Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Bitter Reality

It's been over two months since I have blogged anything. Life got crazy for a while. My oldest son, Andrew became a Bar Mitzvah in November. It was a day I thought would take forever to get here when he was first born, and then, it was here and now it's over. I couldn't be more proud of the job he did and how hard he worked to accomplish it. I hosted Thanksgiving a few days later. Everything there went fairly well. It was another loud, rowdy evening with my family. Nothing else needs to be said there. And now, the end of the year is in sight. And as I look's been a rough one.

I spent the first six months not being able to drive due to my seizure episode that occurred while on vacation for my 35th birthday. After rounds and rounds of testing, there was never an answer as to what caused it or why it happened. It was the second seizure I had in a 19 month period. No answers ever came from the first seizure either. It was an incredibly difficult time for me. I lost my freedom. It was a difficult strain on Steve and the boys, but , we pulled thru it.

Things got better for a couple weeks when my BFF's son was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor. He underwent major surgery to remove the tumor and one kidney. I had to leave town a few days after surgery. Andrew's baseball team was on their way to Cooperstown to play at Dreams Park--something we had been waiting for for 2 years. It was so hard to leave and to not be here to help and support her. Steve was unable to take the trip with us due to work. Thank G-d for my Mom, for without her coming with the boys and me, this whole trip would've fallen apart. My BFF's son has had a  bumpy road since but he is a fighter and a champ and has two treatments left and then we all get to say "F you Cancer!!!!!!"

Too many friends and people I grew up with or knew when I was younger have lost children over the last couple of years. I don't understand what is going on in the world and why this seems to be happening so much. I am so sick and heartbroken for all of them. These are good people who really want these children and who have so much to offer and who would be amazing and incredible parents. I cannot imagine what they go through on a daily basis. Nothing is worse than losing a child.

I have a few friends this year who have had serious health scares. It is so unnerving to realize that even people who take great care of themselves aren't immune from the ugly.  These friends all have young children and spouses. I don't even know what to say about it. It just sucks.

This week, someone who graduated from my high school passed away after a long battle. She's leaving behind a young son and husband, as well as parents and sisters. She and I were not friends but I knew who she was. She fought so hard the last few years and at the age of 36, she lost the battle. Again, I just do not understand. There are no words.

And, the most disheartening of all, is that the suburb I live in is home to FIVE very ill children. (that I am aware of. I hate to think there could be more.) I pray every single day that these children get better and are going to go back to their everyday lives. If any "good" could come from this, it is the outpouring of support and love I have seen from everyone willing to help these kids. I just wish there was more we all could do. But sometimes, even your best isn't enough. Nothing can take away the pain and suffering of these kids and their parents, sibling, grandparents, etc. I just do not think there could be anything worse than watching your child go through something like this.

I cry and I feel sadness every day the last several months knowing that all of this has happened. There is no justifiable reason that all these people should be suffering. My heart hurts.

I wear a "blessing bracelet" everyday now. It's nothing fancy and is nothing more than 4 beads . I am not a religious person. I simply wear it to remind me that I have 4 healthy children and to be grateful every single day for them--no matter how much they drive me insane. I wear it to remind me that I have my parents and am fortunate that they are still here with me .I wear it to remind me of my brothers and sister. I wear it to remind me that I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I wear it to remind me of my dear friends. I wear it to remind me to not take ANYTHING for granted, ever.

I know this blog entry was not uplifting or funny or anything it normally is. But, I had people asking me when I would write again. So, after more bad news arrived in the middle of the night, I decided to just let it out and write about what was really going on. I had hoped I'd feel better after doing so. I don't. I just feel overwhelming sadness. :o(

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nursemaid Kerry

So, as you know from yesterday's blog, my dad may or may not have a concussion. I was on the phone with my mother last night who reminded me that there is nothing that can be done for a concussion. She asked me if I remembered that Lance, my brother, has had several concussions. Do I remember????? I was the one that went running to the ER when he had his first one!!!!!!!!! My parents could not be contacted and I, at the age of 17, had to go running!

I had been sitting in the M hallway at Niles North one day, in between classes. I accidentally tripped the football coach, whose name escapes me right now, but he was kind of a scary guy with a super loud voice. I did not know he was also the boys basketball coach. That afternoon, the phone rang. I answered it and I immediately knew his voice. He asked for my parents. I told him they were at work. I was freaking that he called to report that I had tripped him earlier in the day. I was wrong. He called to inform me that Lance had gotten smashed in the head with volleyball poles, had been knocked to the ground and was on his way to the hospital. Oh. Cool. I'll be right over.

My grandparents were at the house to keep an eye on us. I told them I was going. They, of course, came running behind me in their car. I checked in at the front desk of the ER with the guy who was working his first day as receptionist. I explained who I was. He wouldn't let me back to see Lance until I answered 8 million questions. Here come Bub and Papa.  The dude at the desk asked if we had a doctor on staff at the hospital. The answer was no. Bub interjected and said yes. She and I got into a yelling match....she felt that a family friend (who was nothing but a pill pusher and not our doctor) was close enough. After the guy behind the counter calmed down from his panic attack after watching us scream, he finally entered into the computer that we did not have a doctor on staff. I begged them to go home and let me handle it. While we stood fighting (and still hadn't seen Lance), in come my parents, holding their giant brick cell phone, which didn't get reception where they had been working that day. I then went home.  A few days later, while Lance laid on the couch, I smacked him in the head for saying something stupid, forgetting he had a concussion, momentarily. He survived.  But DO I REMEMBER??????

Here's a SAMPLING of events that I have received the phone call for and have had to go running to hospitals: (But do I remember?)

Jordan having an ERCP procedure done and needing a ride home because he drove himself and couldn't get released to drive. I went to get him.

My dad, having seen the doctor at the hospital post kidney stones and needing a ride home. I went to get him.

Lance calling that he thinks his appendix is no good. Sees the dr. Forgets his ID at the dr. I go running with the ID to Lincoln Park Hospital to bring it back to him.

Jordan calling from DePaul, stating he again, had no feeling in his legs. I ran down to Northwestern Memorial. Oh this was after Steve thought he was having gallbladder problems and I had been up the entire night before with him.

Jordan calling from Old Orchard saying he was buying pants but his legs went numb...I met him at Rush North Shore.

Tessi calling from Indiana University to say she's vomiting non stop and in pain. I tell her she's having a gallbladder attack. Who heads to Indiana to pack her up before finals?  Who drives straight back to get her admitted to Rush North Shore? Who stays the night until they will admit her? Who stayed the night with her after the gallbladder removal, after she threw everyone else out?

Oh...and on that hospital stay, Jordan calls me to say again, he's in horrific pain. I tell him to head to the ER at Rush, since we're there anyway, and that I can meet him downstairs, but again, this is all a giant secret, can't tell anyone.

Tessi calling from Spain...very ill...says she's going to the ER...don't tell anyone. I was on the phone all night with her.

Tessi calling AGAIN from Spain very sick. Again she heads to the ER.

Steve calling after he took someone to the ER and was feeling ill as he can't cope with people in the hospital, so I ran to Glenbrook.

Lance calling from New York to say he really thinks it's his appendix and he went to the hospital. (Thank goodness for Roya!) But who convinced my mom to get on a plane to go be with them??

Jordan calling from an old girlfriends house that he literally collapsed on the floor and what should he do. 911 was called. I went running to Northwest Community.
They refused to help him. I insisted on a transfer to Rush North Shore. Off he went.

Who took Jordan in for 5 weeks after his spinal fusion to take care of him????? I would make PBJ sandwiches on Wonder Bread (learned my lesson after using real bread). I'd make mac and cheese and leave it in a thermos before I went to work so he could have a hot lunch. Who bought a brand new TV so he could have one in his room so he'd be comfortable?

But do I remember?

Is she fucking serious?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Hammer to the Head

So, last night, while at dinner, I got a text from my father. Here's what it said:
"Did I tel u about th hammer that hit me in head" (That is exactly as he typed it. My dad has his own abbreviations when it comes to texting.)
My response was "Do you have a concussion?"
He said, "No stl hav hedake @ lighthed. Not severe vry mild".
I told him he needed to get to the ER. I asked him if he was tired.
This was the answer. "No mor thn usual. Im good dont wory. Jus wantd som1 2kno. Lov u"

The last time he said something similar to me was in 2004 when he was in Vegas for a wedding and called me from Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville to inform me he felt really sick and, if he were to die, at least he got to speak to me before it happened.

