Friday, July 29, 2011

Start spreadin the news...

Shoot. I meant to do a post about Gotcha Day. It was two years ago on Tuesday that we met Quinn. We had a fun day of celebrating (with pictures to boot). And when we get back, I'll post the pics. But in about 15 minutes, Steve and I are out the door for a long weekend in New York City. Kid free. There will certainly be pictures and stories to come.

Several moons ago, I used to live there and thought I would die there. Well.... now I live in Ohio. Oh well. But nothing thrills my heart and pumps life into my soul like time in the City. Not to mention some amazing friends who are still there. So for my birthday present this year, Steve suprised me with a trip to the City. Yep, I might tinkle in my pants just thinking about it. So I gotta run so that we can be at the airport with PLENTY of time to spare (Steve would roll up as the doors to the plane were closing if it were up to him.) Have a great weekend and please pray that we don't expire in a pool of our own sweat as we ride the subway! Shoot, maybe I will die in NYC after all! mmmm... but what a way to go.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

mom of the year

Yesterday was one of those days. The kids drove. me. bonkers. It started about five minutes after they rolled out of bed asking 14 million times if today was *cartoon day?* No, it's not. Today is Monday. But is today cartoooooon day? No! It's not. WHAAAAAAA, we want cartooooon day. Somebody shoot me.

And it went on and on like that pretty much all morning about something or another. My fuse was pretty short. I thought getting them out of the house would help. At 1:30, I couldn't stand it (and by it, I mean *them*) any longer so we went to the park. The awesome park. The one that has a ginormous sand pit. The one that I used to obsess over whether or not they were getting sand in their hair and playing nicely with the other 75 kids. The one that now, as long as no one is bloody or making others bloody, I don't care what they are doing or where they are putting sand.

Finally, at 3:00, when I could take the heat no longer, we loaded up (sand and all) and rolled over to the outdoor pool. Steve was planning on meeting us there at 4:00, which meant only an hour by myself. The heavens parted and the Lord had mercy because I rolled up and found a front row parking spot. We went to the kiddie pool where we usually stay until I can get some parental back up at 4:00.

Then, *IT* happened. A conspiracy that must have happened back at the sand pit. The *let's send mom to the loony bin* plan. Aka: Operation *Watch Me*.

You see, I am an only child. And before you make all kind of assumptions, I'm pretty well adjusted (just don't ask me to share anything and for sure never tell me no!) As an only child, I have no experience with contending for parental attention. Which also means I have no modeling (for better or for worse) to draw from. I'm making this up as I go along, people!

Within 45 minutes of being in the kiddie pool, my three children must have said the phrase, "Hey mom, watch me!" 250 times. Upon the 251st time, my eyes became red with rage and I had had enough. "Okay. You may NOT ask me to watch you do anything else. Nothing. Do. Not. Ask. Me. One. More. Time."

To which Quinn waited about 3 seconds and said, "Hey mom, pay attention to this..." I'm pretty sure my head spun around and steam came from my ears. Oh. My. Gosh.

I then instructed them to not even talk to me. If they wanted to talk to someone they were allowed to talk to each other. By the time Steve arrived at 4:00, I'm pretty sure the other mom's at the pool were ready to call Children Services on me. Which really would have been fine at that point. Just make mine a padded cell! Cookoo! Cookoo!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Life would be dull without a little crazy

Dang, I'm having a struggle keeping up on my blog. It's mostly because we are having so much fun. We are busy busy busy. It's not for the lack of postable stuff, it's just that at the end of the day I'm not feeling like posting. Is this what you call the dog days of blogging?

Post-surgery I've been feeling great! It's been too hot to do just about anything longer than 10 minutes outside. We bought the kids a pretty nice sized blow up pool. Which is really great for them, but pretty miserable for me. They are cool and happy and I'm sitting there sweating my buns off. And contrary to popular belief, being bald does NOT keep you any cooler!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. No big news. It's standard. With my new phase of chemo (which Steve and I have given the pet name of *Chemo Lite*... who has a pet name for their chemo???) I go once every three weeks for an hour of chemo and then once at the end of those same three weeks for a Dr.'s appointment- for the next year. There were no scans or blood tests to review, so I knew it would be pretty no big deal. He mostly wanted to check my incision from Monday and answer any questions I had.

I only had two. Since all of this has happened, I've turned into a crazy loony hypochondriac. I had a question about my arm pit (which I was pretty sure was lymphoma... it's not. It's just the way my arm pit was made) and my throat (which I was pretty sure was throat cancer... it's not either. It's just tonsil stones.) I left the office feeling much relief. I'm pretty sure my doctor must think I'm a grade A whack job.

