Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve Rememberories

When I was a kid and my grandparents were still living in NYC, before their migration to Florida, I can remember New Year's being a fabulous event! Each year, my grandparents would throw, what I thought, was this amazingly fun and outstanding party with all their family and friends and just about anyone who walked in front of their apartment building on December 31st. Maybe it was so amazing because I was a kid. Maybe it wasn't as amazing as I'm remembering but it was fun.

We would all gather at my grandparents' apartment, still decorated from Christmas and now adorned with New Year's decorations, and every few minutes the bell would ring and in would come someone new. Our family was almost always the first ones there. Followed by cousins and "aunts" and "uncles". My cousins and I would run and play and anxiously await midnight, because we were never allowed to stay up this late. We played bartender and would get people drinks- usually made by an actual adult- and then we'd collect our tips. By the end of the night we sometimes had as much as $5 to split between the three of us. The TV would be blaring Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking Eve and everyone would be eating and drinking, enjoying each other's company- all wearing those crazy sparkly New Year's hats. I loved those parties.

Midnight would roll around and we'd put on our coats and hats and one of the adults would give us a pot and a spoon or two pot lids and after we wished everyone a Happy New Year and gave out hugs and kisses, we'd head outside. I'm not sure where or how the tradition started but for as long as I could remember when midnight struck we'd head outside and bang pots and pans all around the neighborhood to welcome in the new year. We never thought about waking people up because we assumed everyone was partying like us. It never bothered us that it was 20 below out because we were up past midnight. We never thought about the fact that once we got inside we'd probably have to put on our pjs and get ready for bed because in that moment we were having fun.

When my grandparents moved to Florida, the parties stopped. By this time I was a preteen and then teen and I started either finding things to do with my parents or my friends. My sister and I tried going out around our NJ suburb to bang pots and pans for a few years following the last party, but it just didn't have the same effect. It was disappointing. As I got older, I assumed New Years would take on a whole new meaning. There would be insane parties with ball gowns and streamers and horns. I would be out with friends until the wee hours partying and ushering in the new year. I don't think that ever happened. There were a few parties. There were a few years where I had a couple of people over to our house. It just wasn't as big as it had been when we were kids. My parents started going out each year with friends of their for dinner and continue to do that to this day. We started having people over for New Years eve but have been lucky if one of us has actually stayed awake for midnight. I thought about taking the boy out tonight to bang some pots and pans but I have a feeling it would be lost on our current neighborhood- read:we'd have some unhappy neighbors. It's sad. I would love for him to understand the joy and wonderment that my cousins and I had when we went out at midnight to make noise and let everyone know it was the new year. I would love for him to share in that tradition even though has been hibernating for some time now. Maybe I will take him....

New Years eve, while it ushers in the first day of the next year, is somewhat anticlimactic. I love the idea that tomorrow we get this free pass to start anew. Tomorrow is 2008. 2007 is over and done. We can move forward with a brand new year. We sign 08 to our checks and forms that we fill out, now. It is brand new. Tonight we'll welcome in the New Year with friends and family. At midnight I'll call my parents and their friends, as I do every year, and talk to each of them as the phone gets passed around the restaurant. I'm betting by 1am we'll be tucked into bed asleep or lounging on the couch snacking with our friends. Tomorrow, we'll get up and move forward. We'll start a new year with new hopes and dreams and thoughts for how the year will go. Who knows maybe next year we'll be ringing in the New Year with a big party and banging of pots and pans?!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Eve

I considered not posting this. I contemplated not writing this. I wondered who read my blog and worried that if I wrote this and posted it than it would be read by someone who would tell someone else and it would start all sorts of problems. I decided that I don't think the people that I think might say something actually read this blog so I'm going to write it and share it.

Christmas eve was spent at my father in law's house. That's where we always spend Christmas eve. The first Christmas eve after the husband and I were engaged, my entire family was invited to Christmas eve dinner and it was an entire family wide event. Strange but kind of nice. We have not done that since. That's ok. It used to be that Christmas eve was us, my father in law, his girlfriend, my sister in law, whomever she was seeing at the time, and occasionally friends of my father in law's girlfriend. It actually was ok, most of the time. The food is always delicious and the company isn't bad just sometimes awkward.

This was the boy's third Christmas and therefore his third Christmas eve. His third year spending the evening at his grandfather's house. His third year running through the kitchen and down the hallway and back into the living room and dining room- a big loop. His third year marveling at the huge bay window at the front of the house. It was special this year because he's really starting to grasp Christmas and he and grandpa were having a really good time together. He and my sister in law, we'll call her HB, were also having a great time together. It was really nice to see. It was probably one of the best Christmas eves we've had there- except the husband was disappointed at the lack of mashed potatoes. (Seriously!)

My mother in law passed away when the husband was 14. She died of breast cancer. She is one of the reasons I am so very passionate about awareness and working towards a cure. Actually, the husband and the pain that he describes when he talks about his mom and her death, is one of the reasons I'm so passionate about it. I never met my mother in law. I know only what people have told me. I know that she was loved by just about everyone she met. I know that she loved her family and especially her children. I know that she treated her co workers at the family restaurant like sisters and family. I know that she enjoyed throwing a good party. I know that my husband adored her and took it the hardest when she passed. And I know that the pain she had when she passed was not only related to her cancer.

My father in law has been with the same woman for many years, since his wife's passing. She is an interesting person and it has been a trial of fire, at points, to get along with her and treat her civilly. The husband has "issues" with her and she is quite aware of them. She is ever present in their lives and has been for quite some time. She is ever present at the family restaurant where the husband and my brother in law both work. It has been a bumpy road since meeting her and at points I have wanted to say things and do things that would make me less than who I am. She has not always been nice to us, both in front of our faces and behind our backs. But she has been kind to our children. There's a lot more to the relationship we all share but it's not something I feel like going into here or now.

On Christmas eve she was wonderful with the girl. And with the boy, too. She and my father in law spoiled them with affection and gifts. It was really very nice. Seriously, a nice night. A little warm (my father in law is ALWAYS cold so his house is always 110 degrees!) but really a nice night for our kids and for us to all spend together. It was clear that she had gone out and tried to find outfits for the kids that were cute and fit and toys they would enjoy and benefit from. While her actions on this occasion don't negate the things she's done to us in the past, they seemed to be genuine and kind. Honestly, I was surprised and even the husband had nothing nasty to say- almost. The evening was winding down and we were getting all of our things together and loading up the car. The girl was cranky and in her pjs. The boy was running in circles from the cookies and candy he had eaten. We started saying our goodbyes. The boy hugged and kissed and thanked HB and my father in law. My father in law's girlfriend came to say goodbye and the boy gave her a huge hug and kiss, wished her a Merry Christmas and then thanked her. On the surface it was beyond sweet. Our son was the perfect little gentleman and so polite- I was proud and touched. Beyond the surface it really hurt.

As I watched the boy shower his affection on my father in law's girlfriend my heart broke a little bit. I couldn't help but think that my son should be showering his grandmother with love. He should be hugging and kissing her. He should be wrapped in her arms and buried in her neck. He should've been wishing her a Merry Christmas and saying thank you. I had to walk away. I walked out to the car and put something else in it and then stopped. I took a deep breath, cooled down from the sauna inside, and thought for a moment. I thought about my husband and how his heart must break each time he enters his father's (and his mother's) house. I thought about how on our wedding day he wore her rosary around his neck and walked out to the backyard where her ashes are buried and cried because she wasn't there with him- with us. I thought about how when each of our children was born we both wanted her to be with us and meet them in the flesh, as their other grandparents had done. I thought about how important it was for us to use her name when our little girl was born because my husband wanted to honor her. I thought about all of that, took a deep breath and headed back inside. I saw the look on the husband's face when our son embraced my father in law's girlfriend and I'm pretty sure he was thinking the same thing. I cannot imagine what it must be like for him sometimes.

Christmas eve was really wonderful. I truly believe that my mother in law has met my children. A little piece of me believes that she knew them before they were conceived. I believe in Heaven and I believe she, along with many of my family members, is there. I believe she was with us on Christmas eve, and Christmas day. I believe she is there everyday but it still hurts that my children will never ever be wrapped up in the arms of the woman that my husband first gave his heart to.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Meme!

So I've been tagged! YES! I love memes....kind of...not really...but that's ok, I'll share!! I was tagged by Monica over at Ya...About That so how could I resist?!?!

Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I can't stand it when people misspell words. It drives me UP A WALL!!! It especially makes me crazy on the computer because just about everywhere you go on this thing, there's spell check! COME ON??!?!?!?!

