Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Embarrassing Cliches

The truth is, I hate cliches. I mean, I hate BEING one. But I couldn't help it today. This morning, the day before Thanksgiving, here is what was in my shopping cart.

6 boxes of stuffing
3 gallons of milk (this is a near-weekly buy for our family)
1 quart cream
1 can pumpkin
1 pie plate
parchment paper

Can you tell what I am doing today? And what I am making for Thanksgiving dinner? Ugh. Cliche.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Program

Sabrina had her first grade Thanksgiving program today. Of course, it was at 10 am. Why? I mean, everyone that could make it at 10 could also make it at 2:30, which is when MY school gets out. Instead, I had to throw myself on the mercy of two different teachers to watch my class during part of their prep, and my principal who kindly allowed me to go to the program. That's kind of the teacher equivalent of uphill-both-ways-in-the-snow. Still.

The program was totally worth it, however. Sabrina sat next to her cousin Star. The little girls were wearing paper pilgrim hats and collars, and the boys had Indian headbands with feathers. Sabrina promised me I would laugh so hard I would ROLL ON THE FLOOR and that I would CRY. Well, the floor is dirty in an elementary school gym, but I confess to laughing pretty dang hard. I didn't cry, but the "Go my son" song was really sweet. If I can figure out how to upload my videos from my camera I'll give you that song. It's Sabrina's favorite.

I'm so glad I work close enough to get to these things even though I'm working!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Random Update

I know it's been a long while since I posted. Instead of trying to catch up, here are a bunch of random thoughts.

Sasha, at school, has been learning about Native Americans. You know, with Thanksgiving and stuff. His Indian name is "Strong Buffalo." Seems appropriate. I think Raiden's should be "Screaming Badger."

Sabrina is doing great at school. She has really had a leap in her reading ability, and just recently a leap in her math ability. It's so great to see her truly learning!

I'm 37. Zane is 40. I remember when Dad turned 40 someone at our family reunion gave him a shirt that said, "40 isn't old...for a tree." I was 10. I thought it was mean. It's funnier now.

I'm coaching NAL. We've won one game. Hooray! We won a game!

My 7th graders are fantastic. They all passed English 1st term! Seriously amazing. I'm not convinced that will be the case this term, but we can hope. C'mon 7th graders!

Mom hired cleaners for me. Everyone I tell is SO jealous. And rightfully so. What's a better gift for a daughter than cleaners? I can answer that. There is nothing. Nothing.

I'm going to try to be better about blogging. Starting now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Family Party!

On Saturday I went to a fabulous family party, in which I was reminded what awesome genes I share with other people. First, I crashed Allie's house at 11:30 with a I'm-out-of-Lexapro incident. She saved me with a telephone and car phone charger. Phew! Then it was back to Allie's at 5:00. This time I didn't break into her house in desperation, but instead waited for the greeting party of my mom and auntie.

It was so great to see my fabulous cousins! I haven't seen Annie for a really long time. It's also been awhile since I saw Julianne. Last time I saw her she was bald. Now she has 1/4 inch (or so) of hair! That's a great feeling. I remember when the first tiny little fine baby hairs came in. I stood at the bathroom counter and petted myself and wept. The end of the trial was in sight. Soon I wouldn't be that lady with cancer, but instead that chic lady with the short hair. Honestly, though, I think Ju pulls off the supershort hair better than I did.

Although Sasha had to stay home because he was sick, Sabrina and Raiden had a great time playing with cousins. Raiden, the youngest that wasn't a baby, managed to make both Owen (age 4) and Bennett (age 3) cry. He's a monster! His favorite game is "wrestle," combined with "roar like a dinosaur." For some reason, the other boys cried when confronted with a tiny body that wasn't afraid to take 'em down. I think it helped (Raiden!) that his head is on the level of the other boys' jaws, so when they bonked heads it was the thick part of Raiden's skull. Sorry, family.

Anyway, it was lovely to see all my family! We should do it more often than every two years.

Monday, September 8, 2014


A few nights ago, Raiden woke up crying. Zane went in to take care of him, and I could hear him (Raiden, that is) saying, "Bottle. In garbage." Zane said, "Did someone throw your bottle in the garbage?" "Yeah." "It's okay, your bottle isn't in the garbage."

That night, I dreamed I had a class of about forty students, and they were all talking at once. And there was nothing I could do. They REFUSED to be quiet. I shouted, I asked nicely, I waited for them to be quiet...nothing.

Can we say whose dream was worse? I guess they were equally bad, but age-appropriate!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Random Update

It's been awhile since I updated, I know, but I've been busy. Also, my computer won't charge anymore, so I'm updating from school during my prep. Because I need a break from all that correcting. Woe is me.

A very exciting thing happened the other day. Sabrina has been riding her bike with training wheels since she got it in December, but training wheels are just a drag on the bike. She couldn't get going up hills, couldn't go very fast (she did NOT complain about that!), and was generally frustrated with riding anytime it wasn't flat or downhill. I told Zane to take off her training wheels. She cried. And begged. That's why Daddy has to take off the training wheels! Zane came in saying he just left her outside and told her to TRY riding the bike. Just then, I pointed outside. "Is that her?!? The one pedaling down the street?" It sure was! Now she luuurves riding her bike and was disappointed when I accidentally left it at Grandma's house.

Sasha is loving preschool. When I go to pick him up he regularly says, "Can I stay a little longer?" No! Let's go home! Don't you love me? It's great to see him learning his letters and having great little friendships. He can always find a friend at the park. Sasha has also taken to explaining to me that he is so big now, he is five. I've tried explaining that he turns FOUR in a couple weeks, but it doesn't seem to take.

Raiden is also going through an adorable phase right now. He likes to mimic what others say. We regularly get in fights that go like this: "You're cute!" "No, you're cute!" "No, you're cute!" These fights can last for many, many iterations. We also do "You're a ding-dong!" and "You're a silly goose!" Then we laugh and laugh.