So, I could enter today rather care free. Which was good since we had a birthday party to attend and then later tonight Steve and I are going to dinner and a movie with some friends and finally it's off to another kid birthday party tomorrow evening.

See? With all this craziness (literally and figuratively) who has time to blog?

Monday, July 18, 2011

One down, one to go

Although it's smack dab in the middle of The Bachelorette (so I'm gonna make this short and sweet) I thought I'd let you know that today was a big day for me. I got my abdominal port removed. And even though it was surgery (yuck!) it was the good kind of surgery! I am happy to now be a one port woman.

While I'm thankful to have been able to get the abdominal chemo, and believe God hooked me up with a fabulous doctor who got me into a study for cutting edge ovarian cancer research... I'm soooo ready to get this thing outta me.

All went well. I'll have a few days of sore ribs. But in the scheme of things, that is a piece of cake. For a girl who was once scared of needles, I've come a long way. Thanks for the prayers.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fashionably late

A week ago today we celebrated my being cancer-free. It turned out to be a lovely day. Hot. But lovely.

Steve and I counted up the people who came. To our surprise, over 70 friends braved the heat and humidity to celebrate with us. Two of my Bachelorette watching buddies escaped for the afternoon and lent a hand in helping me set up a bit.

With three kids, things always seem to take a bit longer than expected. Thankfully, my expectation for the afternoon was casual so I didn't get too stressed out.

One of my new favorite things on line is Pinterest. If you have not checked it out... go and do it now!

I was able to find some yummy recipes and tried them for the shin dig.

My friend, Cortney, who baked Olivia's cake for her birthday, baked my amazing cake.

My *theme* during this rough stretch (who has a cancer theme?) has been Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." I guess that comes in handy when you finally throw your party!

Our sweet neighbor, Monica, brought a delicious and huge watermelon. It was a hit.

And finally, I thought it would be fitting to put a picture of our *Nanny* up. I think many of you may have a picture of Mrs. Doubtfire in your mind.


This is sweet Linnea. The Nanny.

Isn't she adorable?! My kids are in detox right now. Every day, it's, "Is Linnea coming today?" And when I tell them no she is not coming everyday any more, it's like I killed their puppy or something.

However, they will get her Monday. I'm having a short outpatient surgery to get my abdominal port removed. Oh happy day! Although I am not looking forward to surgery, I am looking forward to getting this annoying thing removed! I'm also looking forward to never having to deal with abdominal chemo again! Prayers welcome that all goes well Monday afternoon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A hole in our hearts

On July 4th we lost Steve's grandma. I've been trying to blog about it ever since. It's been one of those things, a not so funny comedy of errors. Finally, after nearly 45 minutes of trying to get a picture of her posted up on here, I decided enough was enough. I'm sad you won't get to see her, because she was something else. A true beauty.

Great Grandma (or *The New Grandma* as my kids called her, which is hilarious since she was the matriarch of the Koproski family, but to kids she was *new*) lived down in Tampa and we got to see her at Christmas time. Ironically enough, The New Grandma was a bit of a bizarre snow bird. She lived all year in Tampa but spent most of December and January in Kalamazoo, MI (one of the coldest and snowiest places I've been.) But that was because she loved her family and wanted to be near them at the holidays.

She had just sold her house, packed her stuff and loaded it onto a moving truck because she was ready to make a permanent move to Kalamazoo to be with Steve's aunt and her family. This was exciting for us as we started planning a few trips, even one at the end of the summer, to spend some time with her. But she literally went straight from the airport to the Emergency Room and never made it back home. She was the only remaining Great Grandparent for my kids.

Grandma had a special place in my heart. When Steve and I got married, all of my grandparents were gone. And from the first time I met her, she felt immediately like my own grandmother. She, in fact, was similar to my own grandma. If it wasn't for her, I might not even be married right now!

Steve dragged his feet on the whole proposal thing. We had been dating for over a year when we finally had a conversation on the phone in which he asked me for my thoughts on the future of our relationship. For the first time, I put it all out there on the line and told him I was sure he was the one. To which I met silence on the other end. How's that for leaving a girl hanging?

The next day Steve had some business down in Florida and then took a personal day to spend with his grandma. He shared with her our conversation to which she asked, "Well, what did you say to her?" When he told her he basically said nothing, she called him a *little name* and said, "What were you thinking?" She then went on to chew him out. Later that evening, they went ring shopping together and we were engaged a few weeks later.