2. I am getting my graduate degree in family counseling but I secretly want to be a lawyer. I have every intention of eventually getting my PhD, but I'd really like to get my law degree, too. Don't tell the husband, I think his head would explode if he found out I'd like to be in school for that long and not be a medical doctor by the time I finish! :)

3. My wedding was featured on a TV show called "Buff Brides". I have one copy of the show, that I NEVER watch. My students have a tendency to catch re runs of the episode late at night and come in the next day and ask me about it.

4. I can't stand to lose. I can't stand to lose at board games, sports, even stupid made up games or bets with the husband. I HATE losing!

5. I have never in my entire life done an illegal drug. Nothing. Nada. That's partially because I just never wanted to. Partially because I never wanted to get caught. And partially because I saw friends around me start off on stupid stuff like huffing and all of a sudden they were in rehab for shooting up heroin.

6. I met the husband in a liquor store. He was my boss. As much as I complained about that job, I loved it. I was really good at it. I worked really hard and made my way up the ladder, slowly, but up the ladder. It was a great experience but I could not stay after they fired the woman who hired me.

7. I am celebrity and TV obsessed. COMPLETELY. I love celeb gossip and I love TV, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I work hard and those things help me check out for bit!!

There you go, 7 things that aren't completely interesting about me. My 100 list is probably a bit better.....

I don't have 7 random people....anyone who would like to, can do it! I'm always interested to hear more about my readers and blogging buddies!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Non New Year's Resolution

I hate New Year's Resolutions. I never keep them. I actually very rarely make them. Why bother? I just don't see the point. I can start off the New Year and say, "I'm going to do 1000 sit ups everyday and have rock hard abs by the time my birthday rolls around at the end of January." It won't happen. I'll do the first day, maybe the second, then I'll wake up on the third puke my brains out because no one should do 1000 sit ups a day and I'll say screw it and that will be the end of my resolution.

I can start off the New Year and say, "I'm never going to use another curse word because they make me sound unintelligent." Then I'll turn on the news or open a newspaper and see something that some politician or famous person has done and say, "What kind of stupid shit are they thinking of?!?!?" And my resolution is done.

I can start off the New Year and say, "I'm not going to raise my voice to my kids or my students. I will keep calm and collected and rationally talk to them so that we can be equals and respect one another." Then one of my students will answer every single question on an open book test with their own name and I'll explode. I'll get home and the boy will have taken his yogurt and made a Picasso-esque piece of art on the couch and I'll lose it. And my resolution is gone.

So, this year, no New Year's Resolution. Nothing formal. Nothing saying I will lose 900 pounds by St. Patrick's Day. Nothing saying I will run 4 miles every other day. Nothing saying I will clean my toilets every day of the week beginning with a T. None of it. But I am saying that I'm starting over. I was on Weight Watchers a few months back and then the car accident happened and I lost all my will and desire to do anything. I decided on or around Christmas that I am unsatisfied with myself and my weight. I'm changing that. Slowly. I'm starting with exercise. Yesterday was Tae-Bo, the day before was Turbo Jam, today was manual labor- partially- at the Habitat site. (I'm contemplating going upstairs to do some Tae-Bo, now.) Tomorrow, we're off to get me some new kicks. It's pregnancy made my already large feet even larger! I used to be a 9.5/10 in womens' shoes. I am now around an 11. It SUCKS! I'm hoping to comfortably squeeze into a nice pair of size 10.5 running shoes tomorrow. We. Shall. See. Maybe if I really do lose some weight than my feet will shrink, too! HAH!

The exercise is first. After the first of the year comes the food. I'm going back to Weight Watchers. It's the only thing, other than extreme stress and not eating, that has ever worked for me. There's a center right by work. It's perfect. I've even almost convinced K to come along. I considered using Alli to help me out and then my doctor and I had a frank discussion about it and he asked me if I really wanted to spend $65 a month on a pill that really just gave me yucky farts and diarrhea when I ate too much fat. Why not just avoid the fat?? Good call, Doc! I knew I had you for a reason!

There you have it, my non New Year's Resolution. Care to join me? I'm trying to rope the husband into Tae-Bo with me. He thinks it's pretty funny that I can only do the arm exercises with my right arm. We'll see what he has to say when I can roundhouse kick his ass from here to the other edge of the world. So, yes, I'm going to lose weight, get in shape, be satisfied with myself, really work at it and do it well because I want to, not because it's my resolution or non resolution. Come along for the ride.....

Oh, and my resolution is to take more pictures of the kids and I together....let's see how long that lasts, I hate resolutions!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas is Passing and I'm out of my Coma

I had a bunch of different things I wanted to blog about today and I'm not sure I remember any of them at this point.....hmmmm.....

Christmas was wonderful! The boy really enjoyed himself and all the presents that Santa left for him! Seriously...he had a great day. As did mommy and daddy and the girl! It was just such a perfect day. Totally relaxed, spent at grandma and pop-pop's house. Even the night before was really nice! We spent that at the in laws and it was also quite perfect- regardless of the fact that my father in law and his "girlfriend" keep their house at about 110 degrees! I can only hope that everyone else had as nice of a Christmas as we did!!

We woke up the next day and things went a little astray. The kids were exhausted. The boy slept in a bit, not too much later but late enough. The girl, on the other hand, slept in VERY late. We're talking 10am and she was still out cold. Finally, I asked the husband to head upstairs to wake her up. He had to rouse her from an extremely deep sleep. Now, I know there are those of you out there who are saying, "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!?! A sleeping baby and you woke her up!?!?" Normally, I'd be with you. But it was weird. I had a really strange feeling. Something was going on. She NEVER sleeps that late....NEVER. So the husband brought her down and immediately I knew something was up. She was listless and completely out of it. I mean COMPLETELY. Even when we wake her up in the mornings, regardless of whether or not she's had enough sleep, she wakes right up and wants her bottle or cup and is awake. It was different. She was not waking up. She passed out on my shoulder- VERY STRANGE. She was not herself. She looked weird. She was cold and clammy. I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. The husband was kind of not paying attention. I called my mom. She said to go right to the ER. I called my pediatrician. I pressed the button that I NEVER push- number 7. It's the number that signifies that this is an emergency or doctor or hospital. I was connected immediately to a nurse. I described everything to her. Take her to the ER, I was told. Oh Jesus Christ! I knew it was serious. I knew something was up. The husband was still seemingly unworried. She just needed to wake up. Maybe so but I still had this weird feeling. The nurses and doctor at my peds office were concerned about middle of the night seizures- so was I. She's never seized before but who knows what goes on in her sleep!?!? So, we dressed and changed diapers and put everyone in the car. The husband made some snide comment about nothing being wrong. I yelled at him and told him he'd feel like total Shit if we brought her in and something was wrong. He apologized.

The ride to the hospital was agonizing. We went to the childrens' hospital by us which is about 40 minutes away. I did not take my eyes off the girl. I would not take her to our local hospital. I don't trust them. Sounds crazy but I am willing to "risk" the lives of my children to bring them to the specialized hospital 4o minutes away. As the right continued it seemed as if the girl started to come out of her "haze". She babbled briefly and started moving. Nothing major though. I called the ped back, maybe we just needed to take her into the office instead of the hospital. The nurse and the doctor wanted her brought to the hospital. They wanted her oxygen levels monitored. They wanted her neurologically examined. JESUS CHRIST! Again, this was serious. We arrived at the hospital, checked in at the ER and was almost immediately brought into triage and then immediately brought into the pediatric ER. (Any of you who have been to an ER know that this is very rare. Being brought in so quickly is RARE!! Regardless of how busy the place is, you almost always have to wait.) So, we got into an exam room. The doctor was in within 5 minutes. He examined the girl and it appeared that things were ok. WHAT>!>! At this point not only are the thoughts going through my head about how my daughter could have had a seizure in the middle of the but now I'm thinking, maybe I'm one of those crazy moms who brings their child to the ER for EVERYTHING- hangnail, extra poopy diapers, etc. I'm worried that the doctors and nurses are going to think that way too and therefore neglect some key part of my daughter's lacking health. At this point the girl is starting to come out of the haze even more. Still, seizure is still running through my head. The exams all come out perfectly ok. Looks like it's just an upper respiratory infection. Some mortin and tylenol should do the trick.

What a way to spend the day after Christmas!?!? I've spent the past two days on top of the girl. Worried that there is something still very wrong. I can't even begin to describe to you what those moments were like when the husband woke her up. Listless doesn't describe it. I could not wake her. I could not rouse her. I could not get her attention. She was OUT OF IT! She kept drifting in and out of sleep/consciousness. It was horrible. Seriously, horrible. The husband joked, when we were leaving the ER, that I'm never going to be able to deal with the kids being teens if I worry each time I can't wake her up. I laughed because he was partially right but I had that feeling. That horrible pit-of-my stomach-moms-only get it feeling. Dads generally don't get it. They don't always have that "connection". The husband wanted to let her sleep, give her time to come out of the haze. I wouldn't let him. God forbid. What if she had had a seizure? Who knows? In the time in the ER I thought I was crazy- seriously. She started to "wake up" and become herself. We left the ER and I didn't think I was all that crazy. The doctor was great. He had consulted with my ped. They both decided to just have us monitor the girl at home and watch for any other odd signs and signals. They didn't make me feel crazy- they let me know that my feelings were normal and that they were taking them seriously. The husband did, too. (After I yelled at him ;)!!) Thank God the day turned out well. The girl is fine, just a little sick. She was back to playing and having fun today after literally sleeping the day away yesterday. OUT COLD, most of the day. I guess she just needed a day to recharge and feel better! Mommy got one of those days today....