So things are basically going great. I'm loving school and Zane is loving being at home with the kids. We're hoping he will have enough collections and evictions to do those primarily, with just a few other cases per year. Prayers for such an outcome are petitioned! I'm so happy right now to be done with treatment and have my kids adjusting to a new school year. I am really so lucky.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

End of Summer

Summer ends for me on Friday. That's my first day back at school. Monday and Tuesday are teacher work days, with kids coming back on Wednesday. With that in mind, here's what stands out from my summer.

1. Camping. Zane accuses me of a bait-and-switch with regards to camping. He claims I said I loved camping when we were dating, but then never wanted to go. Here's the deal: I am sure I never said I loved camping, and even if I did, it can easily be explained away by dating insanity, which is different from lying. Then we got married. Then I was pregnant, had a newborn, pregnant, had a newborn, pregnant, had a newborn, had cancer. So we didn't really have a good time to go camping until this summer. We went to Goblin Valley and to Zane's family reunion. Now I can happily not go camping for a few...okay, fine, I'll do it again next summer. If I have to.

2. Having really cute kids. I love two-year-olds when they're not throwing tantrums. I love how Raiden runs, his little words, and the excitement in his eyes when I understand what he says ("Donut? You want a donut?" "Yes!") Sasha is getting so big and self-sufficient. He dresses himself with shoes on the wrong feet only about 50% of the time and can help a lot with cleaning up once he stops pouting. Sabrina is getting so big. I can't believe she's a little martial arts student and will be testing for her yellow belt on Friday. Although she occasionally torments her brothers, they also cry when they can't be with her. She's always planning games for everyone to play.

3. Being done with treatment. I've been looking forward to the end of this summer since I was diagnosed. When I charted out my treatments, I knew by the time school started in 2014 I'd be done with Herceptin, be reconstructed, and have hair. Check, check, and check. It's been tough to get back on any type of routine this past week since school is starting soon, but I think I'm getting used to my new non-cancerous, perky life. It's actually pretty paradigm-shifting to be done with treatment. My life has largely revolved around treatment for the past 15 months, so being done is weird. Good weird, but still weird.

So that's it. I'm back to work in three days, and my legacy of the summer is camping, cute kids, and being done with treatment. Not bad, but next summer look for the post titled "Molly accomplishes world peace through Being Fabulous."

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ogden Temple Open House

Finally, after many long and difficult years of having to drive to BOUNTIFUL to go to the temple, the Ogden temple is about to open. Today was the first day of the open house, and I volunteered to help out. I was assigned to "disability services" which meant pushing wheelchairs. Now, I probably wasn't supposed to do that, what with only two weeks since my reconstruction and all, but it was totally the best assignment. Other people put booties on patrons, pushed elevator buttons, or pointed with a smile. I got to go through the temple with cute old ladies! Also, there were a few places where the wheelchair route diverged from the cattle corral, so we could spend as much time as we wanted looking at the floor, mirrors, stained glass, paintings, or whatever. It was great.

When I didn't have a patron needing help, I fluffed booties. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably not that. The little plastic booties that everyone has to wear in the temple for the open house came in packs of 10 -- nine booties inside another one. In order to expedite the process of getting them on 2000 people an hour, we volunteers would take the nine booties out of the tenth and fluff it up, as it had been vacuum packed or something. Since they need 4000 an hour, it's an ongoing job.

One of the other volunteers had clearly had a boob job. In looking at her, I noticed that her breasts looked unrealistically perky for a 60-something woman. Then I realized, Hey! MY boobs are unrealistically perky for a 36-year-old breastfeeder of three! Awesome. May that be the most lasting physical effect of the past year and four months.

Oh, and incidentally? Today is my first day of not having Herceptin. That is, it's been three weeks since my last dose of Herceptin. Yay for me!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday T-Bone

About five years ago, my cousin Emily said something about Sabrina to her husband. He was confused. "Who?" he asked. That's because for the first year or so of her life, we called Sabrina "Tiny" or "T-Bone" because she had tiny bones. Well, that tiny girl is now six years old!

This past year has sucked for me on all kinds of levels. Sabrina is not one of them. She fights with her brothers, yes, and cries when she doesn't want something or wants something she can't have. But she is tender and sweet, and loves fiercely. She hugs me when I'm sad, protects me from the enthusiastic excesses of her brothers when I'm recovering from surgery (all too common!), and bands with her brothers when they are challenged by any outsider. Sabrina is learning to read and is sometimes giddy with her newfound skill, nascent though it is. She loves her friends and can always be found in the middle of the big group of kids.

Sabrina starts first grade in three weeks. I know she will be loved by her teacher because she wants to be good and do well. She will be loved by her friends because she loves them. (Although as the oldest child of two oldest children she comes honestly by a certain amount of bossiness!) And she is loved by me because she is my precious girl, my Squanto Oglethorpe, my Tiny Bones. Happy birthday baby girl.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Surgery Update

Content Alert: I talk about my breasts in this entry. You have been warned!

I'm home from reconstruction. Expanders out, implants in. The pain here is really not bad, as they basically just opened up the previous incisions and swapped out basically the same size fillers. The left side is really fine. The right side is where the cancer was and therefore has been radiated, so they needed to do what is called a latissimus flap. That is, they made an incision along my back of about five inches and pulled the muscle over to my right side so the reconstruction would have good blood supply. Apparently, due to the radiation damage to the skin and tissue, there's about a 50% complication rate if you don't do that flap. I don't have time for complications. School starts in less than four weeks. I need to be healed, danggit!

Anyway, I'm home with food from the Relief Society, help from my mom, and babysitting from all. Oh, and Percocet. What more could I possibly need?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Like mother, like daughter

I remember reading something my mom wrote about me when I was 4 of so. She said every time she did my laundry she needed to check my pockets because they were invariably full of rocks, sticks, little toys, and other treasures. Every night before I go to bed I check on my kids. Raiden is usually on his belly with his little bum in the air. Sasha is sprawled out on his back. Sabrina...Sabrina is in a bed shared with books, stuffed animals, My Little Ponies, and other treasures, occasionally including rocks, sticks, and other little toys. Like mother, like daughter.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Product or Process?

