Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Medicinal Menagerie

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own.

Cancer sucks right? But part of my personality is to find the levity in all situations. so back when my mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer my brother and I joked that she should try medical marijuana to help her with pain. She was not amused and did not opt to try it out, even though we told her how Melissa Etheridge swore by humidifying with it. 
Fast forward a few years and my sister in love Mimi was also diagnosed with breast cancer, however, since then, California made marijuana legal, first medicinally and now recreation-ally and now there are bud shops all over so cal.

We did a ton of research and learned a lot about the soothing affects cannabis can have on cancer patients like Mimi so we asked if she wanted to get some and she said yeah.  But unlike some of her other family members she didn't want to smoke it. Instead she opted for hard and gummy candies. And later on, topical ointments.  They seemed to help ease her pain and appease her nausea so while we're huge advocates for those in need, we also want our kids to be safe if exposed to this new type of candy confusion. 

Living in California has afforded us some unique opportunities. Like that of voting on /for marijuana to be legalized. Which it now is after all these years. However in recent years the medical marijuana market has seen a huge boon. Not only in sales of the actual flower but in other ways to ingest the THC and get similar affects. Edibles have become a huge portion of that market. A popular way form of edibles are those in that look similar to favorite candies like gummy worms and peach rings. 

In my house it's also a huge concern to make it a point to let Baby Ninja know that Granna and Papa's medicines are NOT candy or even Vitamins no matter how much they may resemble their own. My father's recent stroke has only increased his pill intake and because his reach is limited he keeps them out "on display" making them a prime point of interest for Baby Ninja. Same thing goes for my mother-in-love, when she sleeps over she brings her meds with her and the tiny tin she keeps them is of definite interest to little hands. 

Did you know that approximately 60,000 kids go to the ER every year due to accidentally ingesting medicine. That's the equivalent of 4 bus loads of kids every single day. That sounds insane right?
Not only do we have to worry about candy confusion with OTC's, we now have to think about whether or not relatives might have edibles laying around. 

I don't judge anyone who gets down with a little weed, gummy or magical brownie. It's not my right to do so. Particularly if it's used for pain management. However, I do ask that if that's what you choose to do, just remember to be safe about it. Make sure your edibles are stashed way out of reach (and eye sight) of younger kids who may not know the difference.
Also - talk to your teenagers. This is something we've had to do with Sweet Pea, let her know that its not the 80's and people may not offer you a joint in the school parking lot, but they may offer you some 'candy' that is laced and you might not even know it. Don't randomly pick up candy at your aunt and uncles house's. It's not like when you were a kid and could go willy nilly into Auntie's purse and grab something. You never know what she might have in there.

If you think your kids or teen may have gotten into some questionable contraband, do not hesitate to call Poison Control and have the number stored in your phone (800-222-1222)   in case you happen to be at a family member's house when it happens. Shoot it doesn't even have to be YOUR kid, it could just be a family member! It's just better to be safe than sorry in this case. I worry about this because at family functions kids are often left to their own devices, playing with cousins while the adults socialize and who knows what that great uncle of yours has lying around ya know? 
So better safe than sorry right?

Have you ever had any experience with candy confusion? 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

HollaDaze Ugly Sweater Craze

“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.“

Okay so I love holiday style and the ability to be EXTRA for no particular reason for a whole season. There is something about that added bit of glitz and bling that makes your spirit bright. Or it's just the glare from the Christmas lights. Whatever. Either way, it's always fun to have a reason to celebrate. I'm the type that enjoys a good theme party and you know what's hot right now? Ugly holiday sweaters. 
In case you hadn't noticed everything old is new again and those hideous sweaters that the ladies in the school office would wear and your great aunt would inevitably give you each year are making a comeback. Except now, they're kinda cool? 

Weird right? We are truly living in an alternate universe it seems as my own teenager is now into them. What was once thought to be super cheesy and so embarrassing has now become quite the fashion craze. She's been invited to a couple ugly sweater parties as have I. Naturally she can't wear the same one two years in a row so she needs to step her game up. 

Fortunately for us Macy's is already in the holiday spirit and in honor Ugly Sweater Day will be hosting a fun in-store extravaganza! There will be a DJ to get the party going, your favortied holiday treats like cookies and hot cocoa, a DIY station and a few other fun surprises. So come get your jingle bell rock on this Friday at Macy's Del Amo at 5pm. 
You can view more event details here .

It's a free event so bring the fam or gather your girlfriends for a fun evening. Better yet - grab your tween/teen (if you have one) for a different kind of mother - daughter event. Plus, with any qualifying Ugly Sweater or Junior's purchase, you can snap a photo at the holiday themed photo booth and get a photo snow globe! Who doesn't like a snow globe? I certainly do.
So does Baby Ninja as he's broken all but two in the last four years. Time to re-up our collection. Also I do love the idea of having a fun decoration to last throughout the years. I'm kind of cheesy like that. So if you're looking for something fun to do this weekend to get you in the holiday spirit, come hang with me and the rest of the us holiday lovers this Friday! 
I'd love to see what you're giddy over this season!!

 Gaudy sweaters come together!!  