Does this sound normal to you? ( He was hospitalized while there and had to stay in Vegas longer, but eventually made it home. It was kidney stones.)

I, being of sound mind and body, proceeded to call my uncle to see if he could go get my father and take him to the ER. He wasn't home. I texted my brother, Jordan, to see if he knew of my uncle's whereabouts. He did not but did ask me why I wanted to know.  I proceeded to tell him about the text I had received. He asked me how it happened. I told him what my dad told me. He replied with: "Oh that's from like 3 days ago." THREE DAYS AGO?????
 I called my mother, who is out of town for work, to let her know what was going on. She told me she was out of town and what did I want her to do.

Again, does this sound normal to you?

For some reason, my family always seems to call me when someone is hurt, ill, on the way to the ER, already in the hospital or needs to get to one. Why? I don't know. Some listen to me when I suggest we head to the ER; some choose to think they know better, my father being a prime example.

In 2001, we were at my parents house for Rosh Hashanna. My mom had washed the potatoes and asked my dad to cook them. (he always makes the mashed potatoes.) He decided a cutting board wasn't necessary. He chose to cut potatoes in his bare hand. This led to him missing the potato and slicing his hand open. My mother was concerned about him bleeding all over her potatoes. My husband took him to the ER for stitches, even though my dad thought he didn't really need them.

The next month, I had a funeral to attend. My dad came to my house to watch Andrew and Issac while I went. He got to my house and told me not to "dilly dally" as he wasn't feeling well. I rushed home to find him sitting outside my house on one of my brand new dining room chairs. I had just gotten the dining room set so I was rather unhappy about my new chair being outside. He told me he was having chest pains and was "thinking" about going to the hospital. While I was gone, he called my mom, at work, to ask her to call 911. (The fire department was literally across the street from my house) She told him to call himself.  He eventually got to the hospital and it wasn't a heart attack.

My sister has called me from Spain to say she was sick and to ask if she should go to the hospital. I've had both brothers ask me as to whether or not their symptoms required medical attention. My question is this: why tell me 3 days after you got your head smashed to tell me you aren't feeling well? (oh and leave out the fact that it was 3 days earlier?!?!?!?!?!) And, if other people were aware of the injury, why did no one else think to maybe get him checked out?

My dad texted me this morning to apologize for getting me all upset and worried and wanted to know if he was still allowed to come over to watch the Bears game tonight. So he'll be here soon.

I'm not sure this blog makes any sense today. I feel like I am just rambling. I'll stop now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Puppies, C-sections and Bub

I took my puppy, Bailey, to the vet this morning to drop her off for her surgery. She's being spayed today, 4 days shy of turning 6 months old. I am sure she will be fine when I pick her up tomorrow. But, it is surgery, and she is being put to sleep, so I worry. We made sure to not feed her breakfast today so that all would be ok. I had flashbacks to two different occasions on the way to the vet: the first, when I took my cocker spaniel, Zoey, to her spaying surgery and when I found out I was being induced with Andrew.

I had never had a dog and my late husband, Allan, grew up with them. He wanted one in the worst way. So, the day after we returned from our honeymoon, we bought Zoey.  She was almost 3 months old when we got her and I had no idea what to do with her. She cried the ENTIRE first night we had her home. It was awful. But, that dog was house broken rather quickly. We had a doggie door. Allan stood outside and I stood inside and we just kept throwing her in and out until she got it.  But, she had her shtick.  The dog wouldn't run across the grass. She would only walk the border of the yard. Never figured out why she was so weird. She wasn't a fan of the snow. She died before she turned 4 years old. There are some theories surrounding her death--ones I will not go into here--but she was a good girl and I am sorry her life was cut short.

In any event, my Bubby had come to my house the day before Zoey's spaying. My Bub was PETRIFIED of dogs and so she was in her room during the visit. I told my Bub she was being spayed the next day. She needed an explanation as to what that was.  So, I explained it was essentially a hysterectomy and she wouldn't be able to have puppies. I showed her that they'd cut her stomach vertically. I did this over my own belly. Bub slapped my hand and told me to never do that. I thought it was just some silly superstition she had; that was, until I gave birth to Andrew.

My Andrew was 11 days overcooked. That boy was never coming out. Not that he didn't want to, but it seems that my body doesn't understand the concept of labor (even with pitocin) and I never labored with any of my boys.  I'd contract but never, ever, ever would my cervix soften or dilate. NEVER! I had a scheduled induction date. But, being overdue, I was a the OB every other day just to check on everything.  So, 2 days before that date, the OB decided enough was enough and we needed to induce labor.  I'll save all the details of that for Andrew's birthday blog, LOL, but I ended up with a very scary emergency c-section that night.  And, because it was such an extreme emergency, I have a vertical incision, rather than a bikini cut. It's very rare for a doctor to have to use that cut anymore. (In fact, at a follow up OB/GYNE appointment, I actually had one of the nurses accuse me of not knowing what kind of cut I had. She told me "no one uses that cut anymore unless its a super emergency". I stood up and dropped my pants and pulled down my underwear.  She didn't know what to say.

I look like I have a front tushy. I'm not sure if anyone will understand that without seeing it, but I sure as hell won't let anyone see it. After Andrew, the scar was like a hairline--super thin and faded nicely.For Issac, they went right in thru the same incision. (Allan always said rather than staples, they should've given me a zipper) After Issac, it was more noticeable. After Simon, forget it. My insides had drooped and so they started the incision several inches lower than the original. So it also goes lower than the original. And, it flaps and folds in-ish.

Anyway, I can't help but think that the reason I ended up with the vertical incision was because of what I did when explaining the spaying surgery to my Bub.  (Rational Kerry (she does actually exist, somewhere deep within me) knows better and that it was truly a medical issue.) Maybe this crazy superstition of hers was really not such shtick. Maybe she really knew something.  And, as she always would tell us, she may not always be right, but she was never wrong.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not Meant For Mom's Eyes

Lingerie.  It kind of baffles me.  It always looks great on the mannequin or the Victoria's Secret model. On any normal woman, it looks kind of silly.  And, from my understanding, a lot of men just find it annoying and in the way.

It's always interesting when the mail arrives and there is a Victoria's Secret catalog. First off, I haven't shopped there in at least 15 years. Why I am still on their mailing list, I have no idea.  Secondly, I was once thrown out of a Victoria's Secret for having boobs too big to fit into one of their strapless bras. It was a humiliating experience. The sales girls were wearing Madonna like headphones as a way of communicating to each other throughout the store. I walked in and one approached me asking if I needed help. I said that I did. I told them I had looked online for a particular bra to go under a specific dress. They said they did have the bra in the store and asked what size I needed. I told the sales girl, expecting to be walked to that section of the store. Instead, she started talking to another sales girl and did so rather loudly on her little headset.  They went back and forth discussing whether they carried that size. Once the entire store knew just exactly what was under my shirt, I was then escorted back towards the door and told I may need to find another store as they did not carry anything for me.  I almost felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Women, except my legs aren't 44 inches long, I didn't have an unlimited credit card and I am not a hooker.

Even though the Angels of Victoria's Secret always look super beautiful in the catalog I receive for no reason, they aren't really human, are they?? They are filled with plastic and are airbrushed. If I was filled with silicone and had all my fat sucked out and tucked away, and was airbrushed, I too would look quite lovely.  It's not normal to have a 32DD on a woman who weighs 82 pounds. Why don't you weigh her boobs? They won't weigh enough. A real woman who has real DD's, her boobs weigh what they should. If you could put them on a scale in a produce store, you would see that.  If you attempted to weigh my boobs on a produce scale, first you would have to lift them off the floor. A crane would be needed and there probably isn't enough room in between the aisles of apples and bananas. So, you will just have to trust me when I tell you they weigh quite a bit.  It's also nice that these women wear matching bras and panties. Real women don't have time in the mornings to worry about it. Be happy we put on a bra that isn't all stretched out and panties that aren't grandma like.