There are two types of people in this world: product oriented and process oriented.

Product-oriented people are concerned with getting the job done, emphasis on done. We want to finish the hike, get the laundry put away, do the report.

The process-oriented are less concerned with finishing something. They are more concerned with the doing, not with the finishing. If they are doing the dishes and the kids want to play a game, they play a game. Even though the dishes are four minutes from being finished and now won't be done for another hour. No, that doesn't matter to them.

I guess you can tell I'm a product-oriented individual. My mother (a process-oriented person if ever there was one) once asked me to turn off the vacuum to ask me a question. In the middle of the question she stopped and asked me what my t-shirt meant. I wanted to finish the dang vacuuming, so I was highly irritated with her. My response made her justifiably irritated with me.

ANYWAY, I think most people believe their way of being is the best way. I believe my way is best, myself, but that's because the thought of spending three hours to clean a light fixture makes me crazy. Get 'er done! On the other hand, my fixation on "finishing" things is sometimes a problem. I'm trying to enjoy the process more, especially when the product is not important.

Today I took my kids to Beus Park. This is a big park with a playground, but also a big duck pond and some little hiking trails. A product person (i.e. me) wants to walk around the park, perhaps stopping once to feed the ducks illicit bread, then get back in the car and go to Burger King. Process people (i.e. every kid ever) want to check out the little river, throw leaves in the stream, play on the playground, take a hiking trail, throw some more leaves in the pond, walk backwards, check out the bird feather, and so on into infinity.

So that's what I'm working on. Enjoying the ride. I'm trying to remember that we didn't go to the park so I could walk around the duck pond, but so the kids could have an experience. I'm getting better at focusing on that!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Last Treatment

Yesterday was my last Herceptin, my last cancer treatment FOREVER. (It had better be forever!) The nurses sang me a song to the tune of Happy Birthday and presented me with a blanket and a certificate. My friend and social worker Lisa pointed out that certificates are few and far between when we're adults!

Finishing treatment is bittersweet. It makes you think and reflect on your past one year, three months, and six days (or whatever) since diagnosis. I've had some scary thoughts that I remembered yesterday, as well as some really amazing experiences. My family and ward really have been amazing. One cousin cooked me so much food it took Mom two trips to bring it to me, because Mom only has one cooler. My ward provided meals and babysitting and so much love. My mom was amazing in how much support she offered me, and my dad did whatever was needed in his quiet way. I am everlastingly grateful to you all.

I think the love that I received was my greatest cancer gift. I feel such a part of my ward and neighborhood after getting so much in time and words. People would just send me notes to tell me they were thinking of me. What! I'm going to try to do that too. I'm not very good at it because it's not really something I've done in the past, but I'm going to make the effort.

The hardest thing was worrying about the future. I don't want to dwell on it now, but those moms with young kids will know what I mean. Moms with older kids -- that's different. At least you know your kids will remember you. I'm not saying it's easy, I'm just saying it's different. I've really enjoyed my bonding with other moms with cancer who have young kids.

Overall, assuming I just had the last cancer treatment of my life, or at least of the next 40 years, I would say my experience with cancer has been more positive than negative. I lost my hair, but that's temporary. I lost my breasts, which really sucks, but at least I'll get some pretty ones next week, although they won't have any sensation. I lost my sense of security, but security is an illusion anyway. A beautiful illusion, but unreal nonetheless. I gained lots and lots of friends and love. Awesome. I spent time with my mom and appreciated my kids and husband more. I found out I can do hard things. Now, if I can just have an easy couple of years, that would be great.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I can't believe it, but the summer is half over. Amazing.

I spent some time yesterday in my classroom doing bulletin boards. I'm having surgery in a couple of weeks so I won't be able to lift up my arms for a bit. I think I'll be pretty much recovered by the time school starts, but to do those stupid boards requires standing on desks, contorting myself, and swearing. Okay, just kidding on the swearing. Sort of. Of all the reasons I'm glad I'm not an elementary school teacher, doing multiple bulletin boards each year is probably top five. Really.

In other news, Mom reminded me of the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson about how hard it is to go to bed when it's still light outside. My kids would wholeheartedly agree. Therefore, I have sent both Raiden and Sabrina to bed right now, and banished Sasha and Spencer downstairs. Ah. My house is quiet now.

Bed in Summer
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Monday, June 30, 2014

What Church Should Be

Yesterday we had an amazing meeting during the RS/Priesthood block. Sadly, we sang lame mid-1800s hymns, which I dislike in general (with the exception of Hark hark hark 'tis children's voices, but that was written by Eliza R. Snow so I love it anyway). The songs we sung were "Let us oft speak kind words to each other" and "Nay speak no ill." Lame. Anyway, surprise, we talked about basically being nice and kind to each other. The bishopric gave a brief message, then we watched Elder Holland's conference talk about verbal abuse. I really liked that talk, largely because it didn't just call out the men for being jerks, but the women also. I left the meeting wanting to be a better person. Isn't that what church is supposed to be about?

Then Sunday School was about David and Bathsheba. Again, I loved this lesson. We talked about how David was forgiven of everything -- except the coverup of his sin. If we deal with the fact that we committed sin, we can be forgiven. If we're too embarrassed or proud to deal with our sin, we won't be forgiven. Also, we talked about how the right choice like Joseph made with Potipher's wife doesn't necessarily bring us instant happiness, but it does bring us eternal happiness. This lesson satisfied my current worldview of seeing everything in shades of gray but also wanting to be good and make the right choices.

Then Raiden screamed all during sacrament meeting and I sat in the foyer the whole time. I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sasha is Hilarious

I love toddlers. When they're not throwing tantrums, they are dang cute. Sasha is really becoming a preschooler now, but that's almost even cuter. Here are a few of Sasha's cuter moments.

