault of it too. But I’ve been surprised by those that don’t look at me as their “best friend” or a close friend for that matter and have been there. Not to mention all the really good and close fiends and family that have given me a tremendous support and constant love. Not sure why I even let it bother me, but writing it out helped me get over it and see the positive in my life.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It rained on my parade (literally)

The character gods were testing me yesterday and I failed miserably!

I took the day off yesterday so I could attend graduation practice in the afternoon and make it to graduation early. Although an AA is not a degree that is given at a Cal State or UC, it was still a precious moment to me and I was thrilled to be taking part in the ceremony.

As I got ready for practice, I got a call from my doctor. His voice already told me he didn’t have the best of news for me. He said that my biopsy came back, I didn’t have cancer, but they could not rule it out either. I have Follicular Cells, which I goggled later and its cells in the thyroid, but other website said Follicular cancer is an aggressive cell (which I don’t have, but I am assuming for the time being that the cells can turn to it.) I know, I know… I should have asked while on the phone, but I was too shocked to even think of questions. I have a follow up appointment with him in two weeks, at which time I will ask all the questions that came up after I hung up. Can you think of any thing that I should ask?

I will need to have surgery to remove the two nodules and any others they find when they open me up. When they open me up, if my thyroid glad has cancer, they will remove it completely. After surgery, regardless if they only take the nodules or the entire gland, I will need to take thyroid medication for the rest of my life. I made the appointment to see the surgeon for my consultation which is 3 weeks out.

Hind sight, I would have gone to graduation practice or taken a walk before calling anyone. I was an emotional mess and the first thing I did was call Jay. He didn’t pick up, so I called my Mom. As I started to tell her what the doc said, I burst into an emotionally basket case! Who gives calls like this??? Well, I did. I felt horrible when my Mom emailed me later that her heart was trembling! I called Jay before leaving and was again a mess!
Like they say, bad things come in 3, so there was hit #1 for the day.

So off I went, like I should have to graduation practice. It was bright and sunny when I left for practice, so much so that I worn a tank top, shorts and flip flops. Graduation was being held at my old high school’s tack and field (outdoors) and practice was being held at the very spot I would be seating that night. Right as they started with announcements the wind picked up, the sunny skies became replaces with grey clouds. The rain gods soon started to pour on our practice and we didn’t get to practice our precession. I got home and guess what? My period started a week and half EARLY! It’s as if my body was an emotional mess, too! So that is hit #2 of the 3 bad things that day!

It was eerie after I got home. I spoke to Cindy on the phone and after that it was dead silent! No emails, texts, phone calls... nothing! I was just there at my house working away on schoolwork with the only noise coming from the thunder and rain. Finally, as I was taking off to graduation calls started pouring in. It was one call after another, literally! It’s funny how my mind works, but when it gets that silent and I can’t get a hold of someone, I think God came and I am left alone on earth.

On campus there was the same eerie feeling. There was no one in sight. The parking lot I parked at was completely empty, except for my car. I finally turned the corner in the middle of campus to see life, tons of grads around the cafeteria (a place we were not supposed to meet up at). That’s were I got hit #3 from the 3 bad things of the day… graduation had been cancelled due to the rain. WHAT THE F%&@! At practice they told us if it was raining, that the ceremony would be held at the school gym, but I guess they didn't plan ahead for it.

There was a line to take pictures with the school president and another line to get out commemorative pin and diploma cover. I made the call/texts to everyone with the news, took my picture and got in line for my diploma cover. I was thinking that they would just give us the cover and I would be on my merry way. But noooooo.... Someone had a bright idea to make us actually wait over 30 minutes standing in a crowded cafeteria (cuz the reception was being held there, too) to confirm our diplomas and to hear one of the student speeches (that we couldn't even hear or care about at this point!)

I was in a foul mood. My sister and brother-in-law were still on there way and my Mom later called me and made her way to campus with my niece, too. That made me in a better mood.

While in line my sister and bro-in-las found me and gave me ballons, flowers and a card.

This is what it said…

Remember What is Most Important…
It’s not having everything go right; it’s facing whatever goes wrong.
It’s not being without fear; it’s having the determination to go on in spite of it.
What is most important is not where you stand, but the direction you’re going in.
It’s more than never having bad moments; it’s knowing you are always bigger than the moment.
It’s believing you have already been given everything you need to handle life.
It’s not being able to rid the world of all its injustices; it’s being able to rise above them.
It’s the belief in your heart that there will always be more good than bad in the world.
Remember to live just this one day and not add tomorrow’s troubles to today’s load.
Remember that every day ends and brings a new tomorrow full of exciting new things.
Love what you do, do the best you can, and always remember how much you are loved”

It was exactly was I needed to hear!

Two classmates from chem, Matt & Natalie, came too!

And then I cam home to these two loves!

The night ended good!