I had to have a minor surgical procedure today and I was completely anxious about it. COMPLETELY! My mom came up to drive me and pick me up and take care of the kids. I took my first ever Xanax and went in for the procedure. It was not fun. I'm in pain but I wasn't really all that anxious- that Xanax did GREAT. My mom dropped me off at home and took the kids home with her. (She's watching them tomorrow, too. I'll be working at Habitat site and they "frown" on children being on site ;)! ) Well, after she dropped me off that Xanax kicked into first gear! I have no idea where the hours between 3pm and 10:15 pm went. Literally. No. Idea. I told my mom when I texted her when the husband came home that I just came out of my coma. I was in a lot of pain but it was nice to get the whole afternoon to pass out completely. I was able to put aside yesterday. I was able to put away the idea that my daughter may have had a seizure. I was able to forget about the pain I was having. I was able to rely on a much needed afternoon of rest. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I head off to do what I can on a Habitat site. The Christmas spirit really isn't gone for me. I woke up out of my coma, looked around my living room and our tree looked more beautiful than ever. All lit up in the darkness of our house. It was lovely. Christmas is passing but it's not gone. That happy feeling isn't fading just moving into a new year.

That was all completely random but let's remember I have been in a Xanax induced coma for most of the day and I'm quite a bit of pain.......

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Birthday

My daughter turned 9 months old on the 20th. 9 months ago on March 20th at 8:25 in the morning I gave birth to a child that for weeks looked like a raw chicken, she was that tiny and scrawny. This morning that same child ate 1/4 of a stage 3 jar of Chicken and Stars, 1 whole stage 3 jar of green beans, corn and rice, and 1 whole stage 3 jar of fruit dessert mixed with oatmeal cereal, plus a cup of juice. (In case you hadn't noticed, I don't make my own baby food!) Where exactly did the last 9 months go?

Sometimes I feel like I missed the first few months courtesy of the PPD but then I look at all the pictures we have of her from those first months and I realize I was there, just not all the time. I promised myself when she came along that I would savor those moments when she just wanted to be held more than I had with the boy. I did, a little bit. I wish I had savored them more.

Our daughter was a HUGE surprise. There are a lot of pieces to the store and I may have even told it before but the short form is as follows. After a medical diagnosis, we were told that I wouldn't be able to have anymore kids until the disease was cured or at least very well managed. I started radiation treatments and found out after my first one that I was pregnant. EVERY SINGLE TEST I TOOK WAS NEGATIVE. I even had a blood test- NEGATIVE. I could not tell you much about the morning I got the positive test except that I was scared out of my mind because I was convinced that our unborn child was going to have 4 heads and 3 arms. We were not ready for another baby. We were not prepared. We were nervous. I was scared about what this pregnancy would do to my body and how my medications would affect my baby. I was watched VERY closely over the next 8.5 months. We hit a number of bumps in the road but on March 20th after 12 hours of induced labor and 4 pushes our teeny tiny preemie entered the world- perfectly. She didn't open her eyes much for the first month or so- slightly nerve wracking. She put herself back to sleep after her middle of the night feedings- amazingly wonderful. She ate like a champ- 50 ounces of formula by the time she was 3 or 4 months. Where did the time go?

I still have my moments with her. So much about my pregnancy and birth with her made me nervous. I scrutinized every little move she made or did not make. She was and still is so different from the boy and how he grew and developed. (He was on time- she was 5 weeks early) I worry that she's not doing the same things that the boy was doing at her age. Then I remember, she's a month behind. She wasn't ready to come- but she had to so that both of us could survive. I remember that kids are SO VERY DIFFERENT. They develop so differently. They do things at different times and sometimes they don't do the same things at all. I remember that when it's time for her to do what she's supposed to, she will.

My son, along with his grandmother and my grandmothers, taught me how to be a mom. My daughter has taught me the patience it takes to be a mom to two. To two different children. To two unique babies. To two wonderful humans. As we get ready to celebrate her first Christmas I can't help but be eternally grateful that the doctors were wrong. I can't help but wonder what right now would be like if we hadn't been pregnant at this time last year. I can't help but consistently surprised by the gift that we have been given in our two kids and by the gift that we all receive each Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bruised and Battered at the Best Buy

Dear Fellow Best Buy Consumer,

Since I have been in such a letter writing mood lately, I think I'll write you one as well. Let me tell you how my evening went so you can better understand why I found your action so atrociously improper and uncalled for.

Since this Christmas season has begun the bane of my existence has been this:

I had considered ordering it online but the shipping cost almost as much as the stupid toy, itself. I searched and searched for this toy. I searched Wal-Mart. I searched Target. I searched Kay-Bee. I searched Toys R Us. I even searched the supermarket on the off chance that they decided to make it a one stop shopping type of place. No. Such. Luck. Finally, the other night (not last night when our paths crossed) the husband and I found ONE at a Toys R Us near us. There it was, the promised land- I mean toy. But the box was opened. To buy or not to buy? Do we purchase the item that could clearly be missing pieces? Do we take the last one on the shelf and just go with the flow and hope it's all together? We scanned the shelves all around it did not find anymore. And just as I was about to take that mangled box and put all of my faith in the fact that I knew our Christmas would be great and the pieces would all be there, the couple who had been "watching" us took the box in the moment that we had our back turned. I overheard the underfed mom say, "Just take it before someone else does. Who cares if all the pieces are missing? We'll bring it back." Good call, lady. I can imagine your Christmas morning, "Well, sweetie we got you this basketball hoop but there was no actual hoop in the box so we'll just bring it back. Here are the other pieces if you'd like to play with them." The husband and I exchanged looks and then as is my bitchy practice, I exchanged looks with the guilty underfed mom. She knew what she had done, she didn't care. We left. Without the hoop.

Last night I dropped my kids off at their grandparents and I set off on my merry way to find the toy. I had called yet another Toys R Us and they claimed to have 59 of these precious precious toys. Oh, if that was true my life would be complete- for the time being. I arrived at the overcrowded store and proceeded directly to the Sports section. I did not care who I had to take down, I was getting that hoop even if there was only one left and someone had stepped on it and ripped the net in half- it was mine! No need to do any pushing. There were AMPLE hoops. YES! Victory is MINE! The hoop went into the cart along with a few other items and it was up to the register to pay. I waited in line for a good 15 or 20 minutes because the gentleman in front of me was tax exempt and then decided he didn't want his overpriced batteries. I kept my calm- I had my basketball hoop. I kept my cool. I was not allowing the Christmas crazy to overtake my mood and my happiness in securing this toy that I had been searching for. I even kept my calm when the couple behind me went to the newly opened register instead of allowing me, the next customer in line, to head over there. I had my basketball hoop. I made idle chit chat with the overworked, underpaid teenager who had the boring task of ringing up thousands of toys at this time of year. I felt bad for him. I paid for my items and moved on my Merry way. I walked out of Toys R Us with a smile on my face- not always an easy thing to do at this time of year.

My next stop was the closest Best Buy. I was in search of digital picture keychains. I had seen them at Brookstone the other night and they are fairly inexpensive and I had a couple of people in mind who would really enjoy them. My closest Best Buy was out of them. Oh well! I still had another Best Buy that I could stop at on my way home. On my Merry way I went! I arrived at the fateful Best Buy. After having a parking spot taken away from me, I found another that I felt more comfortable with anyway and made my way into the chaos that it is Best Buy at the holidays. I proceeded directly to the digital camera section, past the many signs that read "WE ARE OUT OF THE Wii" and past the throngs of people surrounding the endless DVD collections. I immediately found someone to help me- SHOCKING- and asked her about the digital picture key chains. They were at the front of the store near the cash registers. On my Merry way I went! I searched through batteries and Hannah Montana and High School Musical all to no avail. It appeared that this Best Buy was also out of them! Oh well! Back to Brookstone I guess it was. I decided to ask one more person, just in case. I asked a very nice man if he could tell me if there were any other key chains. He searched all of the same places I had just searched, again to no avail. Then he went to check in the back! YES! I love the back! I always have luck with the back! There is always extra for me! YES! In the meantime I grabbed a couple of DVDs for the boy and the husband and then spotted my savior- carrying two key chains. YES YES YES!! My evening shopping excursion was worth it! YES! And they were cheaper than Brookstone. I thanked him profusely and went on my Merry way to get into line. Here is where you come into play my fellow Best Buy consumer.

