The Power of Pains

by Christie Perkins

Tears at bedtime are not all that uncommon. It’s because there is pain. Hunger pains that is. These hunger pains become the outrageous Water Meter Reader.

And it’s not me crying… it’s my little guy.

Now I’ve learned a thing or two about pain in my cancer journey. Most of the time I’m feeling alright but there are times when I understand good old physical pain. Mostly it is in my hip (prime vacation tumor location). I can admit tho, that most of the time I feel quite normal. In fact I feel great!

But, in the reconstruction phase of my cancer journey there have been moments of intense pain (I’ll save that for another post), so I could relate to this little hunger pain.

Yet, I’m not very compassionate.

I’m not compassionate because I’ve slaved in the kitchen a-fixin’ the meal and all I get is a squeal- “I don’t like it,” he says. Continue reading

Neutropenia Plunk (And A Sweet Story of Love)

by Christie Perkins

First off I must tell you that feel fine. I lack energy, but I always lack energy so it’s fine. I went to the doctor last week and got my results back from my cat scan. I’ve been feeling really good about it and rightfully so. I have found that for the most part it looks good. Nothing additional-tumorous to worry about. Yay!

I love emotional paydays.

neutropenia-kerplunkYet, my neutrophils are misbehaving. They’ve taken a plunk. So a little factoid here: normal range of neutrophils are between 2.5 and 6.0. Mine are a whopping 0.3 (yeah that’s zero point three). They call that neutropenia. (Puts your doctor in shock.)

It’s a bit lame as you get to evaluate your 4 walls while you wait for the neutrophils to get in order. Instead of me running amuck I’m stuck. I go lazy so they can go crazy. Meh. I avoid crowds, and germ infested guests, anyone with vaccinations (and carrying a live virus), and broccoli, cauliflower, and raspberries (because it’s difficult to wash thouroughly). So random right? And of course, I’ve been craving broccoli lately.

La-ti-dah. It’s a low key life when you are neutropenic. Continue reading

How this Baseball Coach Taught Me to Coach my Kids

by Christie Perkins

I have learned a great deal about coaching kids through others. Sometimes kids fall. Sometimes they mess up. Sometimes things don’t go quite right. Our response is crucial to their learning process of who they are. Of the many great coaches we have had in life, one moment stands firm in my mind. I feel impressed to share it with you today, not last week like I was going to.

Someone needed this today.

We all have coaches in life. Sometimes we are the coach. Sometimes we are the player. I learned something great through one of my boys’ baseball coach. I believe it is key to how we coach our kids, especially when they mess up.

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor_ _Winter is dead.”(3)It was pouring rain. But we were playing ball anyway. Too many games have been cancelled this year already. And since the game started out dry that was good enough.

I huddled under layers of blankets with the denim quilt as my oversized poncho and hair destroyer. Lovely. The afghan wrapped around my arms and legs kept me mostly warm with frequent blasts of cold air finding its way through the holes.

Sly comments about a holey blanket in this mad weather kept coming back to me. Again, and again, and again… and I could see the obvious mistake. They were absolutely right. Continue reading

Kill The After School Cereal Snack With This One Hack

by Christie Perkins

So. Everyone with school age kids loves a good deal on cereal. Am I right? Maybe it’s just a boy thing. I don’t know. The double dollar box stock is incredible but it disappears as quickly as it’s docked. Or so it seems.

Kill the After School Cereal Snack With This One Hack!It immediately becomes a prey to the after school chow down.

I frown. It would be nice if my amazing food stretching skills actually stretched into something more than a couple of weeks. Eeeks! I even try to hide the stuff but their sniffer is quicker than my thought process. Maybe if I actually prepared some fancy after school snack I could avoid this fiasco in the first place. Meh. But I don’t.

But, now that I think about it, I’m doing them a favor. I mean, really, just think of worst case scenario and living in a food deficit moment. My boys will not be waiting for their silver platter slathered in neatly arranged food chunks. No. They will search and scrounge up food to feed the bear growling in their stomach. They will survive because they will know how to hunt. Continue reading

Midnight Money Tree: Taking the 10:30 Courtesy

by Christie Perkins

“I can’t take this. No,” I said as I lay staring at what appears to be a 20 dollar bill.

