Friday, May 29, 2009

BFFs, fly girls, and little debbie

This won't mean anything to you unless you are a fly lady (and no, I'm not talking about J-Lo, that's a fly girl). But tonight I shined my sink - for the first time in a looong time. I love it. Now when I am overwhelmed with the rest of my life I can go stare at my spotless kitchen sink. 

Speaking of overwhelmed - summertime. I'm on the countdown (7 days to go). I love my kids and we are going to have F-U-N this summer, but I am so done with all the fighting happening in our family. Roses are not blooming beneath my feet lately - that's about all I have to say. 

Speaking of the end of the school year - Ryan's preschool had the end of the year program last night and there was a silent auction. I can not tell you how much the Pelo family donated to the preschool, but we brought home 4 separate items. Evidently, I really love perfume b/c I won 2 women's cologne baskets full of samples (large & small) of perfume from Nordstroms. Come on people - I was just trying to get the bidding going! I didn't really want any of that stuff. Ugh. 

Everyone brought a side dish for the dinner after the little program. I took (and brought home) a big green salad. The only people who had salad were the people in my family. This is funny. On my co-op days I have to bring a snack to preschool. Not once did the kids eat my snack. Mini muffins with craisins, celery & carrots, apple slices, banana chips, apple chips - no thank you, we want frosted donuts or fruit loops or little debbie cakes. Seriously?  

Speaking of food - the garden is a no-go. We really wanted to do a huge garden this year, but twas not meant to be. It's a case of the good, better, best thing. Gardening is good, but there are some other things (read: people) who need my attention more. So, we've been looking into the local CSA programs. We did a food co-op in Utah for a while and I really liked it. Anyone doing one this summer? Jared's take is that we should just go the farmer's market every week and spend the $30 there. My take is that he should go to the farmer's market with 4 kids every week. The truth about that is that he'd love to. But I wouldn't, so even though it may be a little pricier, I'm leaning towards signing up for the CSA.  

Speaking of Jared -  he's great. Really, really a wonderful guy. He is a fabulous, fun dad and the hardest worker I ever met. He's a great listener (as long as ESPN is not on - which it never is anymore b/c HE cancelled it. I have been so tempted to upgrade so he can watch the NBA series - he is being so stoic even though I know it REALLY hurts). He's so laid back and never makes me feel guilty (ie. speeding tickets, silent auctions, losing my cool). He sends me on girls trips and encourages me to buy new clothes when nothing fits and even calls and makes my hair appointments (seriously). JP - you can be my BFF anyday. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Connections

It's been over a year since my Dad had his bone marrow transplant. He is doing amazingly well. The science behind his transplant is astounding to me. It's crazy to think of all the people who had a hand in this miracle. The bench researchers who probably worked for years and years, one teeny tiny victory here and there, collaborating with each other across the country (maybe the world) figuring out how leukemia works and what works against it and how our bodies react to every little tweak and on and on and on. We humans are so smart it can give me a headache if I think about it too long. But the clincher for me is not what our humans brains have the capacity to do, it's what our hearts can do. Since it's been a year since the transplant, my Dad and the donor (who was a match found through the national bone marrow bank, not a relative) have exchanged information. This is the email the donor sent to my Dad (I omitted his personal info):

Hello Michael!

First of all, congrats on all the progress you've made! It's been exciting and encouraging getting those infrequent updates. And thanks for signing the release, also exciting.

So I don't know how you'd like to proceed with this but I figured I'd first tell you a little about me and how my marrow found its way to you.

I'm 25, live near ******** and have one year left in an MFA program. When I was doing my undergrad, there was a sponsored blood drive and marrow test for a professor on our campus. I've always donated blood regularly and thought I might as well sign up for the marrow registry while I was at it. Of course, I did not match with him--I never heard if they found a match or not after I graduated-- but remained on the list. Then one day a few years later I got a call from 
Central Blood Bank reminding me that I was on such a list and that I was a potential match. And the rest just worked out, I suppose.

When it seemed like the odds were pretty good that I'd be donating, I didn't really hesitate because my father died from cancer when I was 16. And knowing the power of those cells on a depleted body, if I somehow matched the astronomically small window of DNA that would work, how could I say no?

Anyway, I hope all is well. From what I understand, you're in remission and recovering well, so that's amazing. I'd be curious to know how things are now, how long you've been fighting this, and just anything else about you really.


My Dad has since called him and said they had a nice chat. I know my Dad was nervous to contact his donor, I would be too. This total stranger underwent something at best inconvenient (injections daily for 4-5 days, 2-4 6 hour collection "sessions", possible body aches, insomnia, nausea, etc...) for someone he's never met. It's this aspect of humankind that I find most amazing and inspiring. The heart that can give so unselfishly. This donor has given us an amazing gift - more time with our Dad and Grandpa, but not just that. The gift of realizing the great goodness that lies inside of each of us and the ability we have to touch each other's lives.

Overheard

I need to post some pics from our trip to Williamsburg, but not tonight. Tonight is laundry - so much laundry. Like 2 weeks of it. But the great news, I mean GREAT news is this... we bought a new washer and dryer and it is going to CHANGE MY LIFE. Okay, maybe that is an overstatement, but maybe not. I just did 2 weeks of laundry for 6 people in 4 loads - no jokin! Now all I need is a folding/putting away type of machine. 

Back to this post. We overheard this yesterday: Ryan to Noah (in a surprisingly calm, matter of fact voice) "I should've choked you in heaven". Hmmm. 

And the lunch conversation Saturday:
Noah - what if 2 girls got married?
Ryan - they can't
Gwen - yeah, they can't
Noah - but what IF? That would be crazy. 
Gwen - yeah, what if they both got pregnant at the same exact time?! (sidenote here, we've been discussing the need to give Gwen THE talk, and obviously we haven't yet)
Noah - yeah and if they both had their babies on the same exact day at the same exact time!
Gwen - like twins but not really
Noah - But you need a man. Cause who would have a driver's license? And who would hold open the door?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Girls Weekend

I don't even know where to start - this was the BEST weekend. We ate yummy food, we stayed up late talking, we toured the city, we shopped, we laughed and talked some more. Thanks to a great husband who knows what is best for his wife and to everyone who tended my kiddos while I was gone. My Mom had quite a day with the kids, including locking herself and all the kids out of my van during Gwen's piano recital! Thanks Mom for being such a good sport!                              
Cami, Katie, Melissa, me, Heather & Megan in front of some gorgeous tulips on Michigan Ave

A little makeup lesson at Sephora

I LOVE this thing (sculpture?). I think it's called the cloud gate, but it is a huge shiny kidney bean and I could have walked around it all day.

Dinner one night at Ghirardelli. Yep, dinner. Our kids would have been so proud.

The guy who rented us this bike thought that we were in town for a bachelorette party which made us all giggle. We counted up and told him that between the 6 of us we have 24 kids. 

Outer Banks, NC is on the calendar for summer 2011, right girls?