-He never walks anywhere. He runs. And when he runs, he has to make sound effects. Wshshshshooooo. Phcuuu pcuu.

-Superheroes are his favorite right now. "Mom, I am Flash. I am weally fast. Watch!" And then he takes off. With sound effects.

-Then there are ninjas. "Mom, I am the wed (red) ninja. I kill badguys."

-At Arches, we took a quick hike to Double Arch. Sasha (being a Froerer male) is not into shoes. Despite my suggestions, he insisted on going barefoot on the way back. About halfway to the car, he said, "I want to go home because this sand is freaking hot!" That "freaking hot" was most emphatically not done to be cute, it was done to make a point!

-He and Raiden are constantly play fighting. They punch and kick each other, mostly carefully but energetically. With sound effects.

I love little boys.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Random Crap Update

Wow, it has been awhile. Something about the summer makes me constantly busy. Oh yeah, because during the summer I'm a stay-at-home mom. Well, in two months I'll be back at school. (TWO MONTHS!?! Quick, have more fun!)

Zane, Spencer, and I, along with three little kids, just got back from camping at Goblin Valley. The kids loved climbing on the goblins. They went to surprising heights, especially Sabrina. She was so brave, and loved climbing! Spencer's goal was to catch lizards and succeeded twice. One was in our tent, so it didn't provide much of a challenge. I prevailed in coming home after three sleep-deprived nights, even thought it was really great and the kids had fun. However, I have rarely slept so well as I did last night, my first with shaved legs and clean sheets in half a week.

We have been doing well, overall, in keeping a summer schedule. I've had a few slips, but Sabrina has been doing homework and we've been getting out every day. This has been great, because when Sabrina and Sasha just have each other for too long, they start to eat each other, like cannibals, or black widows.

On the cancer front, I have one -- ONE! -- Herceptin left, on July 9. I then have my reconstruction scheduled for July 18. That's it! I will have perfect, symmetrical breasts, although without nipples. Is this TMI? Gotta say, I don't really care. They will be round, perky, and cancer-free. Hooray!

Now, I must go have some fun, because my summer vacation is 1/3 over. Or, in the words of the immortal Calvin, "It's a half-hour later than it was a half hour ago! Run!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


In psychology, I find one of the most interesting theories from a parent's point of view to be the Five Factor Model (FFM). Basically, it states that children are born with some quantity of five personality traits. They are: Openness (to new experiences), Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. A parent with good "goodness of fit" will alleviate any negative characteristics. For example, a very disagreeable child will be taught, by good parents, to be more agreeable. A poor goodness of fit will have a neurotic child with an emotionally unstable parent, thus aggravating the neuroticism of the child.

I have never been really open to new experiences. Instead of going to college and playing soccer in Texas, I went to the U, for example. I often choose a safer -- or lazier -- route. At least, this is my perception of me. Therefore, when my kids want to sleep outside at 3 and 5, I want to say no, sleep in your own beds. It will be scary, you will want to come inside, you won't go to sleep.

For the record, I WAS RIGHT.

Not that Zane's openness to new experiences that encourages him to say "yes, get a sleeping bag" is bad. In fact, I think it's really good. It pushes both me and the kids to open ourselves up to things we might not otherwise do. But last night, Mama was right. Boo ya.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Baby

Two years ago today my baby was born. Little Raiden. Today, he's not so little. He can talk -- hearing him say "awesome sauce" is as precious as it comes -- and walk and loves books and to tickle his mommy. Today we went to a birthday party for Sabrina's friend at Clearfield Aquatic Center. Raiden was tired and not really excited about the water, so he snuggled with me for, oh, about 90 minutes. So sweet. Then he got into it, walking around and splashing and basically continuing to be precious.

It makes me a little sad to have my last child getting so big (although I can't wait until he is potty trained!) because babies are so sweet and snuggly. I will definitely miss having babies around. But when they are bigger and more capable, they are their own type of amazing, not the more generic amazing of new babies. I'm falling more in love with my baby every day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Oy with the Poodles!

On this anniversary (tomorrow!) of my first day of chemo, I'd like to formally announce that I love my hair. On my head. This dark (mostly) curly stuff that makes me look like a poodle? Yup, delighted to have it. When my LCD projector is on and I'm standing in front of my SmartBoard and I can see the unruly locks? Love it. The poofs over my ears? The unpleasant bed head after I take a nap (you don't have this problem with long hair)? The slightly flat spot over my cowlick in back? The strange wave over my cowlick in front that NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT? All a very small price to pay for having it in existance!

Also, can't wait for haircut #2 since chemo on Tuesday. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

C'mon Summer!

I am SO READY for the end of the school year. So of course these last weeks are proceeding at glacial speed. Where's global warming when you need it? We've been doing individual and group projects at school, so at least I don't have to actually teach. /shudder One of my mantras that I've used for years is "there will come the time." There will come the time when school is over, or chemo is done, or the baby is born. There will come the time. And you know what? It's true.

Sabrina has started her martial arts classes. She's taking something called Merpati (mp, pronounced em-pay), which is from Indonesia. She is so cute in her little black pajamas with a white belt knotted around her tiny waist. The best part of this class is that they give them awards for doing a checklist, which includes stuff like making your bed, putting away your dirty clothes, taking a bath, doing your homework, and cooperating with your siblings. Sabrina has never been so eager to put her bowl up after breakfast! We'll do this for six months, then see where we are. We do want her to take gymnastics, horse riding lessons, piano, ice skating, soccer, basketball, art classes, reading classes, etc., as well as learn to ride a bike, get As in school, have fun with friends, get her Personal Progress at 13, and so on. No, we don't expect her to sleep. Overrated.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Poor Baby

On Wednesday, I took Sasha and Sabrina to Sabrina's martial art class. Zane came later, with Raiden. I kept thinking something was different about Raiden, but it took me a new perspective to see it. When I was holding him, he arched backward and I could see...nothing. Where there should be...a tooth. Well, half a tooth. The bottom half of his front right tooth, to be precise.