So, thanks to Grandma, I am a Koproski.

She was feisty, generous, a lover of my kids, meticulous, faithful and gorgeous.

Steve did her graveside memorial service on Monday morning. As he was about 1/2 way through, a fierce storm blew in. There we were under a tent next to a metal casket during an electrical storm. She would have shook her head and called us all a name and then chuckled. She would have loved what Steve said. She would have been very proud of him. She always was. She loved it when he would speak to the waiters at the Chinese restaurant in Chinese.

I could go on and on. This year has pretty much sucked. The loss of Grandma fits in there for sure. But I'm pretty sure that 88 year old lady would have chosen it this way if she could have. Shoot, she just might have! We love you, Grandma, you will be missed by the Dayton Koproskis!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More than we bargained for

Our 4th of July weekend was what you *might* call full.

We went to the pool. We had friends from NYC over for dinner.

We went to a festival, where it was 95 degrees. The kids made crafts. Drums. The craft that keeps on giving!
We ate overpriced ice cream.

We had dinner with more friends.
We went to church.

We took a short rest.

We went to our first ever fireworks show as a family. The nice thing was we could walk.

We sat away from the big crowds and beat them out afterthe show too.

The boys didn't love the loud booms.

Olivia and I did!

We marched in our neighborhood's parade.

We won most decorated family. We even got a trophy.

We broke the trophy.

We ended our weekend at our neighborhood picnic. It was great fun until Turner took a baseball bat to the face.

We then officially ended our weekend with a trip the Emergency Room. It is a miracle (literally) that he ended up with only 3 stitches. Nothing broken. No concussion. Only a minor heart attack for Steve and I. With all the blood and screaming it was touch and go there for awhile (for us, not him.)

I think next holiday, we're going to go a bit more low-key!

Monday, July 4, 2011

C'mon and join us, Let's Get Happy

Well, friends it's official...


We had a doctor's appointment last Wednesday and the scan was clear and my numbers are down. So, Let's Celebrate.

Like I said in a previous blog, our whole family would L.O.V.E. for you to join us

NEXT SATURDAY, JULY 9TH from 2-5 at Newcom- Founders Park in the Oregon District (45402). The park is on the corner of Green St. and Brown St. in Dayton if you want to do a Map Quest. (If it rains, we'll move the party to my house- just excuse the mess. The address will be at the park if that happens since I don't really want to post it here.)

There will be dessert, snacks and drinks (sorry, not THOSE kind of drinks!) Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket to sit on. There is a nice jungle gym/swing area for kids and we're hoping to have some corn hole too. We just wanted a time to celebrate together and say thank you for all the prayers, gifts, notes, emails, comments, dollars and encouragement that friends, family and even complete strangers have given us these past several months.

If you think you can make it, it would be great if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment (just so we can know how many treats to have.) 'Cuz it would be really awesome to have snacks for 100 people and have 20 come... or better yet, snacks for 20 and 100 come. Either way, come! And please forgive me if for some reason you come and I have to ask your name... that's the weird thing about blogs, right? You know when I poop and when I don't, but there's a chance I don't know anything about you.

We are off to wrap up our July 4th festivities but I thought I better post the details before you made other plans;)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It made me smile

So yesterday, the kids and I spent about 8 hours outside. It was a little warm and I got a little sun burnt, but it was a wonderful day. Before heading out to the park and then on to the pool, I felt I needed a little pick me up in the form of a Frappacino. I headed to the Starbucks closest to my favorite park in hopes that it wouldn't totally melt before we made it to the park.

I was in my swimsuit top w/shorts and decided to run in without my hat. This weekend around here (and probably around where you are too) it is H.O.T. not to mention humid. Way too hot for a hat and perfect for a girl with no hair. This particular Starbucks is in a bit of a snooty community (no offense to my friends who live there... you know I'm not talking about you!) and it did run through my mind perhaps I should wear a hat. But shoot, I just didn't.

I got up to the counter and ordered and the barrista told me that my drink would be on her today. I didn't know if I heard her right, I've never had anyone do that before. "Excuse me?" Yep, she repeated herself, followed by a "And by the way, you are BEAUTIFUL! You are really rocking that look." I smiled and teared up and thanked her. Off I went with my free Frappacino.

I'm not sure why her generous act, and more so her words, touched me so much. It's just that she was so genuine. I didn't feel like a charity case, more like God just wanted to encourage me and He used a Starbucks employee to do so.

It reminded me how powerful our words are and how stingy I am sometimes. So I encourage both you and myself to be generous with our words and compliments. It might really brighten some one's day.