Tuesday, December 27, 2011

These nuts are chock full o'normal.

As I sit and lovingly bang this one out, I am happy to remember today as another day that we are all [as] normal [as can be expected of us]. Two years ago the day after Christmas, I sat in the hospital with Eve on my lap as she got a blood transfusion, too tired to play with any of her presents from the day before. Yesterday, I sat with Eve in my lap to calm her down, because she wanted to lob the presents at her brother's head. And, deep down, isn't that what every parent really wants?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Christmas Mouse

It's kinda crazy over here. We've done some stuff. We don't have cancer. We now understand why adults used to pay us as children to wrap presents.

We went to Pullen Park the weekend it reopened after being closed for a couple years for renovations. The carousel just turned 100; although I searched, I saw no signs of Willard Scott or a jar of jelly anywhere.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deciphering the hieroglyphics

I was in California not just to Occupy Los Angeles (or secretly camp out for an end-all, be-all sexed-up high school vampire flick), but to attend Pablove's second childhood cancer symposium. This year's theme was survivorship. I liked being able to go because it meant my kid was a survivor.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shoot 'em, stuff 'em, ship 'em

Two weeks ago, I broke the news to the children that I would be going out of town the next morning. It went down a little something like this:

Me: I'll be flying out of town tomorrow morning and I'll be back late Sunday night.
Eve: Okay.
Nat: Okay.
Dan: Nooooooooooo!
Me: It's okay, Daniel. I'll be back in a few days.
Dan: Nooooooooooooo!
Me: Daddy will be here with you.
Dan: But who will make me homemade bread?
Me: I made you a bunch of homemade bread.
Dan: But what if I eat it all?
Me: I made 32 buns. Please don't eat it all.
Dan: But who will make me homemade crackers?
Nat: Mom already made a bunch of crackers, Dan. Besides, you have to eat some vegetables.
Dan: But what if we run out of homemade butter?
Me: Then Daddy can go buy some Shedd's Spread.
Dan: I don't want you to go. I want Mommy!
Me: Daddy knows how to fix butter on bread.
Dan: Okay.

Friday, November 18, 2011

21 stickers, 3 beads, and a couple of faded scars.

Eighteen months off-treatment. It feels like she was just diagnosed yesterday and ten years ago all at the same time. Or maybe I feel this way because I generally have no sense of time and this is why I'm late to everything. BUT! I was not late for her appointment. No Duke Truant Officers on my back.

First off, ultrasound. (Ultra-sound? Ultra sound? Sonogram.) The tech does not rush out and come back in to take more pictures. Always a good sign. Eve receives three stickers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

American Gothic

I'm admittedly very behind on documenting the highlights of our lives in blog-form, so I dedicate this post to everything I can remember before/during/after/sometime around Halloween. Chronicling our comings and goings and chemos has come in handy, not only in letting total strangers in on my Taco Bell fetish, but when we have little lovers' spats with the insurance company. Yes we DID have genetic testing on Thursday, October 29, 2009. Duh, it's documented on my blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For whom the phone rings.

You know, every time the phone rings at 9:00 a.m., I have come to expect it will be Wake County Schools calling to let me know that Daniel has thrown up on the bus. And then I will come get him from school, where he will be completely fine and his clothes completely free of vomit (where does all that vomit go?). And then we will come home and the first thing he does is open his lunch box and dive right in.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Upon arriving at the State Fair, we realized there was no stroller in the van. The stroller is important because in the sea of people, we can put Eve on lock-down when she starts to melt. But more importantly, we need some place to rest our food and drinks.

So we rented a wagon. You can fit a lot of food into a wagon. Equally as important, you can fit three kids.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Big 0-4

So maybe Eve's birthday party was two weeks ago. So what? I've been busy! Like eating and carpooling and stuff.

Eve decided she wanted a costume party for her birthday which just happened to be the best theme for this time of year. Wal-Mart has huge sections of the store dedicated to Halloween and everything is $0.97 or less. I dig it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Baby Eyeball Diaper

The day after we did not participate in the buy one, get one white cat free program at the Camden County SPCA, we got up early and threw the kids in the van. We did not tell them where we were heading. We hardly ever tell them where we are going, no matter if it's a fun trip (the zoo!) or a not-so-fun trip (flu shots!). It makes things more interesting that way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's BOGO time

Firstly and secondly, I forgot to mention that Natalie doesn't have shark teeth anymore. A few weeks ago, she lost her first tooth.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sexy Gourd

