Bear with me, I swear I have more happy, positive posts in the works!

I have been spending a lot of time working on myself these last few months, since the crash and burn of last year’s stresses.  It’s bizarre how, once I clear my mind and fill it with healing thoughts, I am able to so clearly see what has brought me to where and who I am today.  Bizarre, and deliciously powerful!

I have this inner fear of losing my loved ones, which was taught to me at a very young age, both by anxiety riddled adults, and often times, abuse.  When my dad was late coming home from work, my mother would pace around the house, wringing her hands and peering out the window, begging for him to get home safely.  If she heard sirens, she immediately became frantic, unable to leave the window until he pulled into the driveway.

This was, of course, before the age of cellphones, and as a young child, watching your mother frantic and worried constantly that death would swoop in at anytime, well, it taught me to worry.  A lot.

I used to have nightmares of my parents dying, and when we would be left home alone, I found myself wringing my hands, scared senseless if I heard sirens, and constantly worried until they arrived home safely.  This was always dismissed and laughed off, leaving me embarrassed on top of the stress.

When I was in second grade, as most children, I was slow at getting ready for school in the morning.  My mom got sick of telling me to hurry along, and so one morning, she told me she was leaving.

Imagine, at 7 years old, having your mother tell you she was leaving you, that you would never see her again, because you took too long to get ready in the morning!

I remember having my head down on my desk and crying through most of the school day.  The teacher kept asking me what was wrong, but I couldn’t bear to tell her that I was so awful, my own mother was leaving me forever.  Looking back, oh how I wish I would have shouted it from the rooftops!!!  But I didn’t, I just made it through the day, and then felt sick on the bus, as I waited to see if my mother would be at home waiting for me.

As I walked down the hill to our home, I saw that the garage door was open, and obviously missing was the giant 1974 Monte Carlo that my mom drove.  I felt my heart shatter into a million pieces as I walked through the front door.  I saw my dad in the kitchen, home earlier than usual.

“Where’s mom?” I sheepishly asked him in a voice barely louder than a whisper.

“She left.  She didn’t want to put up with you anymore, so now she’s gone.”

“Is she coming back?”  I asked this, hoping and praying for a glimmer of hope, some glimpse of warmth that would comfort my broken, seven year old heart.

“I don’t know, I doubt it.” That was his answer.  I went into my bedroom and collapsed on the bed, wishing I was never born, feeling afraid, sobbing for what felt like hours.

Miraculously, she returned around dinner time.  She seemed very pleased with herself when she found me broken and drowning in tears, my eyes so red and swollen I could hardly see her.

As it turns out, she was simply visiting her mother, but decided to teach me a lesson.  What I have learned from that lesson, so many years later, is that she is a very sick person and not someone who can be trusted.

You never want to believe that.  You don’t ever want to think that you can’t even trust or count on your own parents, but you know, sometimes that happens.  I saw this in many ways over the years, but more pronounced when my father kicked me out of the house at just barely 18, and she “washed her hands” of the entire situation, claiming she couldn’t get in the middle of us fighting, she was “powerless”.  Wow.  Even then, after such a ridiculous, blatant betrayal, I didn’t realize she couldn’t be trusted.  I didn’t see how toxic she really was.

Three years ago, when all the crazy drama happened with my dad, the fight that left us completely removed from the family, I still did not see it.  How she manipulated the situation, played the innocent victim, then pretended nothing happened.  I blamed everything completely on my dad, but they are equally guilty.

Finally, I can see that!  Once again, as is her pattern, she abandoned me.  Now, this could easily enrage a person, make them bitter, revengeful, you name it.  But as I am working through all of my past and present, understanding who I am and why, I can only be thankful for the clarity to see things for what they truly are.  There is nothing in this world that would allow me to treat my children the way I was treated as a child.  And not having these toxic people in our lives has been such an amazing blessing to us as well!  It was them pushing us away that got us back in touch with Abe’s family, something that has been very pleasant and healing.  There are no dark clouds or negativity floating over everything we do.  No judgement, no drama, only love and happiness.  Pure hippie bliss.  🙂

Very rarely, the kids go to her house to visit, where she tries to show them love with money, purchased things to prove her love.  They only stay a few hours, and even in that short time, they bring back snippets of hostile energy.  Hateful things said under breath, underhanded compliments, being questioned about us, etc.  Thank goodness the visits are very few and far between.

Yes, I wish things were different.  I see the tv dad that loves his kids and wish with all my heart that I had that.  My children have it and then some, so I can be happy for them, knowing we are giving them what I never had.  I see my friends with amazing friendships that they have with their mothers now, and it does make me envy them.  It’s something I will never have, but something I know I can give to my own kids.

I also know that there are things that happened in both of my parents lives that shaped who they became.  It is and was their choice to treat me the way they did, however, regardless of past injustices in their lives.


That was a load off my heart!  It feels good to pull these experiences out, examine them, learn from them, and then set them free.  It’s a heavy load to carry, so it is an amazing relief to watch them float away into nonexistence.