I waited patiently in the fast moving line. I was next to be called. I was not paying full attention, I fully admit that. I was watching the little boy marveling at his new DVD and sharing excitedly with one of the cashiers. I never heard the young man call me ONCE to his register. You, obviously, heard him call me. He only called me ONCE. What did you do? You took your two fingers and JABBED me in the back/side. YES, you JABBED me. You did not gently tap me on the arm or step to my side and verbally let me know, you JABBED me- hard- in my back to push me forward. Then you said, "Uh, he called you" riddled with attitude and non Christmas spirit. Your JAB deflated me. I could no longer go on my Merry way. You took my good mood and jabbed it right out of me. But that's not what bothered me most about last night. You want to know what bothered me most? You TOUCHED me! I am a stranger. You do not know me. We have NEVER EVER met before and you TOUCHED me. You took your bony fingers and jabbed them into my ribs and it hurt and it was unnecessary. What exactly made you think you could do that? What exactly gave you the idea that you were allowed to invade my personal body space and TOUCH me? And to do it in what I consider a somewhat violent way...It's Christmas try being a little bit more patient and kind. I understand the holidays are stressful- believe me, I get it. But DON'T EVER TOUCH ANYONE AGAIN! I paid for my items, thanked the young man who rang me up and left- not in a Merry fashion.

I awoke this morning and got in my car and looked in the rear view mirror and saw my basketball hoop that I had secured for my son's Christmas and I went on my Merry way to work. I thought very little of you and your complete social faux pas. Fellow Best Buy consumer, you were a jerk last night and I allowed you to momentarily deflate my Christmas spirit. That won't happen again. As long as you keep your hands to yourself.


Bruised and Battered at the Best Buy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Not a Bad Mom, I just need a bathroom break once in awhile

This compose post window has been sitting open all day on my work computer. It's been open because I've been busy and I haven't had a chance to write. It's been open because I haven't been sure about what to write. It's been open because I forgot about it for a little while and just realized that it was still open!

I had a rough week last week. This week was shaping up to be even rougher but I took things into my own hands and I took a sick day yesterday and I went to the doctor. I got myself a Z-pack and I'm already starting to feel better. (I also went to be at 8:30 last night which could not have hurt!!) I shared my frustrations with last week on here and everyone was so kind and thoughtful and left really nice and sometimes funny comments that helped to cheer me up. A lot of people let me comments about how they understood what I was feeling with my Snow Day post and the kids being home with me. I got a lot of comments about how when we feel as if we just can't take our kids anymore, we're failures or we are bad moms. I felt that way, too. I felt as if I was not allowed to feel overwhelmed by my kids being home with me on the snow day. I felt like I was a bad mom because I just wanted to put them to bed or have them leave me alone for a little while. I felt horrible feeling those feelings. It made me feel a little bit better once I realized that I was not the only mom feeling that way. Then I thought about all of our feelings.

We are not bad moms. We are not horrible people for wanting some time alone. We are not failures at life because we want our kids away and out of our hair for a few moments in an otherwise crazy day. We are not terrible parents because we ask for a break from the fruit of our loins. We are human. Plain and simple. We are human beings who have our limits. I don't recall any part of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" saying that now that we've chosen to give birth we have to relinquish our rights to emotions that aren't pretty and happy. I don't remember "Pregnancy for Dummies" telling me anything about abandoning all emotions relating to feeling overwhelmed, overworked and over tired. My limits were stretched quite a bit last week. I really did feel as if I was slipping back into that dark place that I was in right after my daughter was born. My fuse was beyond short. I was a raving lunatic bitch and I cried at the drop of a hat. I couldn't stand to do anything, I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to be alone and away from everyone. All of those feelings came rushing back and very easily took over my life. Does that make me a bad mom? I'm going to go with 'no' on that one.

I don't think my husband thinks this way. I don't know that anyone's husband thinks this way. I often wonder if my husband feels horrible if he loses his temper with one of the kids. I wonder if he feels like he's failed as a daddy if he just doesn't want to deal with the kids anymore. I wonder if thinks he's the worst parent ever if he just wants to drop the kids off at daycare for a little bit so he can get a few things done and sit for a moment or two. Part of me would like to think that yes, he sometimes does feel this way. The other part of me is pretty sure he doesn't. I think it has everything to do with the fact that he is daddy and we are mommy. This obviously does not hold true for every dad out there. I know there are dads out there that have these feelings, too. I know that occasionally my husband does have pangs of guilt as I do. I just don't think they are as frequent, nor as overwhelming.

These thoughts of guilt can sometimes overwhelm us as moms because I think we feel as if we shouldn't have them. I often feel like it is wrong for me to need and want a break from my children. Sometimes, I just don't want to be around them. I said it. I feel bad about it, but I said it. Sometimes, I don't want to be around my husband....or me for that matter. I am human and I have these feelings. I'm betting other people have them, too. We are not failures at mommyhood. If anything, we are the success cases because we are honest about our feelings. We let them out and we let each other know that our feelings are not unique or bad, just our feelings. I'm not locking my kids in a closet to keep them away from me. Although, I have locked myself in the bathroom to keep myself away from my kids. Sometimes we just need a break....and that's ok. I think it would be worse if we didn't need a break.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Glutton For Punishment

I'm still sick. I'm not getting any better. The husband is just about all well after 3 days of minimal nothing. The kids are just about done with their antibiotics. Here I sit, not wanting to swallow because it hurts too much. Just wanting to sleep but not able to because the husband is at work and I can only imagine what I might wake up to if I gave the kids free reign over the house. My mom offered to come and take care of the kids this afternoon but I refused. She and my dad threw a great family Christmas party yesterday- which I of course forgot all of my cameras for- and I'm sure she needs a break. Plus, we're still supposed to get more snow tonight and I didn't want her driving up here and then having to travel home in snow. It was sill for her to come up, it's a 45 minute trip and I can handle the kids for a few more hours. Neither of them have napped today. Well, the girl did for about an hour- off from her normal 2 2hour naps. But I'll be greeting a nice early bedtime for everyone! Can we say 6:30!??!? YES!

Last night we came home from my parents and the kids crashed and I immediately plopped myself on the couch and had some soup. There wasn't much on TV and the husband had the remote so I figured we'd land on SportsCenter. Whatever- I was going to pass out on the couch anyway. SportsCenter was not the final choice- the Notebook was. That's right, the Notebook. The ultra romantic, tear jerker of a movie. That's the movie that the husband chose. I am actually glad he did, I really enjoy watching it.

The first time we saw the Notebook I was probably around 8 or 9 months pregnant with the boy and completely riding the hormonal emotional roller coaster. I had not read the book. I had not read anything by Nicholas Sparks. Just heard it was really good. My students at the time were reading it for an English class so I figured it must be somewhat good. Plus, the movie reviews had be promising. So, we rented it. Or actually I rented it. We watched the whole movie. I stayed awake. The husband was actually glued to the screen. We came to the end, and I won't ruin anything for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, and I was sobbing and the husband was crying too. I was, to say the least, shocked. I was crying because it was a good movie. It was a good story. It was a sweet story. It touched a chord- at that point, my grandfather was in the late stages of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It was very personal and I was amazed and touched that the husband was crying about it, too. Probably not for ALL the same reasons.

Once I watch a movie like that I'm pretty much guaranteed not to cry again. It's like I've been desensitized to it. I saw Titanic and the first time I wept and wept, the 2nd, 9th, 14th times...nothing. There are very few movies that make me cry more than that initial viewing. I figured I was safe last night. It's just a movie, a good one, a sappy one, but it will not move me the same way it had. WOW, was I wrong?!?!?! Weeping, yet again at the end. The husband? Wouldn't look at me. I don't think it had the same effect as the first time but I think it had some effect because he was quiet for a time once it was over.

I woke up this morning and what does the Hallmark channel decide to show for a Sunday morning selection, Brian's Song! Are you kidding me?!?!? How can you do that to your Sunday morning viewers?!?!? I had to watch it. I don't know why but I did. And wouldn't you know? Weeping....again. The husband wasn't around this time. I know for a fact, though, that this is a movie that makes him cry. Between the cancer and the football and the friendship, he can't deal. It's sweet. Brian's Song is another movie that anytime I watch it, no matter what version, I cry and cry. The book, I can't even pick up because it makes me want to cry.