I have no exciting hiking news to report because I have been incapacitated since returning home from the Ultimate Hike. If we count my toes separately, I have four injuries, which fortunately take turns hurting so it's easier to decide which way to limp.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Most Extreme Ultimate Ultimateness

This is me and fellow momcologist/hiker, Candi, on our way down to Georgia to carb up for the Ultimate Hike:
Note how blissfully unaware we are of what we are getting ourselves into.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The A-List

These are the people so far who proudly hate cancer and love children with me:

Adam & Brigid Eshbaugh
Amber Robles
Amy Rosa
AnnMarie Marchese
April Schweitzer
Barbara Albro
Biff & Twana Saunders
Brooke Howells
Chris & Dianne Khin
Dan Cohen
Dan Wechsler

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Mother of Cuss.

It's no secret. This hiking thing is kind of a big deal for me because:
1. The last time I have exercised on a regular basis was in high school;
2. My butt is starting to morph from flat, white mom butt to a nondescript less flat shape;
3. I like seeing how many avocados I can go home and shove in my face when I'm done;
4. I really enjoy eating red electrolyte gummies.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Say Cheese, Eve!

It's the first day of school, Eve. Time for Mommy's last minute in front of the door picture!

Now, Eve, turn around.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Christy and the Not-so-5-Avocado Hike

Eve started dance class. The girl who never lets her heels hit the floor was ready.

(Except for the tights. Gotta cut those feet out of those tights. And the tap shoes. No, no, no. None of these six pair of shoes we have at home will do.)

For the first class, she made it through ballet. She even looked happy to be there for a while.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beads of Courage

When Eve was on treatment, she was given a beautiful glass bead for every cancer-related procedure she had through Beads of Courage. We tried making necklaces with them, only to have them break apart and fly across the room after many games of tug-of-war gone awry. Of the ones I have been able to recover, and the ones that have not broken, we were still left with a long strand.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I believe in signs. I do. Like when my mom and I went out to dinner and a thunderstorm knocked the power out, my mother calmly said, "Well, I guess this is God's way of saying I've maxed out my Weight Watchers Points today."

I just took it as a sign that we needed to go out for ice cream instead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No. 250

This is the 250th post on the blog. Taco Bell should be paying me for advertising at this point.  (Truth be told, this wasn't actually the 250th I've published, as there are many gems waiting for you in draft form.  Most of these will never see the light of day because my children will probably grow up and never talk to me again if I tell all their secrets.)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Banana Guac

August 1st marked the first day of first grade for Natalie. She smiled for a pic before running away from me toward the school bus.

Not even a goodbye. What am I...chopped liver?

Actually, I like liver. What am I...sauteed leeks?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moon over Kill Devil Hills

Because July ain't over, we are still on vacation. We packed up the circus and headed to my mother-in-law's house for a week of commercial-filled programming and infinite requests to buy everything as seen on TV. You gotta admire their tenacity, though. No matter how many times they get shot down, there's still a glimmer of hope in their eyes when the next high-fructose corn syrup spot comes on. The only thing I relent to is the purchase of Kidz Bop 20, which I've been dying to get for a while.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cancer-kicking cupcakes

Ahoy there, sugar lovers, another bake sale is on the books to raise money for the Ultimate Hike.

Messy Chef cupcakes for a cure!

$15/half-dozen, $26/dozen
Strawberry-lemonade cupcakes with lemon buttercream
Piña colada cupcakes with pineapple rum buttercream
French vanilla cupcakes with blueberry buttercream
Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream

Have circus, will travel

After we were refueled with pizza and Slurpees, we took the kids to Gilbert Run Park on Friday. I used to go to this park as a kid and it was just as I had remembered, sans the elementary school pillow sack races.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Children of the Corn Syrup

After all the excitement of Chocolate World (singing cows!), the Griffiths headed to Maryland to visit my parents. It's July. We ain't got nothing to do but be on vacation.

Well, except Matt. He had to go back to work.

(To pay for our vacation.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good Eats

Because we can't get enough of amusement parks, we went to Hershey Park on Thursday. Or maybe because we have a touch of nutty in us. I'm pretty sure I was manufactured in a facility that also manufactures nut products.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Have a Dutch Wonderful Day

On Wednesday, we packed up and headed into the lobby of the Steamboat Inn. Daniel was more than disappointed that there weren't any chocolate chip cookies in the lobby at 9:00 a.m., but after asking nicely, the clerk brought out a few fresh ones for him to share with his siblings. Because we're on vacation and if there are no Pop Tarts available, we'll settle for cookies for breakfast.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

All Aboard

After we slept off all the Sesame, we got up the next morning and waltzed down toward Franklin Square. On the way, we walked past Ben Franklin's grave.