As far as men go, (this is where my mom should probably stop reading) anyone I have been with, has not been a fan of lingerie. They claim they'd rather have nothing there. I always took that as a good thing. As I've thought about it more, there are two possibilities. A. This was their way of telling me I looked like a clown in the stuff. (Which I already knew and felt weird in. You need fake boobs in order to make the get up look the way it should. And a flat stomach....wish I also do not have...never did. OR. It's B. Men are too lazy to have to take the lingerie off! Men are lazy creatures. They will spend hours figuring out how to avoid doing something that would only have taken five minutes. Lingerie just gets in the way of what they are ultimately trying to do. Maybe it's a combination of the two. They like looking at the "perfect" women wearing the lingerie because they can pretend they aren't airbrushed. (And men still like to do most women.) And, it doesn't require any work on their part. seems like the answer to most of my questions is that men are lazy.  Somehow, I think I already knew this.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Not so much a blog entry or a story today...just some random thoughts and rants.

I am not a fan of female doctors for my own healthcare needs. The ones I have encountered tend to be rather cold with rough edges and don't seem to show much compassion or understanding. I'll stick with the men. It seems when I tell them about my period or my hormones or emotional issues, they tend to pretend to listen to my complaints, rather than telling me to suck it up. I enjoy that.

PMS is a REAL PROBLEM. PMDD is a worse problem. It's offensive when men tell women they are flying off the handle because of PMS. That's not why we do it. We do it because you don't listen or do what we ask, when we ask you to do it. The PMS just enhances our frustration with you. The problem is YOU...not our hormones. And, when you suggest that PMS might be the problem, you should run.

Men hate being asked "Do I look fat in this?" or "Do these jeans make me look fat?". Understandable. However, you should understand that we are going to ask, regardless. Do not hesitate when you answer. Just say "NO". Will we believe you? No. But just answer with a quick no. Never, ever hesitate. Also, never use the word "fine" to describe our hair, clothes, makeup or how we look in general.

I believe couples who hold hands often, do so because they are trying to put on a facade. I get it if you are on vacation, away from your kids and you might have a moment. Totally understandable. When you first are dating, go for it. Married couples don't do it. And those that do are hiding something.

I think young single guys who drive sports cars are trying to make up for personality flaws.  I think older men who drive sports cars have small penis' and are trying to compensate.  Either way.....I don't see how a sports car is impressive. Oh. And guys who drive small SUV's----weird. They're meant for women. Men who drive the small ones look silly. Not a fan.

Speaking of cars, Lexus owners tend to not be the best drivers, based on my personal experience.  I'm talking Lexus CARS, not SUV's.  I don't know why. I know it's a generalization. But lately, every time someone is messing up traffic or holding up a parking lot, it's a Lexus driver.

I believe pregnant women should not tell people what they plan to name their baby. You will almost always find someone who hates the name. Why should it matter to them? It's YOUR baby. They are not entitled to an opinion. And, once the baby is named, it's over. And anyone who tells you they don't like the name?--they're an asshole.

Any guy who states he doesn't want to get married means he doesn't want to marry YOU. Go read the book "He's Just Not That Into You" or go see the movie. It is totally true. If a guy wants you, he'll let you know. Period.

Single mothers, raising their children, should receive gifts on Fathers Day as well as Mothers Day; Single fathers, raising their children, should receive gifts on Mothers Day as well as Fathers Day.

Women should receive "push presents". I know 30-40 years ago, it was not common. Today, it is. Keep in mind your wife pushed a watermelon out of her hoo-ha. Or, was sliced and diced so that baby could be born. Show her some appreciation.

People think teachers have it easy; they don't. Show some gratitude. Nurses in the hospital do a big majority of the work. Show some gratitude.

When your wife cooks a meal, thank her. When your husband takes out the garbage, thank him. Or if he cooks and you take out the garbage, thank each other. A simple thank you goes such a long way.

Monday, October 3, 2011

5 years later......

On October 3, 2006, Steve and I had our first date.  It took a little while for us to get there, but we did it.

He contacted me on and we exchanged several emails back and forth that day. We spoke on the phone later that evening.  I was in Bed Bath & Beyond while we spoke and, as I normally do when at BB&B, I just wandered around the store. It was a very nice conversation. He told me he'd like to take me to dinner once the holidays were over. (Rosh Hashanah had just ended and Yom Kippur was approaching.) Sounded like a plan to me.

The next day, he asks me if I am free to have dinner on Saturday night. (the 30th) I was feeling pretty good about this as he apparently wanted to meet before Yom Kippur. I told him I was, in fact, free that night. He asked me where we could meet that would be in between where we both lived. I suggested Wildfire, thinking the one in The Glen. He said Schaumburg seemed like a good half way point. Um, really?? I was a little confused but figured it was no big deal.  He tells me he'll try to get a reservation and he'll call me back.  He informs me we have an 8pm reservation.

Later that evening, while unloading my car from my Target trip, I get a text from him. It says, "Hey Katie, looking forward to Saturday night!" :o)  Hmmmmm. Interesting.  I text him back and said this is Kerry.  I get a text back that says "oops :o/"  So I write back, and ask if he meant to ask Katie out or just got my name wrong.  His response: "Katie".  Oh. Nice. Knew it all sounded too good to be true. I told him to enjoy his dinner with Katie.

The next afternoon, while driving home from work, he called me. This was perplexing to me, seeing as he openly admitted he asked me out by mistake. He saw nothing wrong with calling me, figuring we'd still go out when we had originally planned.  I asked if he was at all embarrassed about what he had done. He really wasn't.  We texted back and forth the next couple of days. Friday night, we had our first of several super long conversations. Somewhere in those 4 or 5 hours, he shared with me that Katie had blown him off and they weren't going out the next night. I told him I was sorry to hear that. He then said, "I suppose you don't play sloppy seconds?" (In my mind I was thinking, well, I have nothing to do tomorrow and I already have the sitter lined up, but Tammy, my BFF, threatened death upon me if I accepted the invite.) So , I told him that was correct and if he wanted to go out, he'd have to wait until Tuesday, as we had planned.

We spent the entire weekend on the phone with each other or texting back and forth. So, the anticipation had been building. Within these talks, he shared with me that he had set up several first dates with women since his wife had passed, but canceled on all of them. Awesome. That would be just super.  He told me the only way he wouldn't show for our date was if some member of his family ended up in the hospital.

Tuesday arrived. He was out getting a mani/pedi and haircut. I was at work. ( A little mixed up, wouldn't you say?) I got home and took the kids to their after school activities. At 5pm, he calls me. ( We are supposed to meet at 7) He says, you will never believe this. My brother is at Northwestern Hospital. My heart sank. Either this guy really was in the hospital or he was blowing me off.  So, I said ok, I understand. And, he starts laughing. Oookkkkkk. He said it was probably a panic attack, but they want to make sure it's not his heart, so they are keeping him overnight. I questioned whether he was going to the hospital. He said nope.  Again, confusion. I said are you sure? He said absolutely.

I called Tammy. I told her the story and that he was already setting up his "out" for the date. We meet at dinner, he decides he wants to leave and he'll get a "call" that he has to go to the hospital.  So, I begin to freak.  She tells me she'll call me 15 minutes into the date to check in.

I leave for dinner. We were meeting at Wildfire, in The Glen, since that really was a good meeting point.  I was two minutes away when I get a frantic text from Steve going "where are you???????" He was already there waiting and thought I was standing him up.  It was 6:59pm.  I parked and walked in and there he was, sitting on a bar stool, holding an Elvis CD for my kids. I had told him that over the weekend. one of the boys asked if Elvis really died on the toilet. (I have no clue how that came up.) So, he thought they might like to listen to his music. (Hmmm. A guy who pays attention. I was impressed. Little did I know that would be the first and only time Steve would pay attention to details.)

The hostess takes us to our booth, and Steve decides we should sit next to each other. Ew. Only weird ass people do that, but we did it anyway.  People stared. It was awkward.  Tammy did her check in phone call. I let her know all was ok.  And, right there in the booth, he asked if he could kiss me. Ballsy move. I let him. Again, we looked totally weird.  I thought this guy must be big on PDA. HA!!!!!! Couldn't be further from the truth, so I have no idea what was in his drink that night.