Season's bling!! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

When We All Fell Down

"I can't even believe it's been a full two weeks. 
7 days since you closed your eyes one last time and went forever to sleep.
I still hear your laugh in my head can see your smile and I am reminded of your silliness in when I am inappropriate too.
My dear sweet Meems. Oh how I miss you.
I want to hear you say 'hey Ambs.." while giving you a squeeze.
I keep waiting to hear you giggle before you get to the punch line and ruin the joke. 
I miss your stories about my husband from when he was young.
Your light shined brighter than this earth could handle and we are all better for basking in your glow.
Sleep well sister.
We'll see you again."


It's weird the way life throws things at you.
A few weeks ago I was writing about my father and his stroke and how it was taking a toll but I was sort of making it through. What I never touched on was the battle that my sister-in-love was fighting in a hospital a few miles over from him. Since August cancer has been wreaking havoc on her body and last month, on a Wednesday, her heart finally gave out. 
She had fought the good fight and gone gently into that long goodnight.
The days leading up to it were the hardest thing I think our family has ever experienced.
Watching my nephew, her son, hold her hand the whole day prior while also holding on to hope,absolutely gutted me. 
Praying for a miracle. 
We all were I think. Praying what the doctors were saying wasn't true. That her body wasn't failing her and she would suddenly pull through. Praying we didn't have to give her up and this was all just a bad dream. We all kept waiting for her to wake up and tell us to get out  because she had to pee.  It never happened and our nightmare became a horrifying reality.
Our Mimi was leaving us and no one knew what to do. 
When she was put on a ventilator we held out hope that it would give her a respite in her ragged breathing and the chemo would help shrink a tumor or two. We told her we loved her and rubbed her arms, legs and kissed her face. We told stories of days long gone, trips taken, parties attended and laughs had all because of her. She made our hearts light and we shared photos from our phones and text messages. And it was all so surreal. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING? 

When I got the text to come to the hospital my heart stopped. I didn't want to go and yet there was no way we could not. I rushed home to drop of the boy and scoop up D and we raced down the freeway to the rest of the family. Fully unaware of what awaited once we arrived.
You could feel the sorrow in the air. Cousins, friends and family gathered in the hallways and lounges. Huddled and hugged, the silence broken by the occasional sob and subsequent blow into a tissue.  Muted conversations while staring into phones. This can't be life. This can't be real. How are we even supposed to deal?
She was our heartbeat. The baby of the girls. She was also a mother and his whole world. 

On Tuesday we cried and said good-bye as we held each other tight. We made promises to our nephew to give it one more night. And still we hoped. Because our hearts could not grasp what our eyes were seeing. Our minds whirling with thoughts as we watched her son keep his vigil by her side. How will we do this? How will we get through? In the midst of all this heaviness, how will celebrate the Thanksgiving the next day? 

I've been at a loss for words for days. Alternating between crying and laughing through tears. Trying to keep busy and stay occupied lest my thoughts betray me and my eyes start leaking and ruining my mascara. Then carrying on with my day. Whether in the checkout line at the grocery store, picking up my kids or simply washing the dishes, these days I'm often overcome with waves of grief. Tears welling up behind my eyes. A large unwieldy lump in my throat. And it doesn't even feel right to mourn and wail tell my husband how sad I am. Because that's his sister. and I know he is heart-broken in a way I'll never understand. 

I also know we are not alone in our sorrow. Mimi touched everyone she ever met and our hearts our collectively weeping for one another right now. 
So we hold one another up, and keep each other close. Text messages and photos whizzing back and forth, tears shed and laughs shared. 
Things fall apart, often so they can come back together stronger and more grand. I have no doubt that will be the case with my fam. We're slowly falling apart and it will take time to put us back together, but no doubt we will be stronger than before. A force of Dorsey strength and badassery just like Mimi would have wanted us to be. 

And while I am hurting it also doesn’t feel like it is solely mine to mourn. Mimi was so much to so many people. To her sisters she was their best friend. Their confidant and co-conspirator in shenanigans. To her son she was more than his mother she was his best friend. To me she was my sister-in-love whom I also called friend. She was a laugh, and big smile in a tiny package. 

She was the best aunt to my kids and they loved to spend time with her. She was silly and  fun and all the kids loved her, and she loved them wholeheartedly. 

They knew they could count on Auntie Mimi to take them to an amusement park, to a movie and to show up to every birthday party. And now here we are, in this new normal. This feeling of empty. 
I'm not a fan of this new hellish reality. I remember looking out the window and marveling at how people were still bustling about and it somehow seemed wrong. 
"Didn’t the world just stop?"
"Just ours." one sister replied.
Oh shit. She was right. 
Mimi was our heartbeat.
She meant the world to me.  To all of us really. 
What do you say about someone who’s very laugh could cause others to break out into their own raucous laughter? Who’s smile was so bright she lit up a room? 
Being the baby of her sisters, Mimi commanded attention from everyone. 
You know how everyone has that one family member who keeps in touch with everyone and knows who is married to whom, who just had a baby and who’s grandmother’s sister’s cousin is sick? That was Mimi. Always Meems to me. Forever in hearts she will always be. 

Tomorrow we say good bye as a family and try to put the pieces back together. It won't be easy this much we know, but so long as we have each other, I think we'll be okay. 
We love you Mimi. 


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