Each of these movies, while completely tear inducing, really are wonderful stories. Amazing stories of love and friendships. Wonderful tales of support and care. That's what makes me cry. They are just such wonderfully happy, yet sad, stories. They show such wonderful examples of love that I don't know if people always understand now. I don't know that I would have understood the message and story of the Notebook had I seen it as a teen. Watching my grandparents work through the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and move from their home and move through each stage, albeit not quite the way we all would have wanted, taught me something about commitment and the meaning of marriage and friendship. It is nice to know that there are still writers out there trying to capture some part of the lives we lead that is good and caring and loving.

The Notebook is sappy and romantic and lovey dovey but it is good. Or at least I thought it was. I recommend to anyone out there looking for a good cry or just a good story. Brian's Song is a little tougher to take, I think, but still an excellent film. I've seen both versions the original with James Caan and the new version with Mekhi Phifer. Both good.

To top off my weekend of tears, I watched It's a Wonderful Life. I used to hate this movie. Seriously. My mom has always loved it and I hated it. In the past 5 or 10 years I've really grown to love it. I'm even considering showing it to my students to help them recognize the power of love and God and friendships. Another tear jerker. Highly recommended!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow Day

Well, I got my wish. After a delayed opening last week, we got a snow day today. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely grateful but boy oh boy I am ready for 8pm to come RIGHT NOW! For some reason I never factored in the fact that my two kids would also have a snow day and be home with me. Nor did I factor in that the husband would not have a snow day and would not be home with me.

I love having the day off. I sort of wish I could get out of the house but I still love having the day off. But to be quite frank, I am going freaking CRAZY! The husband left at 7 this morning and will not be home before 11 tonight courtesy of his long day at work. (He's working late tomorrow too just so he can get out early on Saturday.) The kids have been just as stir crazy as me and I just need a break right now. The boy has been ALL OVER THE PLACE all day. The girl has not stopped whining for the duration of her awake time. Plus, the boy decided to share and gave her a wheat thin. Very generous of him except she's not even 9 months old and has maybe 3 teeth. Can I tell you how many times I've had to do that finger sweep on my daughter in the past weeks because my 2.5 year old wants to be nice and share? At least 5! And just about every time it's a friggin' wheat thin!?!?!

It finally became too much. I am tired. I slept maybe 3 hours last night courtesy of a ton of tossing and turning and coughing and sneezing. I've been up since 5 and I'm just tired and frustrated and I can't take anyone's whining anymore. About 2 hours ago I took both kids upstairs. Put the boy in his room behind locked gate and told him to play- he did- THANK GOD. I took the girl and put her in her crib with her bink and told her to sleep- she didn't. I then went into the bathroom and shut out the world. I finally dyed my hair, which I've been trying to get to since before the accident. I finally shaved my legs, which I've been trying to get to since- well, we won't go over that. I finally used my menthol shower soother that helps to break up the congestion. I took a nice long shower and "pampered" myself slightly. I hoped that when I emerged from my mentholated pampering shower that both of my kids would be out cold asleep. No. Such. Luck. The boy was playing nicely- GREAT! The girl- screaming like someone was strangling her frog chair right in front of her. I ignored it. I know that sounds terrible but I had to. I was having flashbacks to those first weeks after she was born. Those unending afternoons where both kids were overly demanding and she just wouldn't stop crying. Those afternoons that made me question why we ever decided to have kids. I needed to escape for a little bit. And I did. I lathered myself in moisturizer, got dressed, dried my hair and brought the boy downstairs. I was still hoping the girl would fall asleep. No. Such. Luck. Finally, I went back up and got her. She wasn't happy- I could hear and see that. I wasn't either.

The kids are a bit better now. I took control of the TV. Noggin is gone. I couldn't take anymore Backyardigans or Lazy Town. I put on Sandra Lee and realized she was just as bad as Lazy Town. On to Oprah and finally the news. The boy never napped so he's in rare form and the girl just finished dinner. (I've been taking breaks while writing this) I really need them to go to bed. I really need to not be home alone again tomorrow night but that's not going to happen. I really need to not be mommy for a day. Is that terrible? Maybe but right now it's how I feel. I love my children. I would give my life for them in less than a heartbeat. But right now they are driving me INSANE!

Putting all of that aside. I was happy for today's snowday. Seriously. I think everyone at school needed a break, the kids, the teachers, the administrators. Everyone. We all needed a break. It was worth it. Next time, though, I'm going to be more prepared to entertain my kids and I'm going to make sure I either spend the day at grandma and grandpa's or the kids do! ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Just in Case you were wondering.....Click Me
I know it was on my mind for the past few weeks....

And let me tell you how my day started alarm went off at 5, as per the usual, well really 5:02 and I decided to sleep in until 6. What did I dream about for the next 58 minutes?? Sly Stallone and a trip to the waterpark with him. It's more involved than that but those were the key players in my dream- Rocky and the Waterpark. WTH?!?!?!?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This is Why I don't Take Advil

As mentioned before, I'm sick. I think it's a cold but it could be the non-puking flu. To be quite honest, I would have rather had the puking flu, at least then some poundage could be shed! With this though, I feel like crap. I'm at work after having left early yesterday. I don't like to use my sick days for me, I try to save them for my kids and when they're sick. So I'm here. It sucks but it's maybe almost done.

I came in this morning and I immediately went to my own personal pharmacy, my friend K. She always has tylenol or ibuprofen or a cough drop. She's great! I was counting on her to have some cold medicine buried in her bag from her cold a few weeks ago. She did! It was between Claritin and Advil. I NEVER EVER take Advil. The "candy" coating makes me sick, like violently puking sick. BUT this was Cold and Sinus Advil, it had to be different. She said it works great. OK, I'm sold. Bring on the Advil cold and sinus. What a mistake!??!?! I felt ok about an hour after taking the pill. Then the sleepiness and dizziness set in. Don't get me wrong, I would normally embrace those two things when at home or accompanied by wine but in the middle of class, not a good thing! I went to get up for lunch and it was like I had done shots all day. CRAZY! My legs are so heavy that lifting them is out of the question. Sleep is the only thing on my mind. Doubtful that the opportunity will come any time soon....I had been considering taking the kids to the mall for pictures with Santa tonight. We'll see about that. Definitely no more Advil! Bad bad bad medicine! This is why I stay away from that stuff!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm Sick, could you get me some Depends?

I'm going to share something with all of you. You may find it gross. You may find it inappropriate. You may find it funny. If you've had children, you will probably find it familiar.

I'm sick right. Came home early from work sick. Don't want to go into work tomorrow sick. Raw, red nose sick. Two tissue boxes a day sick. You get the point. I hate being sick. I can't taste anything. I don't want to move off the couch. The kids want my attention. The husband wants my attention. I'd like to get up and clean the kitchen because it bothers me that it's messy. I just don't feel like doing ANYTHING!

So, we're sitting on the couch tonight after finishing some pizza and I'm having a sneezing attack. One after another leading up to the BIG one. I always seem to have a HUGE sneeze that finishes out the attack. I have the tissue at the ready and AHCHOO! The big one came and showed me that even now, almost nine months later, my bladder is pretty much still shot. I immediately jumped up afraid that I was going to look like the boy after an accident or not making it to the potty on time. Luckily, I didn't. I came back from the bathroom and of course my husband was quite curious as to why I furiously jumped up and ran out of the living room. Me, being the honest person I am told him, "I just peed when I sneezed." And his reaction? Laughter. My gut reaction was to punch him in the head. I did not do that. Instead I looked at him, told him to shut up and said, "You have two kids and see how your bladder does!" He kept laughing.

My two kids are currently sitting on their father bouncing up and down and laughing hysterically. How could that not make me smile? I may be sick and crotchety and tired but the two things that have given me bladder incontinence are currently making me laugh...and pee myself. I am a mom.

The picture is really bad because I took it with my cell but it was too cute not to share!

Parental Guidance

I think I discussed this awhile back but I wanted to mention it again (shameless plug). The Star Ledger, a NJ paper, runs a Parental Guidance blog that features NJ parenting blogs. I was introduced and "nominated" by Lunanik and this week I'm linked in a blog about Holiday Photos. My post about the experience of having the kids' pictures done is the first link in today's article.

I encourage all of you check out the the site and check out the blogs on the blogroll. They're all very good! Pass the site along to your friends and share!


We had a blackout last night courtesy of some bad weather and ice. I was home with the kids, as is the norm on Sundays since the husband works. The power kicked out probably somewhere around 6:30ish, maybe a little later. Now, I hate being home alone with the kids as it is. It has nothing to do with being the only parent home and it has everything to do with not feeling safe. I don't like feeling insecure about our safety and that's generally how I feel when we're home alone. And I'm convinced it will take like 45 minutes for anyone to find our street since we're still not on maps!! ANYWAY, the power kicked out, both kids were still awake and it immediately sent the boy into a frightened frenzy. Understandably. As I watched his face with his eyes filling with tears and his trembling lower lip I couldn't help it, I started to tear up as well. This new phase where he is really starting to understand what is happening and his emotions are so raw and real is totally new for me.