Choose Happy.  No matter what happened to you, what you have survived, what you fear, you hold the power to choose happy!!  What an amazing superpower to have, don’t you think?  🙂

Citrus Lane Box January 2014!

Time for our monthly Citrus Lane review!  🙂

I have aged Saraphina’s box up one full year after being a little bit disappointed in a few of her previous boxes.  Now, that’s not to say her boxes weren’t great!  The problem is when I compared her box to some of the other boxes that I saw on the Citrus Lane Facebook page.  Hehe!  Rather than be envious of the older boxes, I decided to just age her up and honestly, I have been very happy with the aged up boxes!  That said, here is a quick peek at our January 2014 Citrus Lane box!


*Zig Zag Zebra Coloring Book from Barefoot Books (estimated value: $6.29)

Super cute book this month that is no ordinary coloring book!  The interactive pages have your little one adding their mad artistic skillz to the cute activity pages.  Every page is full color and sturdy, making this book not feel at all like a simple coloring book, which it most definitely is not!  Very fun way to introduce drawing and shapes and even colors to the little kids.

*Duo Tip Washable Markers from Faber-Castel (estimated value: $4.99)

These awesome markers have a colored tip on each side, one wide and one fine, plus they are made from food grade vegetable dyes, so when they inevitably get on your child’s clothes, the stains easily wash out!  Yay!  These are a perfect companion to the coloring book!

*Fruit Set from Plan Toys (estimated value: $8)

This set was exclusively made for Citrus Lane, so I estimated the price by looking up a larger, 6 piece set that was $16.  These super cute fruits are made from wood and Velcro, so you can “slice” them with the included play knife for fun pretend kitchen play.  My kids LOVE cooking with pretend food!  We have had lots of play food over the years, and wood is definitely the way to go!  The plastic play foods get smashed and unrecognizable, and the little cardboard boxes?  Yeah, they don’t last ten minutes in our crazy house.  We have been slowly replacing all the old smooshed stuff with wooden pieces, so this set was an exciting addition!  It’s also fun to “slice” the food and get that satisfying crunch from the Velcro!  🙂

*Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief from Mommy’s Bliss (estimated value: $10.49)

This is perfect to have on hand!!!  I noticed a lot of moms saying they had no use for this item, just wait until their kids get their first case of the stomach flu!  Trust and believe, this is a must have for the medicine cabinet!  All ingredients are completely natural and 100% vegetarian/vegan with no gluten, dairy, soy or sugar.  Even if it’s just a queasy tummy from motion sickness, indigestion or gas, it’s nice to know you have something ready to go to ease your little one’s discomfort.  Yes, yes, yes, I love it!

So ends another awesome month of Citrus Lane!  If you are totally jelly and wishing you had your very own box of goodies delivered right to your door each month, carefully curated just for your child, then click HERE and give Citrus Lane a try!  Shipping is always free, and you get an awesome array of goodies each month specifically for your child’s age.  Use coupon code FEBHALFOFF to get 50% off your February box!

Radioactive Mama

The danger classification sign of radioactive ...

Several months ago, in the early spring, my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  The diagnosis caught everyone completely off guard.  Her doctor decided to remove the cancer through surgery, removing the growth, her thyroid and two of her parathyroid glands in the hopes of nipping everything in the bud and getting her to feeling good again.

My mom had felt pretty unwell for years.  She suffered general fatigue, aches, pains, depression, the list goes on.  Her doctor explained that most of her symptoms could actually be erased or greatly improved after surgery.

The surgery went well, she was given pills and told to expect to feel leaps and bounds better in just a few short weeks.

That didn’t happen.

Routine blood work looked fine, but she wasn’t feeling any better at all.  An ultrasound was done on her surgery site that revealed what looked like thyroid tissue.

Strange, since the doctor supposedly removed it all.  The technician specifically said that it looked like thyroid tissue, not a tumor.  That made me wonder if it was possible that some tissue had been left behind and was regrowing.

The doctor said that was impossible, he didn’t miss anything.  How great it must be to be so certain of yourself!  Sorry, don’t trip over that chunk of sarcasm.

What he decided to do next was to have her take a simple radioactive pill that would kill any remnants of the cancer that may be lingering.  He explained it as so simple, no big deal, which put my mom at ease, but when I hear “radioactive pill”, well, my mind was not at ease.

I ended up doing something I knew I shouldn’t.  I Googled it.  Yeah, I went there.

What I found was that this was no simple little pill that you take and then blissfully continue with your regular activities.  This pill, being radioactive, is very dangerous.  In fact, one of the side affects from taking it is cancer.  She will need to basically be quarantined, kept away from other people for a period of time.  Simply being near small children can actually give them leukemia.  This is no simple pill, this is a scary treatment that my mother was led to believe would be as easy as swallowing two aspirins.

I cautiously asked her more, to get a feeling for what she knew about the treatment.  Her doctor literally told her nothing.  I told her the bits and pieces that didn’t sound overwhelmingly scary, just to give her an idea of what she could expect, something her doctor should have done.

She talked to one of her friends that has family members that went through this treatment.  Her friend was not as good at filtering the scary bits I chose not to tell my mom.  This, rightly so, had her scared.