I took Raiden back to his daycare to see what the heck the deal was. After some investigation, they told me Raiden was walking around with his arms inside his overalls (cute!) when he tripped and fell on his face (bad). They said he cried but stopped when they picked him up. There was no blood. The workers said he was rolling around on the floor whining more than usual, but rolling around on the floor whining is what he does when he's tired, hungry, or mad. I know.

On Thursday, Zane took Raiden to the dentist, who was impressed with how he managed to crack the tooth in three places. To fix it, he first gave Raiden some sort of drug via nasal spray. Within seconds, Raiden was laughing and roaring (roooaaaarr! rooooaaarr!). At least he's a happy drunk. He was less happy when they strapped him into a papoose board and drilled away at his tooth and put the crown on. While Zane was telling me this story I was sorry I wasn't there during the roooaaaarrr part of the story, but the blood everywhere/screaming baby part? Yeah, I'm happy not to have been at that part.

Raiden seems to be fine now. He happily continues to ruin his bite by sucking on his fingers and has been eating just fine. Still, this is the first dental emergency of my motherhood. Problem passed!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy birthday Spencer!

Okay, I know I'm...two-ish weeks late, but Spencer is now officially a teenager! I had a birthday present plan for months, but in typical fashion (I have CANCER, okay?) I didn't put the present plan into effect until it was too late.

The most popular toy among the junior high set right now is the kendama. It's a little wooden toy that looks like a hammer with a wooden ball attached with a string.
The point is to toss the ball up and catch it on one of the two ends of the hammer, the handle, or "spike" the ball on the top of the hammer. This is tough, because obviously you have to get the ball positioned just perfectly.

A few weeks before Spencer's birthday, I asked him if he knew what kendamas were. Yes, he said scornfully. They're dumb. I asked him if he'd ever tried one. No. Well.

Spencer doesn't like to try new things much, and even less if he thinks he might look stupid. And I'll tell you, the first time you try a kendama you look stupid! So of course he hadn't tried one. I decided to get him one anyway. 16,000 students at Snowcrest can't all be wrong!

Two students from the aforementioned Snowcrest were selling kendamas at Valley Market the day before Easter (when it was already past Spencer's birthday. Bad me). Sasha chose the color: orange. I think this must be his favorite color; he picked orange fingernail polish for me for Christmas. We gave it to Spencer the next weekend. The weekend in which it barely left his side. The weekend after which it left our house, since Spencer took it back to his mom's house with him.

I only have one word for this gift: score.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kindergarten Program

Sabrina's kindergarten program was today, held at the extremely convenient time of 10:00. I mean, everyone is a stay-at-home mom, right? Fortunately, the program was a) during my prep and b) very short, so I could go without too much pain. Hooray!

Basically, the program went like this. Sing a song about September. Sing a song about October, then a couple of Halloween songs. Then a song about November (Sabrina held the sign that said -- you guessed it -- November). Etc. It was adorable and fantastic and sweet, assuming (I'm sure) you had a precious child on the stage. As I did, it was SO DANG CUTE!

Sabrina's rather difficult hair combined with my impatience with doing stuff like hair meant she had a very cute hairdo as long as she did not move, touch her hair, or do any other kindergartener-type stuff. So her side ponytail with another elastic holding the far side in became very uneven pigtails. Oh well. She knew the words to all the songs except the second verse of the Star Spangled Banner, and let's be honest: no one knows any verse other than the first. In fact, if you want to find a spy, you ask them to sing the second and third verses of the national anthem. If they know it, they're a spy.

In other news, I've lost my voice again. Not a great situation for a teacher. I hope it reappears tonight, or I'll be in trouble tomorrow. I'd rather be recovering from surgery!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Random Crap Update

It's been awhile since I last posted, and for a good reason: my computer was in the shop for two weeks. Well, here's the update on the past very busy three weeks!

Just before my surgery, around March 20, we had to put down Sparticus. She had a tumor in her mouth that made it difficult to eat, so she was getting skinny and lethargic. No, we don't always put down people/animals with cancer, fortunately, but her tumor was very aggressive and she was miserable and old. Paul, my cousin the vet, was kind enough to come up to our house for it and then we buried her in our backyard. It's been really hard on Zane. This was the dog that comforted him when he got divorced and lost Spencer, who was always there for him, who loved him unconditionally. RIP, Sparticus.

Then, on Monday the 22nd, I had my surgery. I had my prophylactic mastectomy, an umbilical hernia fixed, and a mole removed. My surgeon called it a "blue plate special."

The first day I was in the hospital, nurses and doctors and interns and etc. kept saying, "I know you're eager to get out of here...." What? Who told you these LIES? I have three kids at home who want nothing more than to climb on my now-tender body. Give me a week here! The place where you practically applaud if I answer "yes" to "have you had gas." Where I order breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed. Where no one steals my Starburst jellybeans. Yeah, I love this place!

So I stayed two nights.

All removed body parts were cancer free. This is what we expected, but still. It's nice to know.

After recovering for two weeks, I got a haircut. My first since, well, I had hair last! I was looking like a poodle. Now I'm sure I look super chic, but it's hard to not resent the loss off my former luscious locks. Stupid cancer.

I've been back at school for a week now. It was great to get back. It's always nice to get back on a schedule. Now, though, we only have six weeks left of school. I'm making plans for a summer schedule and I'm looking forward to playing with the kids for a few months.

And that's pretty much my last month! I'm sure I'll do better at keeping you updated now that my computer is back!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Put off Procrastination!

I have been soooo productive lately! My MIL came by when I wasn't home and didn't know she was coming (otherwise I would have been prepared) and apparently was not too impressed with my/our housekeeping. Not that she was wrong. But add that to my imminent surgery (6 days and counting!) and I've been...I don't know, nesting?