And the rest, as they say, is history.  If Tammy hadn't convinced me to give one more shot, or, if Katie hadn't blown Steve off, who knows where we'd all be today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginnings End

Today is the first day of the rest of his brother Jordan's life, that is. Without getting into a whole lot of detail, as it is too much bullshit to get into and it's probably not most appropriate, today begins a whole new book for him. Many people would say a new chapter, but after what has gone on this year, it's time for the sequel. And, seeing as we are upon the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, the timing could not be more appropriate. This rather unpleasant year is going to end, and we have a new, fresh year ahead of us.

Jordan is one of the most courageous, bravest, street smart people that I know. Jordan has endured so much over the course of the last year (well, last couple of years if you count his back surgery and the road that led him there) and while there were many bumps, hills and valleys, he always kept his head held high. He remained true to himself and to what he believed in. He refused to compromise his integrity. He refused to play dirty. He remained honest and loyal, even when others did not. He learned what it meant to have true friends. He learned that some people cannot be trusted. And, he kept his composure when he had to...which many people are not capable of. (I can lose my shit at the drop of a hat.....not to say Jordan didn't have moments, but, when it mattered, he was able to pull it together.)

Jordan has also had a fabulous support system throughout it all. (Ahem, can you tell where this part is going?? LOL) I like to pride myself (and my family)  on the fact that we are always there for each other; no matter how bad things get, we handle it together. Some people get confused since we are often rather loud and vocal with our opinions; do not misunderstand--it ALL comes from love. And, then there is Jenna, Jordan's fiance.  She has stood by him and supported him throughout this ordeal--for that, I thank her.

Anyway, what I am trying to get at is this: I am really proud of my brother.  He has accomplished great things and I know that he will continue to do so. What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” So, as this year ends, Jordan is about to make a new beginning. I wish him nothing but the best in all of his endeavors. xoxo

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grateful: Le sono enormemente grato!!!!!!!!!!!

Good morning everyone. It's Monday. Woke up to rain which is never cool. Boys are at school and I am doing a bunch of different things at once...and now I am writing this, which means I am avoiding doing things that need to get done. But. I felt that I needed to take this break to thank some people for the past weekend.

Steve and I visited my sister, Tessi, this past weekend in Nashville. Some of you know she received a promotion and moved there 2 months ago to open the new Nordstrom there. The store is absolutely INCREDIBLE. For those of you in Chicago who think that the Michigan Ave. store or Oakbrook is something to look at, you haven't seen anything yet. This store is set up totally different and is quite chic!

Anywho......we stayed at the Opryland Hotel. Let me just say, I consider myself a fairly seasoned traveler. (not compared to many who travel for work, but as a non-work traveler, I think it's safe to say, I've been around a time or two.) This hotel is the most incredible I have ever stayed at. I am an admitted hotel snob. I need things to be at a certain level and I have no problem owning up to it. I truly loved this hotel and look forward to going back. (Hopefully, over winter break to take the boys to visit Tessi and to take part in the hotel's DreamWorks Country Christmas celebration!!! The boys don't know yet..SHHHHH!)  It was such a pleasure to get to spend the weekend with Tessi. She showed us Nashville, where she lived and we just got to hang out, and it was so nice.

None of this would have been possible without the help of my mom and Tessi's boyfriend, Mac. See, Tessi has always been my vacation babysitter---going back to 2003, when she was a mere 14 or 15 years old. This was the first time my mom stayed with all 4 boys without any help. Not that there were any doubts as to how she would handle it, seeing as she has vacationed with the 4 of them on her own (and with my dad, so make that 5) but the kids have a lot of activities and the schedule can be a bit rough. The only thing she refused to do was watch Bailey. My mom is in no way, shape or form an animal person. Bailey has been to her house (in the backyard), and Jordan's (my youngest brother) dog, Oliver, has even been in her house and has a toy there for when he visits. But, she put her foot down at dog-sitting.(I totally understand.....she's a handful and the boys aren't always the most reliable at taking care of her) So, I figured we'd send her to the kennel for the weekend, but, Mac came to the rescue. Mac still lives here in Chicago and he and Tessi are doing the long distance thing. He graciously took Bailey to stay with him for the weekend. Bailey had a wonderful time with him!! Then, when my mom had a bridal shower to attend on Sunday, Mac came back with Bailey and watched her and the boys until we got home.

I have mentioned before that I am beyond lucky to have such a wonderful family and great friends. This past weekend is just another example of that. Steve and I got to get a few days away, with the bonus of seeing Tessi, the boys got to hang out with my mom and Mac, and Bailey got to stay in luxury, instead of the kennel.  Steve and I are both so grateful and appreciative of what my mom and Mac did for us this past weekend. It means so very much and we thank you both!!!!!!

So, while I should be tending to other things on this dreary day, I felt it was important to remind everyone to appreciate the people in your lives. Whether small favors or big ones, when people step up to help you, remember how lucky you are. I know too many people who aren't as blessed as we are. Money cannot buy happiness. (I hear it just makes things easier, LOL). But, having the love and support of family and friends can light up your life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not a Great Start To Our Day......

This morning, while getting the kids breakfast and trying to get them out the door, I did the one thing that I told myself I would never, ever do. And now, it will be on my mind all day and for years to come.

There's no doubt that my children have not been dealt that best hand when it comes to body size. We run on the larger size.  I was dealt that hand while my 3 siblings were not. (Kind of like on Sesame Street when they would sing about how one of these things was not like the other....I have always been "the other".) One of my kids seems to be a lot like me----knows the difference between what is healthy and good for him and what it isn't; knows what a "good choice" is vs. one that isn't. And yet, in the majority of cases, chooses the latter.  I know how that is....sometimes it's subconscious.; sometimes it isn't. Either's a very hard habit to break.

This morning, he opened his lunchbox to see what I had packed for him. He asked if he could substitute one item out for another. I told him no; that lately his choices weren't the best and he had to eat what I had packed. He zipped up the lunchbox, grabbed his backpack and walked out, without saying goodbye.    I knew exactly what was running thru his mind and what he was feeling and my heart sank. I always hated being verbally reminded of what I should be doing; what I should or shouldn't be eating--and more importantly, why.

When we were young, playgrounds weren't built out of nice plastic. They were built out of wood and were rather dangerous. We used to get slivers in our hands often. My mom would sit us on the kitchen counter, ice our fingers and remove the slivers. I would get 2 cookies to tide me over for the "procedure".  One of my brothers--he got the entire box.  Why? He had a metabolism that could handle it and I did not.  I'm 35 years old now and this memory is burned into my head. It's stupid and ridiculous to continue to think about it.  Just like I used to get 1/2 a sandwich from the time I was in 3rd or 4th grade--none of my friends did.  As an adult, I understand now why my mom did these things. She was doing what she felt was right; what was best for me. I was resentful of it. No one likes to be made out to feel different. But, it wasn't her fault that my metabolism was practically non-existent. It's just the way it was/is.

My poor baby was crying on the driveway this morning when I went outside. He said everything that I used to feel when I was his age.  And, it absolutely broke my heart. He is aware that he is a big kid. (He's also off the charts at least it's a little more proportionate.) But, as he pointed out, it's not fair to have things in the house for other people to eat and to restrict him from them. It should be either all or nothing. I totally see his perspective.....when temptation is there, sometimes, you cannot resist what is right in front of you.  I told him he was right and that I understood. I also told him I didn't want him to grow up and be like me--that it was just so hard and I didn't want that for him. He looked at me and said "We are what we are.  It doesn't seem to matter what we do."  There was a lump in my throat and I didn't know what to tell him in those couple minutes we had before the bus came. I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I loved him very much and that I just wanted what was best for him.  And, I do. But it's just so hard.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Apples, Bananas and Tomatoes, oh my!

It's now Fall (technically on the 21st, as Simon likes to remind me) and that means all sorts of varieties of apples are now filling the stores. Personally, I am HUGE fan of the Honeycrisp--it's just as it sounds: sweet and yet oh so crispy! Zion has found a new favorite--the Gala--but only the ones I have found recently, which are much smaller and fit his hands (and appetite) much better than the other apples I had been buying. Steve is more of a green apple kind of guy--granny smith--too tart for my taste. Andrew is out of the apple market for now as he's got his braces and Issac....he'll eat pretty much any kind of apple. I spent a lot of time yesterday (and Sunday) wandering around our new produce store looking over all of the apples. (Again, too much time--that and my Dad calling me while I was there and felt the need to tell me that a friend of his called him to tell him a mutual friend of theirs called him and then had to go as his girlfriend was ready to have sex, so he had to go. WHAT?!?!) While I walked around, nauseous and curious, I decided this year, I want to take my family apple picking. I am sure they'll all jump at the opportunity.