I plopped into bed early, in fact it was an hour and a half earlier than usual. Who knows if the kids made it to bed tonight but I was exhausted and they would just have to figure it all out tonight. One night shouldn’t hurt. I should have gone to bed earlier but we had to muddle through the speedy version of family night and tack on the ritual scripture reading and prayer. I wonder if tonight’s thoughtless attempt really counted… I don’t really want to know.

(Yes, I’ll just close my eyes and pretend it’s all ok.)

The Midnight Money Tree Taking the 10_30 Courtesy(1) But, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep if we didn’t get that done for the day. So check, check, check. Immediately after getting our family night done I found myself snuggled up in bed. My exhausted body wouldn’t quite slip into dreamland quick enough though. So I laid there thinking instead. Think. Think. Blink. Blink. How is it that when you are most tired you are least likely to sleep? It’s a mystery I’ve never been able to figure out.

All the better that I couldn’t sleep, I suppose. I’ve been having weird dreams lately. Continue reading

Good Night Kisses

by Christie Perkins

Good Night KissesIt’s the same ritual every night. My internal clock alarms me it’s time for bed- but straight to bed is not the route I want.

Not yet.

I take a detour to the boys’ room and flip on the hall light. I’m not worried about waking them up because once they are asleep nothing disrupts their wonderland. Really, I turn the light on because there’s no use blowing kisses into a dark room, my aim may be off and the kiss would be wasted. Continue reading

Survival Tips for Shopping with Boys

Shakes, Deals, and Lizard Tails

by Christie Perkins

2014 Horney Toad 008Shakes, and deals, and lizard tails (oops)… that’s what shopping with boys are made of.

Have you ever gone clothing shopping with boys? I don’t know what it is but there’s something mis-wired in their brains that turns them off to shopping. If I allowed, there would be grown men and boys sitting and a tantrum-fitting on the floor of the store trying to induce a man made clothing tornado.

But, they don’t. They know better.

Me. Well, I could spend hours in a store checking everything out, trying on clothes and making the best selection. But, a major miscalculation occurs when one mom takes four boys shopping. Continue reading

The Perks of a Dinner Disaster

Crockpot Dinner Flop

by Christie Perkins

Hm? I don’t remember getting chicken wrapped in butcher paper. But lately my memory was bobbing around only at the surface. Any recollections that ran deeper were quite sketchy. Chemo zapped brain cells took credit for all my memory loss moments.

I shrug. Flip, flop, crockpot 010

It’s the 2nd meal I cook in my brand new house.

This meal is so stinking easy it’s perfect for my lack of energy.  I just finished radiation the day before and the energy levels are drastically flopping and dropping. I lay down on the couch for a quick nap.

Dinner’s prepped, house is clean… there’s boxes but it’s clean, and I’m blissfully putting last year’s cancer kicking behind me. Ahh. I drift off to a much needed nap. The smell of new paint scrunches my face up in a smile.

I don’t know how long I nap but my nostrils are zapped by a stench. I scowl no, no, no, no! Not in my brand new house. I sit up and glance around the room. Immediately my eyes fall on the crockpot. It’s sweating. I wrinkle my nose.  Ewe, what is that? Continue reading

How To Keep Your Kids From Turning into Zombies

Keeping Kids Focused This Summer

By Christie Perkins

I have this thing with electronics. I hate how it sucks brain cells, personality, and turns perfectly innocent adults and children into daytime zombies.

“Time to get off,” I post zombies 027

“But we’ve only been on a few minutes,” a child shoots back. And once again I have to go into that spill about the time warp trap. “You realize that it contributes to poor reasoning skills.”  Minutes quickly become hours.

Electronics shut down and I can only hear the flutter of eyelashes blinking. Finally someone peeps out, “We’re bored.”

Continue reading

The Famous Yes or No Dilemma

Do You Tell Your Mom No?

by Christie Perkins

“Do you tell your Mom no?”  I squared up to my preschool child.  His beautiful eyes and sweet smile weren’t getting him out of this one.  No way.

“Yes,”  he said matter of factly.Perkins Family 08-12 01-13 037

Obviously he didn’t get it.

I don’t even remember the misbehavior now but I was trying to nip the sassy fast.  He stood still watching me with the whites of my eyes widening and the tip of my finger aimed at his nose.  I’m not really sure what pointing does but it seems to be a 4 star travel agent of discipline: it’s the quick, fast, cheaper method.

One more time.  I pronounced the words more slowly.  I guess, technically, I should have used the word “should” instead of “do,” but this technique comes at a higher leveled thinking.

Um, yeah.  That’s it. Continue reading