So, we called grandma and pop-pop to see if they could make the boy feel better because my words meant nothing and letting him be in charge of the flashlight didn't help anything, either. After 10 minutes on the phone with them it appeared that the boy was doing better. He started to embrace his job as flashlight captain, that is until it became too heavy! We put the peanut down for the night and the boy enjoyed a PB&J and some OJ. He played for a bit but soon it was evident that he was quite tired. I suggested that he sit on the couch and snuggle under the blankets. Oddly enough he took this suggestion and ran with it. He situated himself in the cushions with a pillow and under the blanket- cozy and warm. He asked me to lay with him and I was happy to oblige. We chatted for a few minutes about the TV being broken and the power not working. He asked me about the candles I had lit and when the power would come back on. He told me that he just wanted the Christmas Tree on, nothing else and I explained that I would like that, too, but the power was still out so we'd have to wait. He then decided he wanted to lay down so we did. He asked me to rub his head and immediately I knew he was exhausted. Within moments I could hear his even breathing and I knew he was halfway to sleep. Every few minutes he would stir and ask, "Mommy, are you awake?"
"Yes, boy, I am."
"O, ok. I'm going to lay down."
We both snuggled in for what I was sure would be an all night blackout and I had just about gotten the boy to fall into a deep sleep when BAM- the power was back on. Of course within seconds the boy bolted out of his sleep and was ready to watch TV and play games. Luckily, I was able to get him up to bed and he actually fell asleep within a minimal fight after reading a couple of books.

I have to say I was a little sad that the power came back on. That hour or so where I was able to spend just chit chatting with the child who is no longer my little baby and who is now becoming a "real boy" was priceless. He has these questions and statements that I don't know that I've ever heard from a child his age. He comes up with the most amazing things and is so sincere in his questioning. Once his fear had subsided, he was able to use the darkness and candlelight as a tool for his imagination and it was incredible to watch. Part of me would love to turn the lights off every Sunday for a few hours and just sit and talk and hold him. Keep him little for a little bit longer. I cannot believe that in February three years will have gone by since he was born. There are days that I look at him and I cannot believe he is ours. I said to the husband last week that I'm amazed that the hospital let us take our kids home. It is unreal to me that these children are products of us and we are responsible for everything about them. It boggles the mind but at the same time awakens me and encourages me to be an even better mom.

I am determined to treasure and remember those moments. Those blackouts and times when it is just he and I. I know I'll have them with my daughter and our next child. But these times with my firstborn are so priceless. He is the one who taught to me be a mom. And he continues to teach me every moment of every day. That blackout was priceless. I can only hope that more come along as each day passes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Someone Less Than 3s Me!

So I got this from Kelley over at Magento Bold too! I am quite excited about it and will be adding it to my sidebar quite soon!

Of course I have to pass it along....


Oh Mommy!



Le Binky Bitch

Pass it along, too!!

It's Another Frienship Post and It's Not About the Cookies

So, I had a party last night. Not me and the husband, just me. My friends. Not ours. Just mine. And it was great. I invited everyone over for a Christmas party and cookie exchange. Why not save some baking time and enjoy each others' company at the same time? It ended up not being about the cookies. As we sat there enjoying our drinks and the spread of food I realized that all of these people represented a different part of my life. They all knew me at different times and still know me now. There were a few people missing who I really wished could have been with us but they just lived too far to make it up for the evening or they had to work.

The people who came went to school with me, worked with me, work with me now, know me through another friend and are wonderful indicators of what friendship means. The evening was filled with stories of our past experiences, stories of many high school mishaps, stories of work experiences that still make us laugh, stories of good times and bad that had brought us together. We laughed until we cried- Literally. I think we learned something about how friendships can meld and change and still be wonderful.

I'd like to be able to say that I was thinking clearly last night but the champagne and white wine went to my head and clouded any clear and meaningful thoughts. This morning, once the alcohol left my system, I was able to think a lot more clearly and really reflect on the evening. I am so very blessed, not only with the family that I was given but also with the friends that I have. I think I take both for granted. I forget that I have these amazing people in my life. Like many others I can sometimes focus on the negative or the bad points. Recently, that was the case with friendships. I was so very focused and concerned by two friendships that had ended unexpectedly and with no consideration. Just ended. No explaining. Just over. (Well, really one clearly ended, the other I think just followed suit but I don't know.) I was quite upset for many reasons. I felt as if I had been pushed aside. I felt as if the time and energy that I had invested in the friendships, the care and concern that I had tried to show had been all for naught. The friendships seemed to mean nothing. I allowed this to bother me for a long time. Much longer than I should have. (Hindsight it 20/20.) I wondered how it could all just end and the other person or people not seem to care. I wondered how it could all be pushed aside and essentially forgotten. I wondered so many things and was hurt each time I thought about it. Upset by it all. I wondered if they, too, were upset by it or if it just didn't matter. I allowed my thoughts to be consumed by this. I allowed my life to be consumed by it. I allowed too much of myself to be consumed by all of it. I've come to realize over these recent very hard weeks that it was for the best. I've come to realize that I devoted too much of myself and my time to worrying about friendships that apparently meant a lot more to me than to others. I've come to recognize that the people that I turned to when all of this was happening were my true friends. I have come to realize that in a sense I was a total a-hole to allow my life to be consumed by people who continually showed me that they didn't care. I just didn't want to believe that people could be hurtful and thoughtless when I had tried so hard to make sure they knew that they were thought of. I was a total a-hole because I neglected these people who were so wonderful to me and who continue to be so wonderful to me in favor of focusing on the negative.

My friends know things about me that make me who I am. I have friends who have known me since I was 5 years old and know who my first crush was and they were even there when I planned my "mock wedding". (Although they are still slightly bitter about not being in it!) I have friends who know the ins and outs of my high school career, including the time I was handcuffed to a desk and the time I ate sheep brain unintentionally. I have friends who know that during college when I would run out of clothes, rather than doing laundry I would just go out and buy new clothes. I have friends who were there when I met my husband and when I found out I was pregnant- both times. I have friends who have, obviously, been there for the funny. But more importantly I have friends who have been there for the everything. The friends who know the ins and outs of my medical adventure. The friends who know the ins and outs of everything because they asked and want to know. Last night was a welcomed and needed reminder of those friends.

I am so very lucky. I am lucky for the people who I have with me all the time and the ones who are able to be with me occasionally. I am lucky for the people who have come into my life and stayed. And truthfully, I am lucky for those people who were here and left because they taught me a lot about friendship and who I am. I may sometimes think I'm an a-hole because I allow things to consume me and upset me but really I am just human. I am like so many others out there and I am lucky because I have wonderful friendships that remain with me as my life changes and they change.

Clearly last night was not really about the cookies....

Friday, December 7, 2007

'Lil Bit o Random

Well, yesterday was a downer! I was feeling quite negative about the whole situation, which I try not to do too often, but it caught up with me. "Worst" part is, I never made it to see my doctor so I have no news! Which I'll take as good news for now! ;) The kids are both sick! The boy has an almost double ear infection coupled with inflamed tonsils. Poor kid can't swallow anything...I feel so bad for him! He slept with us last night because he would wake up with a coughing spell and be in pain and it was just easier to have him right there so we could roll over and comfort him. In a way, it was nice having him there in bed with us. (Although I do hate to share my bed with anyone-even the husband! ;) ) The peanut has a double ear infection! I COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS! She just came off antibiotics about a week and a half ago for her first ear infection- nothing too major. And now we're into a double. Maybe the first one never went away- who knows?! Doesn't matter. The kid didn't even give an ounce of indication that she was in any type of pain or discomfort and she's been eating more than her usual truck driver sized fare! As my mom put it the "Henry the VIIIth" look came over her face last night around 7 when she'd topped off her day with a load of vanilla ice cream. Seriously, the kid is a bottomless pit! It's wonderful considering where she came from but at the same time HYSTERICAL!

So, yes, both kids are sick- sick as dogs! I feel really bad for them because it's clear- at least for the boy- that he's so uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure if I handed the peanut a giant roast turkey leg she'd be happy as a pig in slop and forget all about her ear infections!! I was supposed to head to my doctor and my mom was going to take the kids into the pediatrician because the peanut needed to catch up on vaccines. WELL, both kids were miserable throughout Wednesday night and Thursday during the day so I called the pediatrician and brought them in for a sick visit. And WHAM! Both down for the count! They're both on some stronger antibiotics and hopefully that will knock all of the infections right out of their tiny little bodies!