She called me crying, scared of the treatment, scared of the side affects, scared of being toxic to her loved ones.  She was worried about her dog, her little Bichon mix that is attached to her hip.  She worried that if she had to board him in a kennel that it would kill him.  I did my best to calm her down and explain to her that at worst, my dad and brother would have to step up and help take care of the dog and to keep the house running.  She would only need to be shut off in her room alone for several days before she could start slowly getting things back to normal.

It would be a few weeks before she could see the kids, but I assured her that she could still talk on the phone and that she should look at her treatment as a mini vacation.  It seems only fair that she get waited on and taken care of when she is the one always doing that for others.

I encouraged her to call the doctor’s office, to explain that she would like to talk about her treatment as it had her worried.  Obviously, she was hoping they would be able to hold off treatment until after the holidays, since she would have to be isolated for a while.

Last week, she met with the doctor that will be treating her.  They gave her outdated papers and brochures to read in the waiting room that made her worry more.  When she finally sat down with the doctor, he was very kind and very good at explaining the treatment.  He told her that her dog would not be affected by the radiation.  I don’t believe this.  In fact, I have read many things to the contrary.  But her dog is old and not well, and when he told her that he could still be around her during the isolation, that gave her happiness and hope, so my mouth stayed shut.

She needs to have two shots prior to the pill that will reverse the affects of the medications she has been taking since her surgery.  The doctor said that they will make her more fatigued, sore, and depressed.  Just what you want right before you have a big treatment like this.

The shots are crazy expensive, something like $2400 per shot.  They have to be pre approved through the insurance and everything, just like the pill, before they can even be ordered.  Luckily, my parents have decent insurance coverage, so hopefully the out of pocket cost won’t be too astronomical.

So the radioactive pill will be taken in January.  I joked with my mom that maybe she would get super powers.  I thought that was hilarious, so did Abe, but my mom was less amused.

What I hope is that this pill will do it’s job, that my mom will have minimal if any side affects, and that she will then be on the path to good health.  It’s scary to think of her ever not being here.  She has too many grand babies that need spoiling!

Cancer sucks.

Big girls do cry, and that’s okay.

I am an emotional person.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and it is easily bruised.  I love with all of my heart, and sometimes that is a flaw.  I love to the point of anxiety.  I worry for my loved ones health and safety.  I am a complete mess at funerals.  Sappy commercials make me cry.  Uncontrollable ugly crying is not cute.  I know that.  I hate that I cry easily.  I hate that I am so thin skinned.  But that is who I am.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…….me.  (I apologize if you are now singing the theme song to The Facts Of Life)

I am 32 years old.  I am capable of hearing “bad news”.  I don’t want to hear bad news, but I am capable of hearing it and responding without doing something dramatic.  Will I be upset?  Of course!  Does that mean I shouldn’t be told?  No.  Just no.

Abe came home from work, as he likes to do, and told me that my parents are planning on stopping by.  That tiny statement immediately threw up several red flags.  First of all, my Dad does not come by to casually visit.  Ever.  He is a homebody like his padre was.  He only leaves the house if it’s completely necessary.  Secondly, it was bizarre that they would call Abe at work to tell him this, and not me.

My Mom had surgery scheduled to remove her parathyroid gland.  She has a morbid tradition of coming to see us all “one last time” before any of her surgeries.  (She has had more than I care to mention, ay yi yi!)  At first, that’s what I thought the purpose of the visit was, but it just seemed….off.

When I probed Abe for answers, he reluctantly told me that my mom wanted to come by and tell me her news in person.  At this point, I will admit, I was mad.  I felt betrayed and angry that they had this secret conversation behind my back, as if I were a child that needed to be told gently.  It’s insulting.  It’s been done before, and I was just as angry then.

At this point, I was crying and yelling at him to spit it out, tell me what they were keeping from me.  Begrudgingly he told me.

My mom has cancer.

I locked myself in my bedroom and cried, in shock, in anger, in disbelief.  Then I called my mom.

I sucked up all my tears, I hid my shaky voice and I told her that I knew.  I told her not to hide things from me, I can handle it.  She told me the only thing she was worried about was telling me.  That’s embarrassing.  My mom is diagnosed with cancer, and the only thing she is worried about is telling me.

I talked with her for exactly 24 minutes.  Our phone times your calls for some bizarre reason, and every time you hang up, you are greeted with the exact number of minutes and seconds that you just spent chatting.

I assured her that I was fine and told her not to worry about me.  She’s what matters right now.  I brushed it all off and acted calm, I told her that she would be fine.  The tears were rolling down my cheeks the whole time, but I kept it together for her.  I am capable of doing that, as I have said.

Now what?  I predict I will spend the rest of the day crying and scaring myself sick by doing internet searches on thyroid cancer.  I will worry, I will be scared, I will be a mess.  But once I get that out of my system, I will be optimistic.  Worrying won’t fix anything.  Tears won’t change anything.  This is out of my hands.

Feed your faith, and your fears will starve to death.