I don't know why people treat it like a wishing well. I just gave my kids coins because I enjoy throwing away money.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On our way to where the air is sweet.

Monday was Sesame Place day. I have always wanted to meet Count Von Count, even before everyone was on this vampire crazy train. I like a monster with sharp teeth and mad math skillz.

We stayed at the Philadelphia Historic District Holiday Inn. While it was a very nice hotel, I noticed immediate differences between a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express; at a Holiday Inn Express, you get free breakfast, larger rooms, and a fridge to keep your beer cold. At a Holiday Inn, you don't get any of that but you get to pay more.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's always sunny in Philadelphia

We're here- we're in Philadelphia on the 4th of July weekend. Because we so crazy.

First things first- visit the Franklin Fountain per instructions from Philly friends. It's called prioritization.

The line was long, draped around the corner onto the sidewalk. Lines for food don't stop the Griffiths, though. We train for this kind of stuff at the State Fair.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Roman Numerals and Duct Tape

At first I thought, there is no way I'm going to dress up like that and walk down the street for everyone to see.

Then I thought, there is no way I'm going to greet the babysitter dressed up liked that.

But when Nat said, You look like a really good Roman numeral!, I suddenly felt like it was okay to walk down the street wrapped up in a bed sheet to go to a Toga party. Because I am pretty hard to embarrass.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Last week, Daniel attended Safety Town, a camp for rising kindergartners to learn about all things safe. As I walked him in, he told me all about safety.

"Look, Mom, I'm practicing being safe by not running into the street and getting hit by a car."
"Look, Mom, I'm practicing being safe by not falling down the stairs."
"Look, Mom, I'm practicing being safe by not walking with my eyes shut so I won't get hit by a car or fall down the stairs."

To be honest, I'm not even sure why I paid for the camp. Sounds like he knew everything about being safe already.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


What I'm about to say, I cannot unsay, so here goes:

I'm going to train for a hike.

I've never hiked before. The closest I've come is peeing in the woods when the port-a-johns were extra-questionable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A moment to think about thinking.

I do a lot of thinking in the van, mostly because that's where I spend the majority of my day. I think lots about how clean my house will be once all my children are in elementary school and I have 6.5 uninterrupted hours to myself.

I will also eat a lot of ramen without having to share it with anyone. Yes, I'm looking at you, Eve. Noodle-thievin' punk. (It's a well-known fact that ramen keeps you young.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Party Time! Excellent!

Last week, Daniel and Eve had preschool camp. They got to go in their swimsuits and play in the water, make crafts, and eat lunch. It was enough to wear them out all kinds of good. I bought a kiddie pool to put in the backyard for the afternoon hours between camp and carpool and sent them right back outside in the 100-degree heat to nurse some popsicles and soak up some ultraviolet radiation.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It's a wonder Nat hasn't contracted West Nile virus by now; the child must secrete some sort of mosquito-pheromone that drives the suckers crazy. How many bites on her legs? At last count, it was 38, but then again, I ran out of fingers and toes so that's just an estimate. It may be 39.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mountain Phishing

So on Sunday, it was kind of a big deal because I woke up feeling much more mature than I went to bed the night before on account of me turning a number that is divisible by fifteen twice over. However, when I say I feel more mature, I don't want you to think I don't still laugh at fart jokes. Because I do and I will.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dancing Queen

Nat's birthday night was a busy one, as we headed downtown to Raleigh Memorial Auditorium for dress rehearsal.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Boys Allowed

For Natalie's 6th birthday party, it was clear from the get-go that there were no boys allowed. The exceptions being if you were of blood relation or enjoy wearing a dress.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The [littlest] Graduate

Daniel graduated preschool.

It was a momentous occasion, although Dan was leery of the event because he thought he had to go to kindergarten the next day. He has no concept of time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Can't Drive 55

There are three things that should immediately pop into your head when you think of fast cars:

1. I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar;
2. The theme song to The Dukes of Hazzard;

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'll have 2 tacos and an oncology consult.

What do you think I did to give my daughter cancer?