Saturday Zane was not home, since he was busy getting his D level coaching license. So I spent about three hours cleaning the kitchen. Sadly, this was not the deep clean it needs, but the de-cluttering of flat surfaces that it also needed. Yesterday it was the TV room, since we're getting a new couch and strangers will be bringing it into our now more minimalist room. Today: the king of all junk areas, the back entryway. It collects coats and shoes, of course, but also papers of all types, a thank you plaque from 2011 (!) that I've been after Zane to take to the office for (2014-2011 =...) 3 years, assorted other papers, loose change, scissors, and I don't know what all. But now it's clean! Hooray! I rock!

In other news, Sabrina has been taking skiing lessons. Last time she had a male instructor, and apparently he told her to stop crying and stop falling down. Well, it needed to be said! I guess it worked, too. Today was her last lesson, and she had a different instructor, but I guess she did some really hard terrain. The daycare instructor that takes the kids up said they really pushed her and she really responded. Sabrina was very excited to tell me that she didn't cry at all. But she fell down a lot. One thing at a time, I suppose.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Daylight Saving Time Sucks and Other Adventures in Mommyhood

I've heard, and have no reason to disbelieve, that while the ages of 2 and 3 are pretty good, 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 are not good. Sasha is 3 years, 5 months, and 28 days. Close enough. He's been screaming, hitting, fighting, and, oh yeah, doesn't want to go to bed when it's still light out. Or anytime in the next two hours.

Of course, the next minute he is saying, "Mommy, I love you THIIIIISSSS much" as he stands on tippy toes and stretches his little arms as high as they can reach. It's a good thing he has these moments, or he might be left for the wolves.

On another note, I'd forgotten how much Raiden used to like socks. Today he demanded one as I was doing laundry. "Sock! Sock!" Then he snuggled one for ten minutes. Fortunately, this one was clean. That was not always the case in the past.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I was thinking today about all the blessings I've received related to cancer. This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list, but here we go.
1. As I've mentioned before, a couple of months before I was diagnosed, Zane asked me to get a job. This I did. The job had benefits.
2. My doctor, without question, recommended surgery before chemo. After surgery it was discovered that my massive tumor was mostly what they call DCIS, which isn't as concerning as the stuff that's out of the ducts. If I'd had chemo first, the tumor wouldn't have shrunk much, which would have been stressful.
3. After my mastectomy and well into my chemo, a new drug called pertuzamab/Perjeta was approved for pre-surgery cancer and metastatic cancer. I don't have either of those, but my insurance company approved it anyway.
4. My doctor's PA said one of her other patients had a huge tumor that, after chemo including Perjeta, had no tumor. She said I was the first person she thought of. If I'd had chemo first, Perjeta may not have been available, since it wasn't approved until November 2013. Surgery first worked out on all levels for me.
5. I've found out how wonderful my ward is. They are so kind, giving, considerate, all sorts of wonderful things.

Not a comprehensive list, but things I've been grateful for lately. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


When I went to kindergarten, I could read. According to Mom, I was reading in July before kindergarten. That makes me...quick calculation here...5 3/4.

Sabrina could not read the July before kindergarten. That was when she was (no calculation needed here) 5 0/4.

At the end of April, Sabrina will be 5 3/4. Yesterday, she read almost all of Go Dog Go to me. She needed some help and had simply memorized some words, but it's so fun to see her really figuring out the reading thing. She has a little ground to make up because she's so young, but she's going to be fine. Great, even.

Now I need to go and read a book. Maybe Green Eggs and Ham.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yay! Hodgkin's Lymphoma!

My cousin has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This is bad news, obviously, but considering what it COULD be, we're all celebrating. That sounds so silly.

In honor of all those I love with cancer (a disturbingly large number), here is some advice for chemo.
1. Have treats. You deserve them.
2. If you want someone with you, let people know and get what you need.
3. If you don't want people with you, remember this cancer is about you. Not them. I wanted Zane home with the kids. I would be gone from home for six hours sometimes, and who were the kids going to be with? Either I'd have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for babysitting, or I'd have to be obligated to someone. I'd rather they bring me dinner.
4. Take stuff to do that you really want to do. TV shows on DVD, movies, books, whatever. You will be there a while, so don't just plan on playing on your phone.
5. Take your phone charger.
6. Take anti-nausea meds as soon as you get home, or earlier. There's no prize for getting sick or holding off.
7. Anti-nausea meds cause constipation. Take Miralax or Senna or something else. You have been warned.
8. If your anti-nausea meds don't work, THERE ARE OTHERS. GET THEM.
9. Ativan is great.
10. Enjoy the quiet time you have in the infusion room, or the time to visit with people you love. Other than the fact that you're getting chemo, it's great!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Which I Am Pissed At Cancer

I'm almost done with treatment. In my self-centered mind, that means everyone, everywhere, for all time, should be done with cancer. Or at least, I should be done with cancer. The thing about having loved ones, though, is that no matter my health, I am always at risk. And add family history to that, and...well, cancer is around.

My fabulous cousin was just diagnosed with cancer. Rather, she was not diagnosed. They know she has cancer, but it's presenting weird, so they don't know what type yet. It's weird to pray that someone has lymphoma, but that's the best option right now. Rather, asthma is the best option, but it looks like cancer of some type is the diagnosis.

Less personal but still sucky is that a bus driver was also diagnosed with breast cancer this week. I mean, I heard about it this week. It's been a swell week.

So, I'm soliciting prayers. They work. If you're not already praying for my cousin and the Weber School District bus driver, would you? Your prayers have gotten me through my cancer treatment, teaching during chemotherapy, and (hopefully) to health. If such be with us, what can be against us?

I only have one more question.

Is it sacrilegious to pray to kick cancer's ass?

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I love the Olympics. I'll watch stuff I'd never watch any other time. Heck, I'll even watch curling. The Olympics were on when I was nursing all three of my kids, so this is my first Olympics in recent history that I don't have a newborn. I'm sitting here right now with just grownups as I watch the very boring (except once every four years) slope-style snowboarding.