While I started typing this...Regis and Kelly began a banana eating contest on their show--who could eat the most in one minute--they had 3 world record holders competing. (I have so many jokes running through my head.) I love bananas but I may not be able to eat one for a while---which is a huge bummer.

While at the produce store, I discovered some new yellow,(so the package says; really they are orange) grape tomatoes.  I bought one package. Everyone here INHALED them---absolutely loved, loved, loved them!!!!!!!!!! So, I had to go buy more as people are just opening the fridge and eating them. So, while I putzed around the store (without my Dad on the phone this time) I also discovered the fresh bread counter. And, guess what I found???? Pumpernickel bread with raisins and walnuts!!!!!! Just like the bread they give you at Wildfire, only with walnuts----absolutely delish! I highly recommend.

That's pretty much all I have today. I know it isn't super exciting, but, as you probably know by my last few blogs, nothing has been exciting lately. Oh--there's this--which was a giant disappointment. I entered a contest a while back that Norwegian Cruise Line was holding. They have 2 new ships being built that will debut in 2013 and 2014. The contest was to name a ship. If they picked your entry, you would win a trip for 2 on the maiden voyage.  Well, results were posted and my name came in the top 5, but wasn't number 1, in NCL's eyes anyway. The article then took a poll, listing the top 5 names and guess which name the readers of the article picked as their fave: MINE. Kinda killed my fruit store buzz.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big Girl Panties

To start: some random thoughts today. (not really different from many days)
A. Today is Positive Attitude Day---bite me.
B. Kelly Ripa thinks eating a box of Goldfish is pigging out and her size negative 2 skirt is "too tight" today. Boo frickin hoo.

I really have convinced myself I am amidst a mid-life crisis. (which saddens me because does that mean I'll only live til 70??---not sure if that is good, bad or indifferent....just a realization) When they say that life is a roller coaster, I believe that. Right now though, I am stuck between dips and going upside down and vomiting---to me--this is not enjoyable. I used to like going to Six Flags Great America as a kid---but basically, I enjoyed trying to win $1 toys by spending $25 playing games and by eating my way through the park and people watching. The rides, they were an after thought. Some people enjoy the adventure of twists and turns and not being able to see what is ahead. I am not built that way. I need to see what is in front of me and when I can't, it scares me. My brother, Lance, loves adventure. We are built totally different and yet came from the same factory. Perhaps, it's like Chrysler and Mercedes. All now part of the same family, and yet, so not the same.  I sometimes wish I came from the same assembly line that he came from. I don't embrace change...I run from it. The problem is, when you try to run, you just hit a wall. You cannot avoid it. So, you can either sit down and cry, or, you can put on your big girl panties and deal with it. At this point, I am sitting on the floor, but, I know I need to put on the panties and deal. I just don't know how to stand up.

I have been told by more than several people that I am a good writer. I like to think I am. I have 2 different book ideas.....they sort of overlap and 1 could be the original and 1 could be the sequel. I have notes written for both. I have started writing one. I just can't seem to move forward with it. I'd rather speak it into a tape recorder (how old do I sound now?) and let someone else type it up for me. I feel like the typing is slowing me down. My mind moves much faster than my hands, even though I am a fairly fast typer. So, I am stuck. Kind of like I'm stuck with everything else in my life right now. I don't like it. I know what I need to do to change it, and yet, I just can't seem to do it.

So, I know the solution lies within me. I know what I have to do. But, I need to be the one to convince myself to do it. No matter what anyone says to me or tries to do to help me, in the end, I am in control. (even though I totally feel out of control) I just need to figure out what "control" means.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Sunday Sermon

I want to start off by saying that today, on the 10 year anniversary of the 9.11 attacks, my heart is heavy and with all of those who suffered such a tragic loss that day. I wish everyone peace and comfort, hoping they can remember the good times with their loved ones.

Friends of ours welcomed their first child in the wee hours of the morning, a son. We are so very excited for them. And it just goes to show what so many of us who have suffered loss learn: Life goes on.

Last night, Steve and I went to the movies. We decided to go see "The Debt", with Helen Mirren.  We got in line to get our popcorn. When the man in front of us was done, he turned to walk away. All of a sudden, a woman ran up and began to order. It was as though Steve and I simply didn't exist.  I was ready to let her have it when Steve actually spoke up, much to my shock.  Steve is one of the most non-confrontational people I have ever met.  He never confronts anyone on anything ever!!!! He just turns the other cheek or brushes it off....he doesn't believe anything is worth getting upset over.  This woman goes ahead and proceeds to order her lemon ice when Steve interrupts her and lets her know we were there first and you don't just cut in front of a line.  She apologizes but goes on to tell us that the man that was in front of us was her husband.  Now. I have no idea if that was true. If it were, why didn't she walk over while he was still ordering? Why didn't she yell from wherever she was to say, "Hey, I'd like a lemon ice."  She offers to let us go ahead but Steve tells her to just finish up her order.  I stood there, fairly frozen because I had never witnessed this in almost 5 years of being together.  I mean NEVER. I was totally in shock that I didn't even acknowledge that Steve did this because I was so in awe of what I had witnessed.

When we got into the theatre, I swear it was as if the nursing home shuttled the patients for an outing. I never have seen so many seniors with walkers, canes and nurses in my life at a movie.  I think it's great they all got gussied up on Saturday night and went out. I was the youngest person in the theatre by 14 years...that is because Steve was with me.  But, next to me, he was the youngest person there by probably another 14 years-easily.  These people were so worried about saving seats, it was a show in itself to watch them doing it. They laid napkins on chairs. They laid walkers out, they hung jackets, they paced back and forth in front of seats and they yelled at people if they even glanced their way.  These people were hiking the stairs to get seats for this movie. And then, after all of this, they got shot down by the two a$$holes sitting in front of Steve and me.  We had to sit on the side of the theatre where there were 4 seats in a row. Steve and I took our usual aisle and seat next to it--which left room for another couple to join us...and another couple did. The shmos in front of us took seats 2 and 3, leaving one seat empty on either side of them. Now, I go to the movies often enough to know that these people were not saving seats for anyone. They were merely being shmucks and hogging a row.  They turned away countless people, walkers and all, by lying, claiming their "friends" were coming.  I know I have written about this before, but seriously, this drives me NUTS. (as do many other things, if you read any of my other blog entries)  These are the people that really don't have friends because they are so selfish and rude and inconsiderate!

Ok. Enough of my bitching. I have been sitting here for way too long avoiding what it is I need to be doing today--which is finishing picking out photos for Andrew's Bar Mitzvah montage. This is a very difficult task and I had no idea how time consuming and hard this would be. But, it won't get done if I don't do it.

So, on this day......give an extra hug to those you love and hold dear to your heart. Take a moment to think about all of those who can't....and remember how lucky and blessed you are.

Friday, September 9, 2011


OREO has released a new cookie: they are calling it the Triple Double. It has 2 different fillings and 3 cookies. The people at the cookie company must be in cahoots with the people who make plus size clothing. Why on Earth would they invent a cookie that, although I am willing to bet tastes delicious, has to be absolutely horrible for us to be eating? All the news ever talks about is how this country is full of obese people. Women's magazine post tons of pictures with women's eyes blacked out so no one will know it is them in the "don't" picture, with their muffin tops popping out and they're back fat being pushed out.

Now, don't get me wrong. Who doesn't love an OREO? And, they make SO many varieties now that they probably cover all taste buds.  Why do I know this? Because in this house, the children can't all agree on one flavor OREO.  Everyone likes the traditional OREO. (this should end the blog. but marketing is everything.) There's Mint filled, Peanut Butter filled, Fudge covered, White Fudge covered, Reduced Fat,(who are they trying to fool?) Golden Oreos, Flip Flops (I think that's the name for the ones that have one yellow cookie and one chocolate) Double Stuff and lets not forget seasonal OREOS. Orange filled for Halloween, Red filled for Christmas, Yellow for Spring, and now.....they make Football shaped OREOS.  I am sure I am missing more. Oh yes---mini OREOS...they come in individual bags, or the bigger pack that looks like a container of chips. Lunch packs of OREOS, that come in multi pack boxes.

