Sunday, August 14, 2016

Picture Perfect

The steroid craziness has leveled off a bit. I can sleep for a few hours a night unassisted. I still end up putting myself in time out a lot with the anxiety/anger management part of it.

We finished up week 2 of school and the excitement of being on time waned. Lily and Bella are both Junior Police Officers at Iroquois - so that means being to school before 7:15 and a good 20-30 minute buffer after school. Kiera had a road trip with her performing group to the Big Island to do Amazing Food Detective. It's a Kaiser sponsored educational skit about healthy eating and exercise. She has a ton of fun with it, but has to miss school to do it. This week's timing was a tough one for her- she had a lot of AP History reading and was exhausted and fell behind. There were tears. And arguments. But she will figure it out. Her solution was to get up at 3 am to do it- being the stellar mom I am- overrode her alarm. I'd rather have her fail a quiz, she needed the sleep. And this is why 15 year olds don't get to go out into the world on their own.  Phillip is a senior. He did some class shuffling and we are talking colleges but he seems pretty stressed about it. We are managing. We really need him to have a driver's license and have a 3 hour chunk to be finished with the driver's ed instructor hold up. The same driver instructor who has cancelled multiple sessions and who now let the state car registration lapse. Yeah. Seriously. Lead by example people.

The week was so normally normal I sat back last night and just smiled. We went out to dinner after our photoshoot at Buffalo wild wings- because when you spend an hour doing make up- you gotta take that on the road and let's face it we are party animals. Each family member was on their phone or the silly gaming system- which is a huge NO-NO in our house. But sometimes even this rules just have to be given a rest- we won't make a habit of it. Everyone was still talking and having fun.

 We got the all clear on Lily's arm on Tuesday- meaning we will watch it but the orthopedic doc really isn't concerned.  Had all the kid dentist appointments on Wednesday- only 1 cavity in Lily- whose mouth is a mess from genetics and chemo- so really not a bad visit. I got back to Physical Therapy on Thursday and had acupuncture for my knees which have been a bit stiff, probably from steroids or all the cleaning I've been doing on the steroids- so from the steroids... I got to visit with my nephews and SIL's sister -which again I'd like to compliment my brother in laws all for having such outstanding choice in women. They all come with pretty cool families too! Thursday we got to visit with a high school friend and her wonderful family at dinner in Koolina. I know a lot of really amazing people and am so grateful when we get to reconnect in human form. Friday night we had Rudy's hot dogs, living room dance party and watched the Olympics. Extraordinarily normal week and it was awesome.

One of the big side effects of steroid use is the weight gain. Big round puffy face. tummy. Never ending carb craving. That is crazy- like pregnancy cravings on steroids. hahaha. So when I went on them and Debbie Leanne, photographer and friend extroidinaire contacted me to schedule our family photos- I knew I had to jump on it before I look like blimp jen. Now it is shallow and I typically don't give a shit- appearances, yada yada- but after awhile it sucks having your body bloom out of your control and not in a good way. I want to look like me. I do not want to be remembered in the sick puffy looking way. Don't want to die either- so balance. And take pictures before I swell up or mort.

My next MRI is Saturday the 20th, I decided we needed to do it before then. Yesterday was the big day. I even practiced putting make up on last week and watched you tube videos and shit. There is this thing called contouring where you look like alien Simba from Lion King and then with a bunch of dabbing and such you camouflage some of the round face ness. That's the kinda thing you don't want to pull out for the first time on game day. Lest one wants to look like a chimney sweep.

Even with practice, it takes time. The getting ready bit. And some mental energy. I actually won the photo shoot through a contest. I tried to share the gift with Phil's family while they were visiting and let's say Deb wasn't having it- she made sure I got the full experience- which includes a conversation with her discovery consultant. I spent 2 different days weeping on the phone with a stranger. I told Phil that and he tried to refuse to speak with her. I told him she wouldn't make him cry. Honestly it was good therapy and it helps them get to know us and what we want. Phil finally talked to her- and didn't shed a tear- my tough lobster and raved about the therapeutic aspects of it. All kinds of therapy-find what works!

Saturday night as I was buffing and blushing in between girls running in and out- I need this- I need that- hair tweaks, makeup tweaks- do I need a bra?(if you have to ask the answer is usually yes).  I think of all the lovely beautiful ladies who do this daily and god love ya for making the world beautiful- I just do not have the stamina. BUT- like all things- when it counts, I'll put the time in and was over all pleased with the results. The Absolute best was when I drew Bella light eyebrows and she squealed in delight- she actually squealed. It was awesome- partly because I remember the mona Lisa chemo phase and it's a defining moment.  And then I wander downstairs and phil is in basketball shorts and a tee shirt chatting with Debbie. WTF! seriously 2 minutes later he is changed and downstairs and we are ready to begin. I think I just logged like 12 hours in shopping, prepping, planning and primping for this- AND 3 MINUTES! And he will look adorably handsome in every shot. it's annoying sometimes.

The shoot doubled as Phillip's senior pictures as well. Each kid got a special interest time with Debbie- but I really wanted to play up Phillip's piano playing and since logistically getting a grand piano or any piano on the beach became a bit of a challenge. So we got creative and the teen soon to be adult- played along fabulously. Sometimes a baby baby grand has to do the trick. Think Schroeder- yeah that's how we roll.

Here, there isn't a huge to do about senior pictures- in order to get a senior pic in the yearbook- you have to go through Lifetouch -schedule a special appointment and it's a bargain at $45. I guess it eliminates some of the wild card factor and haggling over what's appropriate and not since they are plain old school pictures. I guess you can bring an item of flair and get a couple poses- one in cap n gown. But when you have amazing scenery like this 5 minutes from your house- it seems like a shame to not use it.

At one point I glance down on the beach and Phil and Bella are writing on the sand. I guess she had written my name and he added +Phil and it was cute to see them conspiring and their respective footprints.

It was a beautiful night, the wind wasn't too bad- the colors were good and it ended up being a lot of fun. I am really excited to see what Debbie got- I know they will be undoubtedly US. Maybe not technically perfect but perfectly us.

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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)