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Thank You

by Secondhand Karl on March 11, 2009

in Cam, Cancer Sucks, Dude, Kidz, Teenie

I want to thank everyone again for all of the support, sympathy, donations and the food that we are receiving. Cameron, Christine and I are extremely grateful.
– Dude aka John

And we had 77 people at Lisa’s virtual memorial on Saturday. Glad that lots of you were there.



by Lisa on November 14, 2008

in Acid Reflux Moments, Teenie

After spilling everything that was inside my head twice this week, it’s safe to say that I’m kind of drained.

This weekend my girlfriend Nancy and I are going to finish the last wall in Teenie’s room.  Yes, the poor kid has been living in a bedroom for the past few months with one wall unwallpapered.  Not once has she complained.

Finally, the Hannah Montana bedroom will be complete.

Next project?  Finishing the kitchen.


So today we started another school year. Teenie started third grade. Cam started sixth grade. Cam was the tough one to let go of today. The image of her face is still burning in my mind.

I know, I know…I talked about this yesterday but I sent my baby off to Junior High with teenagers and she’s just 11 years old. If I wasn’t sick, then I’m sure I’d be drinking vodka martinis at 11:00 am in the morning. Well, maybe that’s extreme but I’m worried sick over how she’s doing. Don’t tell me she’s fine either…it’s my job to worry about her.

This morning Teenie was throwing a fit over what to wear as it was time for Cam to leave for the bus. Earlier I had agreed to drive her up the street to the bus stop and hang out in my car until the bus came. I asked Cam if Dude could take her so that I could avert Teenie’s fashion crisis and she said, “No, I want you to take me.” She wanted her mom…she wanted me.

We drove up the street to the bus stop and Cam got out of the car. She looked across the street. She started walking over to the bus stop and then turned around. She came back to the car so, I unrolled my window. I looked at her face and there were tears in her eyes. I could see how scared she was too. She didn’t know any of the older kids at the bus stop.

Just as I was reassuring her that it was O.K. one of the girls in her grade was walking up the street. Cam turned around and ran across the street to be with her. Still, I can’t get the image of her teary eyes out of my mind.

For me it’s bigger than just the first day of school. It’s about being sick and the real possibility that I won’t be here when Cam graduates from high school in six years. Or that I won’t be here to see her off to college. What if she has those same doubts and fears? Dude can’t fix it like I can.

I realize that I’m making it a bigger issue than it needs to be but I’ve been walking around the house with a huge lump in my throat all morning. So to me it is a big issue.

I don’t want to have cancer anymore. I just want it to go away. I’m sorry that I’m not very inspirational today. I think getting up at 5:30 am in order to get two children ready for school has me a little cranky.

Send candy corn.


The Open House From Hell

by Lisa on August 21, 2008

in Kidz

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches. ~Karl Menninger

Every year since Cam has been in school I go through the annual Open House at the elementary school which happens at the end of August.  Cam is attending Junior High this year so I only had to attend the third grade Open House for Teenie.  Well, last night was the 2008-2009 Open House.

When the notice came home with Teenie’s class assignment she was a little disappointed by the teacher she was assigned to.  I asked her why and she told me the teacher yells at her students a lot and she is a very loud yeller.  Teenie also told me this teacher could be heard yelling not only from the halls but from other classrooms…she is that loud.

Knowing that my child hates to be yelled out and is pretty sensitive about yelling, I wasn’t feeling warm and fuzzy about this teacher and I hadn’t even met her yet.  Yet I went to the Open House with an open mind.

Then I met the teacher…Mrs. K.  I introduced myself to her and she immediately directed me to a bunch of sign-up sheets.  Like, “Hi Mrs. Kelly…please go to the sign up sheets and sign up for A, B and C.”  O.K. whatever.  Then I looked at the first sign-up sheet.  It listed dates and times for Parent-Teacher conferences at the end of the first quarter…that take place in NOVEMBER!

Hello?  November?  How am I supposed to know what my schedule will be the week of Thanksgiving?  We didn’t even start school yet.  So, she’s a little anal retentive I thought.  On to the next sign-up sheet.

The next sign-up sheet was for the Christmas party.  The CHRISTMAS PARTY that takes place the third week of DECEMBER, like when we have the possibility of having snow on the ground.  There I am standing there in shorts and a T-shirt, trying to decide what my child is going to bring in for the class Christmas party that takes place in DECEMBER.

I really wanted to make a scene and tell the teacher my kid is Jewish but considering we just had her baptized Catholic I realized that would have be really wrong but come on.  Planning the Christmas party before the school year has even started is a little extreme, isn’t it???