Also, I'm an English nerd. So, I can't help but think of synecdoche when I think of the Olympics. This is a figure of speech where the whole is substituted for the part, like "The US won a gold medal in skiing" rather than "Bode Miller won a gold medal in skiing." What can I say, I'm a nerd. Shut up. That's why you love me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weird, Post-Chemo Hair

This morning, as I was getting ready, I noticed a gray hair sticking straight up out of the middle of my head. Sigh. So I did what would have been unimaginable six months ago: I plucked it. Then I discovered it was not actually a gray hair. It was gray on the top, yes, but on the side closest to my head it was as dark as my hair at 16 (and 35, for the most part). A double-colored hair, and all without dye!

The deal is, when my hair started growing back in after chemo it was lighter, grayer, and softer. Now it's my real hair back. Wavy but not curly, dark, thick, coarse(r). However, I still have that chemo hair on top. If you look closely, it's almost like I have roots. Weird. Chemo does weird things to you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Okay, I've Joined Your Stupid Club

When I was first diagnosed, another woman told me SHE was diagnosed in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everything she saw was pink. Pink pink pink. She hated it passionately. She told me her attitude was, "I don't want to join your stupid club!" I totally get that. But now, I feel I've accepted it. I have (had?) breast cancer. Therefore, I'm ready to Benefit Others With My Experience.

Last time I had an appointment, some of the nurses asked me if I would call another woman with a very similar diagnosis who was freaking out. I guess that means freaking out more than most women who get this scary news? She's 55, so MUCH older than me but still fairly young. We had a nice conversation and I got to be on the adviser rather than the advisee end of cancer for once.

Additionally, the nurse from the radiation clinic called me and asked me to be in some sort of promotional video for the center. Because I'm so bubbly! And exciting! And young and cute, I'm sure. Mom said she wasn't too sure about it, since it's not HER cancer center. But when I explained this is just the start of my acting career, she got over it. I would also like to officially offer my services to Huntsman Cancer Institute if they want to offer me my second contract opportunity to become a famous post-cancer spokesperson.

I guess I've joined the club.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Out of the Closet

It's so good to be out. Now everyone knows. Everyone knows I had cancer. It's really freeing to be able to say that I have a doctor's appointment and my students understand. I even made a joke about "when I didn't have nose hair" and the kids were all "Gross Ms. Froerer! We have lunch next!" It was fun to make cancer jokes!

I really feel I've been able to bond with some of my students who get it. I certainly don't want to have students who get it, because it means they've had tragedy or worry or fear in their lives. On the other hand, whether I had cancer or not they had that worry or loss, so I can be there for them. And that's a good thing -- for both of us.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baby's growing up

Raiden's had a hard time adjusting to daycare. He, apparently, would walk over to the corner of the room and cry when Zane left him there. Adorable and oh so sad! But today, when Zane got there to pick him up, Raiden looked at him, then walked over to the little table and sat himself down for his snack. I love you, dad, but let's eat, okay? Priorities in order? Check.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Benefits of Cancer

I was thinking today about what I have gained from cancer. Here's a partial list.

1. I have felt my community rally around me. My ward, especially, has been so supportive. They've been so kind, always asking me how I'm doing, providing me with food and love, and telling me how cute my new (in more than one sense!) hair is.

2. I've discovered how many people have had cancer, and I can relate to them. I've met student's parents, students, ward members, and random strangers who I have bonded with, even for a short time, because we share this experience.

3. I've found out I can do hard things. I mean, I always thought I could do hard things, but now I know.

4. I've gained willpower. Along with the "hard things" benefit, I've gained a certain amount of control over my body. This might be why I've been able to stop eating so much junk food lately.

I'm sure there are more, but I can only appreciate cancer so much before I can't appreciate it any more. If you know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Church Talk

I gave a talk in church last Sunday. I'm really proud of it. I think it's the best talk I've ever given. It might be the best talk I've ever even heard, not excluding General Conference. It was on humility.

Here are my notes, in case you're interested.

I. Introduction - talk on humility
II. What is humility?
A. C.S. Lewis “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
B. Screwtape “The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the, fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents-or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things.” - love your neighbor as yourself.
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “Humility is all about keeping one’s balance.]”
C. Surrendering to others
1. Accepting service
2. Medical procedures - Sitting in an exam room wearing only a hospital gown while waiting for the doctor, nurse, and intern!
Being humble w/o being forced to be humble.Alma 32:16
Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble
D. Aligning your will to God’s will - C.S. Lewis Screwtape “He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love-a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours. For we must never forget what is the most repellent and inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really loves the hairless bipeds He has created and always gives back to them with His right hand what He has taken away with His left.”
Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “Our weaknesses can direct our hearts toward Heavenly Father and His will for us. This can be a hard thing! It’s painful! It’s daunting! But it’s humbling, and when we are humble enough to acknowledge our dependence on the Lord in overcoming those weaknesses, He fills our hearts with His everlasting love, turning our weaknesses into strengths. It takes humility to seek further direction in learning His will for us.”
1. Zane - inspiration to stay home and have me work December 2012
I started work January 2013
Insurance March 1, 2013
Cancer diagnosis April 3, 2013
2. Jesus
a. Not my will but thine be done. Jesus said this in the Garden. We have to be willing to do what God wants us to do, not what we want to do.
b.Jesus didn’t think he was better than others -- lepers, prostitutes, women, tax collectors, all those hated by the righteous. My favorite story in the New Testament is the one about the woman who has a bleeding disorder. She has spent all her living on doctors. This means she was probably desperately poor. She was likely divorced from her husband, because what man wants to live with a woman who is permanently unclean? If she touched anyone, they were also unclean and had to purify themselves. What a position of enforced humility! And she was humble. She did not ask Jesus for a miracle -- she did not feel confident enough in her reception or her importance. Instead, she touched the hem of his garment, the ritual fringes, which were considered holy. Through her faith, she was healed.
To me, it gets even better. Jesus knew she was healed, of course. But he asked who touched him. Again in humility, this outcast woman, who now had a chance for a normal life, confessed it had been her. She could have been punished for making him unclean. But what did Jesus do? He did not consider himself so holy that he could not hang out with such a woman. Indeed, he called her daughter and commended her for her faith.
Who are the equivalents for us? Who do we think we are better than? Do we think we are better than people who struggle with sexual sins, homosexuality, drug or alcohol addiction? Would Jesus hang out with these people? Of course he would. Humility is remembering that we are all children of God.