I need to send out a shout/song of praise and thanks for the readers on here. This started as a nothing...a little something that a few of my friends and family told me I should do. They would sit and listen to me talk about what was going on with things in our life and inevitably we'd end up laughing hysterically. They thought I should share it with people and put out there. So, I did! I had no idea I'd be making friends all over the country and even all over the world. You guys who leave comments, and even the ones who don't who just keep coming back to read, are great! Thank you for your support and readership and friendship even though we don't know each other all that well. Keep the comments coming- I love hearing your thoughts and ideas and those of you who are lurkers, feel free to keep lurking and comment any time you'd like!

I like to get the kids' scripts filled at Target. Their pharmacy is really on top of things in terms of what meds you're taking and how they'll interact. They make sure that everything is clearly labeled and that if you're getting two of the same medicine for two different people- as I did yesterday- those medicines are clearly distinguishable. It's a great system and the pharmacists are always so nice and helpful- regardless of which store I've been to! So, while waiting for the antibiotics to finish being filled, I wandered. As any good shopper would do and as any mom or parent might do in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I used to love Christmas shopping. I love finding the perfect gift for someone based on what I know about them. I love hunting for it and getting a great deal on it. Or at least I used to. The stores are overcrowded, understaffed and poorly supplied. Target, unfortunately, was no exception yesterday. First off, it was a Thursday evening! COME ON!! Save your shopping for the weekends, when I'm not out! ;) There were people everywhere and it's like there is no one else in the world but them and their mission. I literally had one lady stand in the middle of an aisle, right in front of my cart, stop use her cell phone and then proceed to carry on a long conversation about being in the Target and trying to find something. She finally came out of her haze when my hacking got too loud for her to hear what the other person was saying!

I decided to seize the opportunity of being in Target to pick up some Christmas items for the kids. I was determined to stay away from clothing and decorations and only focus on toys. I did! YES! I've been doing a lot of shopping online. It's easy. It avoids crowds. It's worth the shipping- usually. But it's hard because I had very few things in mind specifically this year. I really hadn't thought about what exactly I wanted to get the kids so I wanted to be able to see the toys in person. My pharmacy run to Target allowed for that. I started perusing the toy aisles and I found one or two things I thought the boy might like. Not expensive, so I grabbed them. Then I found this whole playset that teaches the kids all about animals and the names and sounds of the animals. I thought it would be GREAT for both of the kids. Then I remembered a few months ago and the Thomas and Diego fiascoes. I started picking up toys to see where they were made. EVERYTHING was made in China! Yes, I know, not everything is unsafe from China but how am I supposed to know what is and what isn't? How am I supposed to in good conscience trust these toy manufacturers who have provided us numerous times with leaded toys? How am I supposed to buy items that could very well be recalled a few weeks or months from now? How do I know that companies like Mattel or Fisher Price or any of the other large toy companies- or small ones for that matter- aren't keeping from consumers, until after the holidays, that their toys are full of lead? And what am I supposed to get my kids for Christmas? I've found a few toys made in the USA that I think the boy will like. It's harder for the peanut. She needs those sorting and stacking and walking and pushing toys. The ones that Fisher Price is so good with! But seriously, I'm too afraid to buy them.

I saw parents putting toys into their carts that I had otherwise rejected. I wasn't sure how to deal with my dilemma. The toys I bought, I didn't check the made ins on- I just bought them. What are other parents doing? I don't have a problem with wooden toys, except that most of them are painted and I worry about the paint. The boy is really past the stage of putting things into his mouth- except lately he's been chewing on his toy llama, odd but true! The peanut puts EVERYTHING in her mouth! The other day I caught her eating a leaf! I would almost rather have her eat the leaf than put a potentially lead laden toy in her mouth- at the least the leaf is roughage! I'm curious to hear how other parents are handling this. Or are you not worried? Part of me wants to say just screw it and buy the kids what I want and not worry about it. We can't live our lives in fear of possible lead. But at the same time, the risks are a lot greater than I think we realize.

I had thought of all of these completely random things that I wanted to put on here on my way into work this morning and now I remember NOTHING! I think it has to do with my lack of sleep. Hopefully, my energy level will perk up- I did just finish my triple venti white chocolate mocha so the caffeine should start coursing through my veins any minute now! I am excited for the weekend! I have a ton to do- bake cookies, clean the house, get the rest of my Christmas cards out- we ran out of wallet pictures of the kids. Lots to do but lots of people to see so that should be fun!

Did anyone see Grey's last night? I don't know whether or not I'm disappointed with it. I am "concerned" that we're entering re runs already next week because of the writers' strike. But I wonder how good the new episodes might be. I feel like it's moving away from the relationship pieces and becoming a medical show. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be watching- Patrick Dempsey commands my TiVo every Thursday night- but I would rather it be about the people than the medicine. ER is for the medicine and my TiVo is overloaded with that! I can't say I'm bored just slightly disappointed but I'll keep tuning in because I have faith in Shonda Rhimes and her abilities. It's got to get better! If not I could always suck on my kids' toys and absorb some lead and hallucinate through the bad parts!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I'm not quite sure how much I've shared regarding my medical status. Before the car accident I was in the midst of dealing with some fairly extensive medical issues. Or really just one issue that was somewhat complicated. It's a long story involving tumors and radiation doses and an unexpected pregnancy and lots of doctors and tests. Someday I'll share the whole thing, although the bits and pieces over the past months might be enough to tell the whole story. For the past two months or so I have been on hiatus from my doctors for this issue. I didn't have any tests done. I didn't have any doctor appointments pertaining to this. I just took my meds and lived my life.

Today, I go back to the doctor for the first time in a few months and I'm somewhat nervous about what the tests from last week are going to show. I feel pretty good. My symptoms are less but I've been having new symptoms that I've never really experienced before. My hair is falling out like gang busters! Seriously. If you're looking for something to buy stock in, Drano is the way to go. I go through it like water. I have had the WORST sore throat ever for a very long time and nothing I do alleviates it. And my skin is so friggin' dry that you would think I've never seen a bottle of moisturizer in my life. I don't know what these things mean. I'm not doing research on them. I'm not googling them. I'm not changing my meds before I see my doctor because he already said he wouldn't alter them. I'm going about my daily business, taking my meds and living my life.

I wonder what my numbers and tests will show. I am curious to see if I am back where I am supposed to be. My levels, as indicated by my tests, have been so skewed in previous appointments that I still expect them to be. I cannot fathom what will be said to me when I walk into my doctor's office this afternoon and that scares me. I am concerned that the tumors I had growing are still growing and the radiation didn't work. I am concerned that the disease I have was so far advanced that the radiation wasn't enough to stop it. I am concerned about all of this but I've only started thinking about it today. Weeks before my previous doctor appointments I used to agonize over what was going to happen and what they would tell me. That is no longer the case. I have so much on my plate- mainly good- that I do not have time to think about this anymore. That worries me, too. I've often thought that if I just ignored it, it would go away. Now I wonder if since I've ignored, it's had time to re energize itself. But I feel good. I'm not as symptomatic as I once was. I'm doing ok. Maybe today will be good. Maybe the news will be what I want to hear. And if it's not...that's ok. I'll deal. We'll deal. And I'll think about it when I have to.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gracias, Dora!

FYI- I fell asleep AGAIN last night on the couch BUT I didn't wake up angry this morning! :)

Much to mother's dismay my son LOVES Christmas music. Why does he love this music? Probably because I played it to my womb when I was pregnant with him (although we're pretty sure he couldn't hear it) and probably because each year I start listening to Christmas music, sporadically, in mid October. He is a creature of habit and routine and the routine is Christmas music! His favorite cd? A Barenaked Holiday by the Barenaked Ladies. His favorite song? Ironically enough, not from that CD. It's Feliz Navidad by anyone who will sing it.

The radio stations by us have been playing Christmas music since Thanksgiving which is nice for me because I no longer have to remember to bring the CDs along for in the car. What I've been noticing is that whenever any version of Feliz Navidad comes on the boy sings every word! At first, it boggled my mind as to how he knew every single word and then I realized it...DORA!

Yes, my children watch tv. I am not ashamed of it. They watch significantly less than they did 6 months ago but they watch it. The boob tube really isn't on much during the kids' waking hours during the week. And when it is on it's not like they're watching Terminator or Gladiator. It's tuned to Noggin or PBSKids Sprout or Disney. My kids watch "educational" TV and I'm ok with it. Dora the Explorer has been a staple in our house since the boy was born. He friggin' LOVES Dora and her counterpart cousin Diego. He knows the songs, the characters, he has or actually had all of the toys to go with it. (We had to toss many of them courtesy of lead paint.) But he LOVES it!! Dora is the reason that my kid can sing every single word to a song that was once quite annoying to me. Dora is the reason my kid can speak and count in Spanish- well that and daycare. (He has Spanish classes in daycare. They taught him how to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Spanish. Very Cute!) So, now I love Feliz Navidad! It's probably my favorite Christmas song. I pray for it to come on so I can hear the boy's voice from the back seat singing away. He won't sing it if I just break out in song. It has to come on the radio and he has to announce to everyone that this is HIS song and that's that!