So, then there was one last sign-up sheet and I thought “oh dear God, is this going to make my head spin?” Sure enough, it not only made my head spin but I think my head actually lifted up off my shoulders and rotated.  This sign-up sheet was for the VALENTINE’S DAY party that take place in FEBRUARY 2009.  Here I was signing my child up for an event that takes place next year!  I don’t even know if I’ll be here next year and I’m committing my child to bringing in potato chips!!!

After I finished making all of these commitments for the year I found a chair and waited for the teacher’s presentation which she made all nice and neat in Power Point.  She gave us her classroom rules and explained that she would spend two weeks on the rules because she must CONTROL our children.  She said it like they are mutant savages that we have failed to discipline.

Mrs. K. then explained the Agenda Books our children will bring home on a daily basis that contain our children’s daily homework assignments.  If our children do not have a “good behavior” stamp in their agenda book we are to ask them “why” and we are to call the teacher.  As parents we are to sign the agenda book and as a reward we get a smiley stamp as a “thank you”.  Oh boy, I’m excited.

The school year hasn’t even started and I HATE this teacher.  Thank GOD my child is very well behaved, extremely smart, has an IEP in place because she is in the gifted program, follows rules to the “T” and has always been liked by her teachers.  Otherwise I would dread this school year.  The amount of homework she will have to do as a third grader is INSANE but she’s a good student so it won’t be a problem.

Why does a teacher feel the need to be such an insane bitch to a class of third graders?  Unfortunately for her she’s got the parent from hell in her classroom…that would be me.

She wanted all of the parents to stay and fill out a bunch of paperwork before they left but I wasn’t feeling good so I told her I had to leave.  She said, “Oh, let me get you some water!”  I thought, “Lady, if water can cure cancer then you are in the WRONG profession!”  I mean, I was only standing there in front of her with a turban on my head, pale as a ghost.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very, very, very supportive of teachers but this one, this one?  This one is completely off her nut!


What A Day

by Lisa on August 4, 2008

in Dude, Kidz

Sunday was more than I could have imagined it to be, more than I could have dreamed and every thing I hoped it would be. There aren’t words to describe what happened to the four of us but it was extremely powerful. I’m still soaking it all up today.

Thank you for all your well wishes. It was truly an amazing experience to renew our wedding vows in the church and to have our children baptized at the same time. At the end of the ceremony the Monsignor said a healing prayer that left me in tears.

So, today I’ve been relaxing and thinking about what a wonderful day our family had.  One that brought us closer to God. One that we will never forget.


Twelve Years Ago

by Lisa on August 3, 2008

in Uncategorized

What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

I’m sitting here drinking my daily morning cup of coffee and Dude is sitting on the couch reading the Sunday paper.  Cam is laying on the floor playing her Ninetendo DS and Teenie is watching Spongebob Squarepants.  Both kids are begging for Dude to make homemade Belgium Waffles and for me to make Cheesy Eggs simultaneously.  Ah, a typical Sunday morning at our house.

In a few hours all four of us will be out of our pajamas and dressed up.  The girls and I will wear very pretty dresses and Dude will wear a suit.  It will probably be the first and only time we will look this special.  Thank God there will be pictures.

As Dude and I are going over last minute details of everything happening today we make Cam practice the Lord’s Prayer just one more time and pray that she remembers how to bless herself at her baptism.  It then occurs to me that this weekend is our anniversary…

Twelve years ago this weekend Dude and I had our first date.  He invited me to his house, the house we live in today with our two children.  I remember going through his CD collection to find out what kind of taste in music had and how he scored MAJOR points for having all of the Rolling Stones albums in his collection.  We had very similar musical taste which was really important to me because there’s nothing worse than being in a relationship with someone who listens to music that you detest.

Dude also scored high points on our first date because he made me dinner and served it on his (well, now it’s ours) backyard deck.  He grilled hamburgers and served them with a mini-fixings bar, potato salad and baked beans.  It wasn’t a gourmet meal but it was the way he made it and the way he served it.

I remember how relaxing it was hanging out with Dude and how much fun he was.  I also remember how big this house seemed 12 years ago when it was only him living here.  Now that there are four of us that fill these walls it seems so tiny but it’s gone from just a house to a home.

Twelve years ago on our first date Dude told me he saw himself as a father.  He told me he couldn’t wait until the day he has his own children so that he could do all the fun things fathers do with their kids.  There’s no doubt that he’s done his share of that with Cam and Teenie.

When I look at Dude today and think about that weekend 12 years ago my heart and stomach still get that fluttery feeling that I had when I pulled up in front of his house that day.  That excited, “Oh my God, I’m going to have my first date with DUDE!” feeling.  I love him more today than I ever could which tells me that having my marriage blessed is the right thing to do.

Having our children baptized today and including them with our marriage blessing just brings us closer together spiritually.

Imagine if I never had those flying toasters