III. The opposite of humility - pride
A. What happens if we’re not humble? We are proud. Pride means our own importance and ego get in the way. What does it get in the way of? A good relationship with our parents, children, siblings, and spouse. With God. Pride means putting ourselves first. Judging. Psychologists say anger is a secondary emotion. What we’re really feeling is something like wounded pride -- humiliation. But anger is more comfortable than humiliation. Why would we be humiliated? Only if we have pride. Humility will prevent anger.

What examples of humility have helped you feel the love of the Lord?

How does humility in daily living bring you closer to the Lord?
Humility brings you closer to those you deal with every day and to the Lord.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hairy Tales

I know I need a hair cut. It needs some shaping and my neck needs to be shaved. But in some ways, I feel like I did when I was growing out my hair when I was 6. I don't want to cut even a millimeter off of my growing hair! Also, it's a pain to get around to getting a hair cut.

The other thing about my hair right now? They say it takes a few months for you to get your "real" hair back. When my hair started coming back, it was a little lighter and thinner, as well as being super soft. I noticed today that I have roots! My real hair is coming in under the lighter, softer, less "Molly" hair. It looks amusing. I am amused. And delighted that the real thing is back!

P.S. Happy Birthday Benn!
P.P.S. We miss you Rob.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sluffing School

I sluffed school today (yes, that IS the way you spell it). Well, technically I had two doctor's appointments in Salt Lake, but it felt like I was sluffing! I refused to take any time off of school for cancer. I mean, I took two weeks for my mastectomy and one period for my first chemo and one period for another chemo session, but that's it. Screw you cancer! You won't interfere in my life!

But now, I don't have cancer anymore. So that means I can take time off! I needed an appointment with my fabulous surgeon to discuss my second mastectomy that I'm getting because I feel like it. He sees patients in clinic from 8:15 to 11:45 on Thursdays. Okay, I said, I guess I'll see him between 8:15 and 11:45 on Thursday! And while I was at it, I saw my fabulous oncologist and had lunch with my fabulous mom and fabulous social worker/friend. To do all this, I was forced (forced, I tell you!) to take the whole day off. Hooray! Too bad it was snowing all day so I was worried about driving, but it was a wonderful mental health day. I do hate missing school, though, and I'll have to miss a whole week for my other mastectomy. Oh well. I guess that's why they give you the sick days!

Incidentally, I found out there were a fair number of teachers who didn't know I had cancer and was wearing a wig. I feel a little depressed. Am I not important enough to be gossiped about?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New News That's Really Old

At church on Sunday, I heard a storyline I didn't really like. There is a woman in the ward who had breast cancer nine years ago. She was young when she was diagnosed (although not as young as me!). She had a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation. Well, yesterday she went in for a double mastectomy because she has cancer AGAIN.

This is not what I want to hear. I went to talk to her and tell her I was sorry, but of course I'm crying and she's comforting me. Telling ME that I give HER inspiration with my "strength." As I'm crying. I sure don't feel strong. I want her cancer to be an ever-diminishing memory. That storyline gives me comfort and hope. This one? Not so much. I don't like it at all.

So, Oh Powerful Ones, let's pray tonight for my ward member, that she may recover from surgery and be permanently cancer free. I know your prayers work, because I've felt them. Thank you.

P.S. I doesn't look like I'm going to be a track coach after all. I'm surprised at how disappointed I am. Maybe next year!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A new project?

A few weeks ago, my principal sent out an email asking for a track coach. I don't know much about track, and I just ignored the email, hoping it would go away. Then on Friday he sent out another email, saying our math tutor would be the track coach, but she needs some help. After talking with Zane, I sent the email today: I volunteer! I don't know for sure that I'm the only volunteer, but I'm suspicious I might be, so I'm pretty sure the job will be mine.

Okay, I know track involves running, hopefully faster than those jerks from the other junior highs. There may be some jumping involved as well, and maybe some throwing things? I don't know if it includes "field" or if it's just "track." I don't know the best and fastest way to run. I do know some things about sports and motivation and Just Do It. But that's it. So, any suggestions on how to be the assistant track coach?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


No wig today! I did put sparkles in my hair, but it was my real hair. Here's how it went:

One person asked if we had a sub, and kept a confused look on his face for a couple of seconds after I turned around.

About twenty people asked me if I cut my hair. One girl said, "Please tell me you did not cut your hair! Tell me it's just pulled back!" She's not the most tactful of souls, but she is a sweet girl. I told them no, this was my real hair, I just was not wearing my wig. Many people stopped there, but one boy said he refused to believe it, and could I bring my wig. Several others asked WHY I had worn a wig. Because I didn't have any hair, I replied. Most stopped THERE, but others needed to ask why I didn't have hair. Chemotherapy, I replied. Oh. That stopped them all!

I also thanked each class for the gifts left on my porch, including the Real Salt Lake shirt I was wearing. I love long-sleeved t-shirts almost more than any other article of clothing, but it felt too casual for school. I'm glad I wore it, but it's more a hangout type shirt. Also, I feel either chic or butch with my short hair, and the t-shirt made me lean toward butch. At least I had sparkles in my hair.

I also saw my radiation oncologist today for a follow-up. I ran into one older lady in the parking lot. Today was her last day, so we chatted for a minute about our mutual cancers and how awesome it was to be done. Oh, and it is awesome to be done!