Why do I care about this? Truth is, I don't.  But I am now at Target at least 3 times a week re-stocking on groceries for the pre-teen boy that lives here.  I never can just walk into the store and buy what I need...I always have to wander around, aimlessly.  Given my present state of mind though, losing myself in the aisles of Target seems to help, if only for a few minutes.  That and the fact that I have had the hardest time finding the individual bags of the regular Goldfish.  Why is that??????? I found them at the 3rd Target I went to. Just like the OREOS, my kids don't agree on which Goldfish they like. They can't eat the color Goldfish. (um, they taste the SAME!) and heaven forbid I buy the Extra Cheddar Goldfish...all hell breaks lose since only 1 kid likes those.

This is what my life has come to: discussing OREOS and Goldfish. Does it matter? No. There are kids all over the world who have no food or don't know if or when there will be another meal. And my kids: they're picky over what shaped noodle they are eating, cause ya know, farfalle tastes different than rigatoni.

Again, I am not complaining about my kids. I am grateful for them. But so many things that they make an issue out of are just so trivial.  Then again, so is this blog entry.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wow! It's been 7 WEEKS!!!!!!!

Hi everyone---if you are all still out there. It's been 7 weeks since I have posted anything. Life has been busy....and yet so not busy at the same time.

The boys and I took our giant trip out to Cooperstown for Andrew's baseball team. (Steve had to work.) It truly was an INCREDIBLE experience. It, essentially, is the field of dreams. They have built it and people come. My mom went with us (Thank G-d) and then we also spent some time with my bro and sis-in-law, Lance & Roya, which was really awesome.

There has been sadness. My BFF's son was diagnosed with a Wilm's Tumor. (childhood Kidney Cancer) He had surgery to remove the tumor and one was a success. I had to leave a few days later for Cooperstown. While I was gone he went into renal failure. It was so hard to be away knowing what was going on at home. He pulled thru! Had radiation treatments and is undergoing chemotherapy now. He's back in the hospital right now due to some complications from some of the chemo. He is such a sweet, strong, brave boy. He is on our minds CONSTANTLY and always in our hearts. He will pull thru this and will come out better than ever. I know it. I just hurt for him, his sister and his parents. No parent should ever watch this happen to their child. It's gut wrenching and there's nothing we can do to make it better. It just makes me really sad.

School is back in session. I now have a 7th grader, a 5th grader and 2 -2nd graders.  It's pretty hard to believe. My boys are good boys. They are healthy and strong and for this I am grateful. At the same time, they are infuriating and frustrating and I am seriously losing my mind. No joke. Last week at Curriculum Night for the 2nd graders, I absolutely thought Simon had one teacher, when in fact I was completely wrong and needed another mother to remind me who his teacher was. I was mortified.  The next day, I ran into Issac's 4th grade teacher. She asked who Issac's 5th grade teacher was. I just sat there staring at her. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the woman's name. My excuse: that Curriculum Night for Issac was the following week. This woman just looked at me like I was insane and walked away.  I tell people this story. They retort with "you have 4's too much to remember." I don't think that's it. I never forget these kinds of things. I don't know what's wrong.

I also have realized Andrew's Bar Mitzvah is now just over 10 weeks away. I feel somewhat prepared and somewhat terrified. I started going thru all of the pictures from the last 13 years for his montage. I just don't know where the last 13 years went. When I start to think of all that has occurred during that time, it just overwhelms me.

I also realized I am 35 years old and don't have a real career. I have jobs....and I love what I am doing right now. But. No career. Does it really matter? I never thought it did. Now--I'm not so sure. I feel kind of lost.

I'm also very tired of repeating myself non stop to the boys. No one listens or pays attention. I feel very taken for granted and taken advantage of.  (like most moms I know) Something needs to change. And, seeing as the kids most likely are not going to just shape up and start doing what's asked of them, maybe I need to change the way I handle them and the way I react to things.  I have a feeling no one is going to like it. It's too bad.  Don't get me wrong. I LOVE and ADORE my children.....but I am not a doormat or just here for their mere convenience.

Maybe I am starting a mid life it too early for one? Or, maybe it's early menopause? I know that can start around now. Whatever it is, I don't like it. I don't know how to make it better. I am far, nothing is working.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back to Life!

Hi all! Long time, no writing. I got to start driving again last week and that's all I've been doing. I missed it SO very much and so happy to be able to again. I will never take that for granted again!

Not sure if I mentioned that we got a new puppy. She's an English Bulldog and we named her Bailey. She's adorable and so far, so good.  I have no idea what I am doing as far as training and raising a puppy but I am trying. For the most part, the kids are helping out. We'll see how long that lasts for.

My sister made her move to Nashville for her promotion. She's been gone for a week and it feels like forever. I miss her. Steve and I are going with our BF's to visit in September. Seems like a lifetime away. BUT--the boys get to go visit her in a month!!!! My mom is taking all of them for a weekend to go see her. They are SO excited!!!!

Our big Cooperstown trip is approaching and that should be interesting. Steve found out he cannot get out of work to go with us. So, it's just my mom, the boys and me for 12 days, in a car, traveling around. Good times. The team and their coaches stay on the property of the park in a cabin. So...each of the parents are responsible for bringing items the boys will need in the cabins. I am bringing a couple cases of water and a sign reminding the boys of what they need for the games before they leave each day, since no mom will be present. I bought foam board and giant letters and borders to make a really pretty sign.  Andrew laughed at me since I have ZERO artistic ability. My mom laughed saying that no one will read the sign anyway.

While at Target yesterday, during my time of purchasing my said art supplies, a woman walked into the store. I want to preface this by saying, here in the Chicago area, the heat index was about 110 degrees yesterday.  This woman, wearing her sleeveless, Ralph Lauren t-shirt dress, felt the need to also wear her pink, Ralph Lauren sweater tied around her shoulders to complete the outfit. Really? 110 DEGREES.  I get she was trying to make a statement. I think it was a stupid statement but I think the dress alone would've covered it.  Why on Earth would you wear the sweater tied over your shoulders???  Then again, why am I letting this bother me so much? I have no answer to any of these questions.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Enjoy the Silence?

No, not today. Not right now. It's just my new puppy, Bailey, and me at home right now. We've been home together, with no one else, for over 2 hours now. And, I'm losing my mind. She's been super. Ate her dinner, pooped outside on our little walk, we played and then she fell asleep in my lap. She finally flipped over to the floor and now, here I am. All by myself. And, truthfully, I hate it.

I've been "trapped" inside this house for the last several weeks, almost daily. Could've been worse; it could've been the whole 6 months. So, for that I am grateful. But, this last week is driving me insane. The clock seems to stand still....days have felt like weeks and it feels as if Wednesday is never going to get here. All I do is laundry and straighten up and sit on my laptop. (Oh, and wash dishes and load and unload the dishwasher several times a day.)

Both Andrew and Issac have games tonight that I am missing. Andrew is up in Highland Park; Issac is in Evanston. I got Andrew a ride to and from, so Steve took the little guys to watch Issac play. It was too hot and humid to take Bailey with to watch. She can't be in the heat for too long. And, she was still a little jumpy from this mornings storm so I didn't want to leave her alone. Steve just texted that he's going to take the boys to Poochies for dinner after the game. Guess I'll wait for Andrew to get home and we can decide to either eat whatever is here or order a pizza.

Nothing good is on TV. I already caught up on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  All my other shows to watch are on the upstairs DVR and since Bailey isn't fully trained yet, I don't want her upstairs on the carpeting.  Nothing in the house looks good to eat. I just want out of here. The next 36 hours may kill me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pet Peeve

I have many pet peeves but, this past weekend, one of mine was in full light and it drove me crazy!!!!!!
Steve and I see a movie almost every weekend. (usually with our best friends, Tammy & Mike, but they were picking up their daughter from overnight camp) This pick was "Larry Crowne" with Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks. (a cute movie and I love both actors!) We always arrive at movies early so that we can get the seats we want, get snacks and get settled. I am also a fan of "The Twenty" which is 20 minutes worth of fun info and upcoming films. (This is before the actual movie previews, when the lights are dim.)