Gracias Dora and Feliz Navidad to you!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rude Awakening

I woke up angry this morning. I'm not completely positive why, but I did. I was annoyed and pissed and the fact that it was still pitch black out did not help my mood.

I fell asleep on the couch last night around 8:30 or 9:00 (quite reminiscent of my pregnancy days) while we were watching Ocean's 13. I never made it past the beginning and I'm actually pretty disappointed. The last thing I remember is George Clooney and Brad Pitt having a conversation with Eddie Izzard then all of a sudden the husband is over me telling me to get up and go to bed. I'm pretty sure I said something ridiculous because he was laughing as he told me to go upstairs. I was convinced that it wasn't any later than maybe 9:15...I could not have slept that long. I headed upstairs and took a quick glance at the boy and then at the clock on our thermostat, 10:53!?!??!?! WTH!?!? Where did the evening go!?!? I had work to do...I had papers to grade...I had Clooney to watch. I checked on the girl, put on my pjs, popped a tylenol with codeine because now I was in some major pain courtesy of falling asleep on the couch and a major PT session, and I got into bed. What felt like minutes later, the boy was in bed with us. How did that happen??!?! Apparently, he had a screaming crazy nightmare. So, he spent the evening with us. I am not a fan of co sleeping. I do not sleep well with a third or really even a second person in the bed with me. Maybe that's why I woke up angry?

Or maybe I woke up angry because I had some crazy dreams last night. I mean seriously CRAZY! I don't remember what they were about but I know they were crazy enough to wake me out of a dead sleep. My dreams are always NUTS when I take the tylenol. I guess it's the way the codeine screws with my brain. In the past, though, I've never woken up angry after a night of nutso dreaming.

Maybe I woke up angry because the husband had off today and he was going to pick up our new car. Maybe subconsciously I wanted to drive it first. Quite childish and petty of me but maybe that's why I woke up angry?

Maybe I woke up angry because the husband came home late last night courtesy of one of his employees switching with another and not letting him know. Then when he came home and showed me his schedule for the week he is working Saturday night. Why would this make me angry?!?! This made me angry last night because I have plans on Saturday and I've been planning them for weeks now, maybe even months. I checked and double checked with him to make sure he could switch his schedule- no problem. I reminded him repeatedly to make sure the schedule was right- no problem. I even wrote him a note and sent him a text to make sure he remembered- no problem. Well, problem. He's on until 10 on Saturday night and I was pissed! He claims he can switch with the other manager but we'll see. I still don't think I woke up angry because of that.

I don't know why I woke up angry. Things are pretty good right now, considering. We're getting ready for my favorite time of year. Christmas is everywhere. The kids are healthy, I'm semi healthy, my family is healthy. We've been given the gift of a new car- very generous and a HUGE weight off our minds and hearts and poketbooks. I mean things are going pretty good. I just can't figure out why I woke up angry. Maybe it's just as simple as, I didn't want to wake up today. I mean I wanted to wake up but I didn't want to get out of bed. I love waking up and seeing my little boy's face right next to mine. I don't like it when I can roll over at 3 in the morning and see his face but at 7 or 8, it's no big deal! I love laying in bed and talking with the husband and playing with the kids and just enjoying time together. Time away from doctors and bills and accidents and messy kitchens. (That's another thing, I came downstairs to a kitchen that was filthy! I had been reassured by the husband that it would be clean- no such luck!) I guess I just didn't want to get out of bed...I wanted to be comfy and cozy and hang out with the fam. I wanted it to be a lazy Tuesday. I wanted it to be an unexpected day off. Oh well, maybe another day! I guess that's what makes those unexpected days so great....they're so unexpected.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dear Mother Nature-

My cell phone just rang and my inbox dinged, I have a two hour delay tomorrow. I cannot thank you enough. Well, I could thank you more if I get another call around 6 or 7 saying we're closed.

Thank You

Still Desperately Seeking Snowday but Willing to Settle For Delay

Dear Mother Nature-

Thank you very much for this morning's snow. I love it. It is beautiful. The boy loved it. We played in it this morning and he made his very first snow angel, ever. He learned how to make snowballs and he was catching snowflakes on his tongue. Your present of snow provided us with wonderful memories, thank you.

Mother Nature, can we discuss timing? I'm a teacher, Mother Nature. I love snow, when it is strategically placed. Actually, no, I love it all the time, but I love it even more when it falls on the "right" day. It was lovely to wake up to softly falling snow this Sunday morning. It provided me with an excellent excuse to take it slow and relax as much as I could. Tomorrow morning, it would be wonderful to wake up to a new layer of snow or even better a thick thick layer of ICE. You see Mother Nature, I need ice or snow or something that makes it difficult for buses to travel. You sent beautiful snow on a Sunday morning, thank you. Tomorrow morning it would have been 10,000 times more beautiful to me and every other teacher in northern NJ.

Thank you for today's snow. My white Christmas lights look lovely covered in snow and glistening through the white powder. My children love playing in the snow and it is always a new discovery when it arrives. If I may be so bold, please send us something else tonight. Something to stall or even better cancel tomorrow. Us teachers have been back to school for a week after Thanksgiving and our students are like rabid caged animals. This time between Turkey Day and Christmas is like punishment for a teacher. The kids are OFF THE WALL! Any break you can give us is beyond appreciated! Ice, snow, anything. Thank you, Mother Nature and feel free to send snow anytime and always on a weekday!


Desperately Seeking Snowday

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I feel like Clark Friggin' Griswold! *UPDATED*

And no one has flipped the switch yet...WTH!?!?! If you don't get the reference, go and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and it will become clear to you.

So, the inside of our house has been decorated and it was time to do the outside. I wanted to get it done today because we're supposed to have snow tomorrow and God knows I'm not going out in the snow to hang Christmas lights! The husband, the boy and I headed outside with a plan. I wanted garland around the door with white lights and then multi colored lights on the bushes and the big tree in the front of our yard. NO PROBLEM! Everyone was on board with this plan. We did the garland and actually was able to run some across the front of the house. I was excited because it was really going to look nice all lit up. The husband then had to head to work and it was just too cold and windy to stay outside anymore. The boy and I headed inside and we relaxed for a bit, I finished our Christmas cards and then decided that the outside needed to get done. I went back out. I took the icicle lights we used on our garage last year and put them in one of our trees near the edge of the house. I don't really care for icicle lights, never have, but they light things up so nicely. I had a friend in college suggest I use them in the middle of our tree to light the tree up from the inside and it worked like a charm! Using them on this outside tree worked just as well!

After the icicle lights I realized I was pretty much running all clear lights and covered the rest of the bushes in clear lights. The big treat near the middle of the front of the yard can be done in the multi colored lights. Everything was set and I was pleased with myself. I plugged the lights in to double check that they all were working. They were. I unplugged and headed inside to wait for dusk. The kids went to sleep, I started sealing our cards, did a little straightening. And then it was dusk. Back outside to plug in the lights. The power runs off an outlet just outside our front door. The garland was plugged in the extension cord running from the outlet and then from there each light strand was connected to the one before it. It was probably the best laid out light stringing I have EVER done! So I plugged them in and they lit up beautifully. I mean it. They just looked gorgeous. I was so happy! I couldn't wait for the hubby to come home so he could drive up and see the house lit up and glowing.

I came back in and the kids were waking up from their naps. I made some dinner for the boy and then sat down to feed the girlie. We chatted a bit and played and ate...had a good time all around. I stood up to get her some dessert and took a peek outside and just as I did the lights went dark! I thought, "Oh crap! A whole strand out! COME ON!! They're brand new lights!" I walked to the front door and saw that every single light that I had put out was out. Every. Single. Light. WTH?!?!?! I switched the plug in the outlet. No luck. I switched the extension cord to a new one. No luck. Then I thought maybe a fuse blew. No luck. (On the fuse front, I may have flipped the wrong switch in our box so it still could be that....not sure though!) So now I sit here utterly upset by the fact that my hard work is not lit up. It looked SO PRETTY. I am so upset. This is the first time in all the years I've been doing outside lights- for my parents, my grandparents, us- that the lights have not worked right. I've always been able to figure it out. I know how Clark felt. If only I had some moose glasses to drink some spiked eggnog from, maybe I'd be ok!

Well, I did pour myself a glass of eggnog, just not spiked. I considered calling the husband at work to see if he could maybe figure out, over the phone, what the issues were. I thought better of that. My parents happened to call so I told them the story and my dad offered a few suggestions: the circuit breaker- no luck, a grounded outlet that needed to be reset- no luck, just a bad outlet- nope, the fuse in the lights may have blown- BINGO! The fuses in the first set of lights blew out, I overloaded it. Within moments I had this fixed and the house was re lit! YES! Thanks Dad!

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