76% of you said I ate too much Taco Bell when I was pregnant.
7% of you said I allowed my pediatrician to give her vaccinations.
17% of you said I went through a scanner at the airport.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Irish New Year

The period of May 9 to May 30 is what we refer to as "Irish New Year" in our house. It marks the time when Daniel and Natalie are both the same age for a few weeks and there is a rise in the number of times someone says, Wow...they ARE close! Almost as if they are in disbelief, like I was making it up the rest of the year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mom Jeans

After clinic on Friday, we left for a beach weekend with other childhood cancer families. Mile of Hope is sponsored by the Optimist Club of Raleigh, and I'll be honest, I want to be an optimist when I grow up. Mostly because I'm always thirsty and enjoy a half-full glass of whatever it is you're pouring.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What's up, Doc?

Wednesday was another trip to the eye doctor for Dan. In an attempt to negotiate with the terrorists, I brought along a bag of jelly beans.

Candy goes a long way in the house, but will it work in public?

Monday, May 2, 2011

End of the Fast, Start of the Feast

You may have noticed you didn't read about me indulging at Taco Bell from Ash Wednesday on. That's right---

I gave up Taco Bell for Lent.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Feaster

Matt took Friday off of work so we could spend the day together as a family. And by spend the day together, I mean I got to sleep in and have him cook me breakfast and then watched him play video games with the kids before lunchtime rolled around and we all got out of our pajamas.

Because you can't go to a pizza buffet in your pajamas.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Goop

So, I've had this sore throat since Saturday. By the time Tuesday rolls around, my eyes are turning red and oozing goop; they are glued shut when I try to open them Wednesday morning. I help myself to Natalie's eye drops from her pink eye days. Wednesday night, Matt waves a tired finger at me and tells me to see a physician. Or else. OR ELSE!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Welcome to the Doody Mart

When we left our Make-A-Wish trip at Give Kids the World, we were given a passport to use at amusement parks all around the country for one year for a free day's entry. The weather this past Sunday was pleasant, and crowds were sure to be nonexistent, so we drove up to Virginia to visit Kings Dominion.

No accidents from Eve on the three-hour drive up. It took some coaxing, but she finally used a gas station restroom. She has standards, but I lowered them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eve was here.

This face tells you...

Someone is happy to tell on his little sister. Like, beyond happy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools

So, if you had told me today that General Hospital would be airing a storyline about a baby girl who was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms tumor, I would have said, I'M NO APRIL FOOL, FOOL!

But they did, really. For like five whole seconds!

Monday, March 28, 2011

This week in pictures

There are toys everywhere. Instead of cleaning them up and reducing the risk that you may trip, fall, and sustain a head injury, Eve takes the alternative route.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Number 201

This is Eve vs. Wilms blog post #201. That means that if you are my parents or husband, you have read 201 entries by yours truly. I promise you that at least two, at most three, of said posts involve me being showered and presentable enough to interact with government officials.
Well, at least showered.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daily Affirmation

So, apparently my father is now on a government watch-list.

It all started when we were trying to smuggle 300 Dum Dums into Congress. My dad, known as Papa to our kids and Paparazzi to the adults, decided to document the event with his twenty-pound camera. Cease! Desist! No photography at the entrance to the Capitol.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Big Beg

We have four objectives tomorrow:
Maintain and increase.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pappy's Final Words

The bathroom in the Covington, VA Holiday Inn Express looked like I knocked over a Walgreens. We arrived Friday night for a weekend visit with Matt's family to celebrate his grandfather's 90th birthday, and we arrived bearing pharmacy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here's to you, Cigna

Eve accompanies Natalie to the doctor because Nat has a cough and a cRaZy-looking bug bite. She has also had a fever, which we don't know whether it is related to the cough or bite. Eve does her best to let everyone know she doesn't respect me as a mother as she flits around the exam room like a hyperactive, ritalin-deprived child on Fun Dip.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Funding for Wiisearch

What does it take to keep a 3-year-old quiet in the gallery of the NC General Assembly for 45 minutes?

2 granola bars,
1/2 c. Cracklin' Oat Bran,
2/3 c. Cheez-Its,

Friday, March 4, 2011

The First Annual Pop Tart Walk

$67,048 for a first year walk. Incredible! Team Eve had a phenomenal 169 members and raised $15,827...and there's still money coming in! We were recognized as the top fundraising team, and two of our team mates, Brooke Howells ($2,179) and Jackie Knapp ($1,415), were recognized as top individual fundraisers.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Well, that was painless.

THANK YOU to every person who donated to Daniel's St. Baldrick's page! He hit $1,000 in less than three days. If you would like to see what's so incredibly awesome about my son, click here.