In our usual fashion, we arrived. Steve went get snacks and I went to get our seats. We always need an aisle. Steve sits in that aisle seat. I sit next to him. We like to be mid-way up in the stadium seating.  As I got to our theatre, there was a line already--a big line! The movie showing before ours began to let out. It looked like the nursing home let out their patients for an afternoon. They cleared out. (slowly) Then we all proceeded in. Steve had already met me in the line. We weren't able to sit in our usual section. We were a little further down than we normally like, but it was very crowded. The theatre filled in very quickly.  The lights dim, and suddenly another swarm of people pile in. Um...did you not check the movie times before you left the house??????? Do you think those of us who are already seated really enjoy you climbing over us? Do you think we enjoy you asking us if the seats next to us are taken while we are trying to watch previews?  Better yet, if there is one seat empty, do you think it's polite to ask those of us already situated to move down so you and your friend/spouse/date can sit in our aisle??? Do you think that when you stand at the bottom of the stairs and look up and see that all the seats are taken that by walking up the stairs 2 will magically open up or fall out of the sky? And, yelling down the stairs to where your friend/spouse/date is waiting is super annoying to the rest of us. More annoying---when that person yells back up the stairs. If you two want to talk, go outside! Here's an idea: planning to get to the theatre a little bit earlier. Then, you will get what you want.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A BOOM 4th of July

I hope everyone had a safe, fun filled holiday weekend. For the most part, we did. Saw a couple of movies, kids played in several baseball games, I worked a wedding, we saw (and played) with fireworks, and Simon broke a window. Typical weekend around here.

We really had no plans for the 4th of July. Jordan texted Saturday that he was holding his annual party at my parents house to eat and watch the fireworks. I originally had said we'd attend. Then, I started thinking that it would be all of Jordan and Jenna's friends AND all my BOOM co-workers (who I have missed so much!!!) and maybe bringing the kids wouldn't be the best idea. Jordan & Jenna both convinced me yesterday that we should just come anyway. And, Karolina was bringing her red velvet cupcakes---how could I pass those up?!?!

We arrived at the house (my parents were not home...they went to a different party) and all was calm. We sat around eating and just hanging out and it was very pleasant. I was so happy to see all of my friends from BOOM! I haven't seen them in weeks and it was so nice to be with everyone!! Someone found leftover fireworks and sparklers from last year's party in the garage and so everyone began to play. And, being that I am so NOT the mom of the year, I let all the boys play with them as well. They only held sparklers. And, they stood at a distance while all the grown ups lit the fireworks, but no one lost any limbs and fun was had by all.

The kids started to play catch in the backyard on the lawn and I warned them that it was a bad idea. But, as it always is, no one listened to me. Catch was going along just fine until we heard a giant BOOM. We thought it was a firework but, alas, it was not. It was my old bedroom window...shattered. Simon had thrown the ball at Andrew and it went over his head and oops....there went the window. I froze as I had never broken a window as a child. (I was a good kid.) None of us broke windows on the house as kids. (Then, Jordan reminded me that he and Lance had broken the kitchen window once. The garage window they broke 3 times. But, placing a basketball net right above the window may never have been the best idea. Now, that there are no kids living in that house, my parents had glass blocks installed.) Then, I started yelling at Simon. He just looked at me, calmly, (in true Simon fashion) and said that Andrew should have caught it.  True, but perhaps you SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN PLAYING IN THE YARD!!!!!!!!!!!  After some yelling, Simon finally began to cry. Steve, of course, comforted him by telling him it was an accident and no big deal. REALLY???????

I decided that I better text my father and let him know what happened. He was always the calmer one in these types of situations. He just asked how it happened and if it only shattered the storm window or did it go thru the house. So, I ran in to find that, no, it did not go thru the inside glass (PHEW!) it was just the storm window and screen.  I tell my dad that I will have the window replaced. He then texts back and asks if the glass fell and broke my mom's new plant. Clearly, he told her what had happened because I highly doubt he even knew that a plant existed under that window. I told him no glass fell; everything was trapped in the screen. Then, he asked if I yelled at Simon in front of everyone. Um, YES. I asked how pissed my mother was. He said she was upset that I yelled at Simon in front of everyone and embarrassed him. WTF???????????? She was NEVER worried about me being embarrassed in front of people when she would scream bloody murder at me! Normally, I would now go off on a tangent about Halloween 1989 (or was it 1988??), but I have sworn I would not repeat this story again. Just know that my mother never worried about my embarrassment.

The rest of the evening went along just fine. We saw various suburbs fireworks. But by 9:55pm, Morton Grove's STILL had not started and my kids had had it. So we left and saw a few fireworks as we drove home.  Sigh. Just another typical holiday. I start driving in 8 of the first things on my list....sitting at my parents house while I have the window replaced.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Kerry Update

Long time, no writing. Kids are on summer break now. Little guys are in their 2nd week of camp---both have already caused trouble. I've been talked to by all counselors involved. Big boys are both home acting like they are college kids. They sleep late...walk around the house shirtless, play a lot of basketball during the day (and Xbox) and are playing travel baseball so that consumes our evenings.  All of the gardening I did a few weeks ago is starting to bloom and is looking pretty decent, if I say so myself.  My perennials, not so much, however.  I need to try and keep them going so they will return next year. (If I have kept my kids alive for this long, how hard can it be to keep some flowers and plants going??)  I have not been in the office at work in probably about 6 weeks now...been taking care of things from home. And, I have 13 days until I get to drive!!!!!!!!!!

So, Simon, my attention hog, was causing some major issues at camp. Well, not major in the sense that he was hurting anyone or being mean; he just wasn't the center of attention as he likes, and so, in true Simon fashion, he caused trouble in order to receive it.  There has been a threat of him not being allowed to go on any more field trips. Hopefully, since things are on the upswing, tomorrow's field trip will go well, and he'll be back in his counselors good graces.  Zion has found himself a girlfriend...a female version of himself. She loves Pokemon and they share lovely conversation and are considering trading cards.  Now, if Zion would just get into the pool and put his head under water, maybe he would impress her enough to get that trade done. The ball is in his court. (Or that kid is going to learn to swim whether he likes it or not.)

Andrew and Issac seem to think they are rock stars and that sleeping in all morning is the way to go. Really? Issac is more motivated to get outside and play basketball. Andrew looks at our wall calendar and if he sees ANYTHING on his schedule, the prince must spend the day resting in order to get ready for whatever activity he sees; whether that be a baseball game or a 30 minute Haftorah lesson. He has also informed me he "needs" a new wardrobe. He wants "Jordan shirts" and new jeans. I have no idea what prompted this, but he stands in front of the calendar and looks for days with nothing on the schedule and asks if we can "pencil in" shopping for the said wardrobe. I told him the Nordstrom Anniversary sale starts in a few weeks and maybe then we can look for the "Jordan shirts".  I have a hard time believing this boy of mine is going to actually going to wear real clothes to school and not his usual Adidas pants and sports t-shirts everyday, but, I'm open to buying a few new things.

Speaking of Jordan, my youngest brother, he got engaged last week!!!!!!!! We are all super excited and are looking forward to the upcoming wedding.  We all love Jenna and the boys are excited for a new Aunt.  This is a good thing. See, Jenna's parents have invited us over for a BBQ in a couple of weeks. And, while my boys always behave better with other people and at other people's homes, this will be something I can hold over their heads while at the BBQ.

My sister, Tessi, got a promotion and is now moving to Nashville to open up a new Nordstrom there. Awesome opportunity and way impressive that she is moving up the ladder there so quickly. She leaves soon though, which is a bummer. My mom is going to take at least a couple of the boys in August to go visit her, and Steve and I and our best friends are heading down for a long weekend in September! (anyone want to watch the boys for that weekend????)

We are heading to Cooperstown, NY in early August for Andrew's baseball tournament. This should be quite the roadtrip. It is supposed to be a great time and then after that, we head to NYC to go see my brother, Lance, and sister in law, Roya for a weekend!  Issac is desperate to go see a Yankees game, but they charge a small fortune to buy tickets and since we'd have to sell a kid in order for us to all go, we have nixed that plan.