(He got the awesome gene from me. It's true; I had him tested.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Griffith kid is losing their hair...

The Triangle CureSearch Walk was great. And by great, I mean completely awesomer than anyone thought it would be. I want to dedicate a full-on post with numbers and pictures and all that jazz, but tonight is not the night for that...yet.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

All the cool kids are gonna be there.

Come on. You know you want to join Team Eve. I want you to join Team Eve. Eve wants you to join Team Eve. All of the bald kids want you to join Team Eve.

All of them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Livin' on a Bayer

We gotta hold on to what we've got. Which happens to be the car keys, or else Eve will sound the alarm and wake up the neighbors. You know, after she wakes me up by crumbling a chocolate cupcake on my head and pillow.

(Hey, it's not cancer. It's just chocolate cake in my ear and down my bra.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The After-Math

Ever made 120 dozen chocolaty-somethings?

Your kitchen would be ridiculous. In fact, I'm still finding chocolate and powdered sugar in places I didn't know chocolate and powdered sugar could hide.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

A few highlights of the past week for your perusal...

We went to a Superbowl party. I don't even remember who played, let alone who won. That's how quickly my children perform the "Mind-Bender" on your's truly. I do remember there were wings.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Upstairs Eve

12:30 am: I set the alarm for 6:00.

6:00 am: The alarm sounds. I hit snooze, knowing perfectly well I will hit snooze again.

6:09 am: The alarm sounds. I hit snooze.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Force Field

Daniel went back for a check-up with the eye doc to see how the patching has been working. His weaker eye is still improving, but not yet as strong as the other eye.

Time to read the letter chart.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Difference a Year Makes

One year ago today, right around this time of night, I was next to Eve in the ICU. She was tangled in tubing. She was in pain and under-medicated. She was having Tylenol shoved up her butt. She was having spasms if we turned off Dora.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It's Friday morning, the 7th of January. Time to pack up to leave this place where six-foot tall bunnies govern the village and a magic button will get you your own personal boat on It's a Small World.

I'll admit it, I'm terribly sad to be leaving. It means I'll have to cook my own food at home tonight, and no one will be there to entertain my kids while I wash my own dishes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Most Magical Snotsicles on Earth

I'm finally onto Thursday the 6th of January. This trip was so action-packed that it's been kind of exhausting for me to go back and blog about. I'm sure a lot of you have the same feeling reading it, sans the motion sickness.

Our morning consists of packing lots of extra clothes, in case of rogue bodily fluids. We have been leaving our DNA all over the greater-Orlando area.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

High fives and other celebratory hand gestures.

The children were all throughly terrified for one heartfelt second at the end of Dino Putt. Understandable, I guess. I mean, Natalie puts a golf ball in the hole, the dinosaur pops up and roars as Daniel and Eve watch. Natalie jumps, startled. Daniel then puts a golf ball in the hole, the dinosaur pops up and roars as Eve watches. Daniel jumps, startled. Eve then puts a golf ball in the hole, the dinosaur pops up and roars. Eve jumps, startled.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bebe's Kids

The morning after Epcot, we slept in until 8, which is the equivalent of noon when you have small children. It's like Make-A-Wish slipped the kids some Dramamine or something, knowing my second dream of all-time is to sleep in, just behind a reunion of the Talking Heads complete with a reimagining of Stop Making Sense.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Le Carb, Mon Amie

Is there anything better than waking up to Eve poking you in the eye saying, "Time to wake up! It's Daniel's birthday!"

(I can see why the kids are confused, but he's going to be real disappointed when May 9th rolls around.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daniel Hippogriffith, son to King of the Jungle

In the past five-and-a-half years as parents, we have NEVER had the opportunity to wake our children up. Ever. Is going to Disney World everyday the only way I'll get to sleep in? Perhaps.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Warm Feelings

Sunday morning, all I had to do was say, "Gingerbread House!" and the kids practically leapt into their clothes and skipped down the village for breakfast. Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream? Ok, this isn't much healthier than the ice cream for breakfast I have already promised myself later in the week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yes, this already happened.

Forgive me for leading you to believe that I am live-blogging this adventure; I am not. I just don't dig getting online on vacation.

Let's get packed!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wishing Purple

Once upon a time, as Eve and I waited for her chemo to magically appear, a social worker stopped by for a visit. The portable DVD player had Snow White on repeat and Eve danced around the room singing to birds and running from the evil eyes in the forest, much like her royal pale-skinned counterpart in the film.

"Has anyone talked to you about Make-A-Wish yet?"