And now, a PSA. (no one asked for one, but this is my blog, and I can write what I want) People should be aware that Karma does, in fact, exist. When you live a dishonest life, cheat people, lie and scheme, you will get what you deserve. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually, you are going to get what is coming to you.  When you choose to not play fairly, you will win a few battles. Remember this: you WILL NOT win the war. When you weave a web of lies, eventually, you will get so caught up in them, there will be no way out.  Your true colors will come shining thru. People will see you for who you really are. It's essential to tell the truth at all times. This will reduce life's pain. Lying distorts reality. All forms of distorted thinking must be corrected.  And, indeed they will be.

Oh, how I am looking forward to July 13th. :o)

I hope everyone has a safe, fun filled, 4th of July weekend! xoxo

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3 Hours: A Very Short Relationship

I am sure I will get reamed out for writing this, but it was just too insane not to.

I have taken to gardening over the last few weeks. It's given me something to do while on hiatus from my regular life. It's been a lot of hard work, but so far, I am happy with what I have accomplished. Hopefully, we'll see good results throughout the summer.  In any event, I decided yesterday while out running errands with my sister, Tessi, to buy some solar lights to line the flower beds along our driveway. When we got back to the house, Tessi put the lights together and I installed all of them.

Fast forward about three hours.  Steve left to drop Issac off at his baseball game.  Tessi, her boyfriend Mac, Simon and I were sitting on the couch. I heard someone come thru the front door but never saw anyone.  Then, Steve came thru the garage door. I asked him who came thru the front door.
"Zion did." 
"Why did he come thru the front door?"
"Because he didn't want to hear you scream at me."
"Um, why would I scream at you?"
"Because I drove over and broke 2 of the solar lights."

The lights weren't even in the ground for a day and already 2 are gone. I went ballistic, and I think I was pretty justified in doing so. Steve didn't agree with my feelings.  He seems to think that if he buys more, that will just fix the problem. A quick solution-yes but it doesn't change the fact that he didn't seem to care about what he did. He apologized but in a defensive was in no way sincere.  Maybe I'm just overly sensitive and a little cabin crazy (this is where you all tilt your head and do the sympathetic nod at me) but I mean, come on! He knew I had just installed them!!!!!!!!! He also said that my car and Tessi's were in the driveway and he had to maneuver around them. Really? How about asking someone to move a car? (And he parked my car where it is, because we all know, sure as shit, I didn't leave it where it is.)

I guess I just feel as though I don't have much to show for what I've done over the last 5 months and 2 days. (That is correct folks. I have a mere 28 more days until I drive.) I was feeling really good about what I did with the planting and the front of the house. (Granted, we really need the garage painted and a new front door, but humor me.) I just felt pretty crushed, kinda like the solar lights, about what had happened. Now, there is an uneven amount on each side and I have to pull them all out and start again. I mean, what else do I really have to be doing? So, as far as time goes, it's not that big of a deal. But, it kinda is. This is why we can't have nice things I guess.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Anti-Social Work Degree

For years, my mother has had no idea what I got my college degree in. She keeps thinking I got a degree in Social Work. In reality, I majored in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. What one does with such a degree beats the crap out of me. I have no idea. Other than framing it and hanging it on a wall, which I have not done, I truly have clue what to do with a Sociology degree.  My reasoning for this major? It was the fastest way to graduate. Originally, I wanted to be a teacher. But dealing with other people's kids all day everyday was not my cup of tea. Hell, there are days I don't want to deal with my own kids. Moreso, I found a professor in the Sociology department whom I adored. Professor Stern, may he rest in peace, was my favorite professor/teacher of all time. When I realized I could take all of his courses and graduate, I jumped on that bandwagon.  If I could've gotten a degree in anti-social work, that would've been the ultimate. I am not a people person. I'm not a fan of people. People are just not my thing.

I am not sure how my mom could think I would get a degree in Social Work. That would require me "feeling" for people and wanting to help with their problems. Trust me, I have enough of my own problems. To take on other people's problems would open a whole other can of worms.  Not that I don't like hearing stories of others lives...but moreso in a gossipy way. If I really had to come up with solutions or plans to try and make things better, I'm not sure how well it would work.

I am not a hermit who sits in my house with the blinds drawn shut. I love to people watch.  I love to eavesdrop on other people's conversations. But, that is where it ends. I like to just sit and mind my own business and just listen. I am not outgoing. I went away my first year of college with no friends. I don't know what I was thinking by going off somewhere I really knew no one. It wasn't part of my personality to do something like that. I wasn't the kind of person who would just put myself out there and introduce myself to everyone in my dorm. I was miserable and depressed for the first three months. I watched a TON of television. Wings reruns on USA became my go to show. But, at 18, it's hard to know who you are. I think people spend a lot of their lives trying to figure out who they are. And I certainly didn't know who I was. Today, at 35, I have a better idea, but I am always evolving.

What I do know is this: I am not a people person and I probably never will be. I didn't enjoy school....except for the classes I took with Dr. Stern. The man had the cleanest hands I have ever seen on a man and every year, he'd order his new "dungarees" from L.L. Bean.   The majority of his Sociology classes revolved around the Syndicate. I loved getting to study the mob everyday. The hardest class I took with him was International Drug Trade.  Monday nights, for 3 hours, I would sit and try to follow all the families involved and how they transported really was rather difficult. He definitely had nothing to do with Social Work.....his answer to people's problems were to sit around and smoke pot while his kids were asleep in the next room.

I would love to take classes for fun. To listen and learn would be great. But I don't want to write any papers and I don't want to take any tests. But, going back to school would require me to be around people, and well, let's face it. It's just not my thing. People start asking questions and wanting to know why you are there and what do you hope to get out of it and where are you from and blah blah. No thanks.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Yet Another ER Visit

We all know I am not mother of the year. I lose my chance at this award each year by no later than January 3rd. But, what I did yesterday takes the cake. I have never caused one of my children such harm that an ER visit was necessary; that was until yesterday.  I will back track.  Two months ago, I allowed Simon and Issac to get their ears pierced. Issac had been asking for some time, and Simon joined the band wagon and they caught me on a good day, so I said ok. Off to Claire's Boutique we went.  What used to cost $5 to pierce both ears now costs over $30 and that was for ONE EAR! The boys have been so good about cleaning their ears with the "special" Claire's solution and twisting the earrings that I never would have imagined what happened.

As you may know, based on yesterday's blog, the school nurse called to report that Simon's ear was infected. I have to say that this woman calls for EVERY LITTLE THING so I didn't really take her call that seriously. She said she cleaned the ear. I told her I'd take the earring out when he got home.  Simon came home. I looked at his rather swollen, inflamed ear. Ok...not good but nothing a little Neosporin won't fix. I tell him I am going to remove the earring, clean the earring and his ear really well and we'll put it back in. I barely touch his ear when he starts flipping out. Ok. This isn't going well. I tell him we are going to ice it so it won't hurt. Thank goodness for the Spongebob Boo Boo pack. We numb the ear. I attempt to take the backing off the earring and it's really stuck. So, stupidly, I tried to hold the tiny little cubic zirconia stud with my giant fingers and pull the backing when I accidentally, somehow, shoved the little stud into my poor Simon's ear lobe. The screaming was deafening and the blood starts pouring out. I couldn't believe what I had done. He was already hysterical so I tried to pull from the back side and all that did was make it worse. Way to go, me.  I text Steve (who had just gotten out of work) and tell him to hurry because we need to get to the ER. Simon is screaming he doesn't want to go to the ER and that it's all my fault because I didn't try hard enough.

We arrived at Glenbrook's new ER (that I am sure my family has somehow paid for with all of our visits) and couldn't even find the entrance.  We get in there and I had to explain what I did to my poor baby's ear. Looks like you wouldn't even believe. First, because I let my 6 year old BOY get an earring and second because I managed to shove an entire earring through his little lobe.  The ER is very fancy now! 20 + rooms and glass and flat screen tv's and more cable channels than we have at home. We were in and out in less than an hour--shockingly! My poor Simon had to get a GINORMOUS shot to numb his earlobe--I swear this needle was only second in comparison to my brother Jordan's spinal tap needle. Steve and I had to hold his arms and his legs while the doctor gave it to him. Then, once numb, there was a scissors and tweezers involved. I couldn't watch. Zion watched the entire thing with fascination. The doctor somehow got the earring out without Simon needing stitches. He's got a bigger hole now but it will close up. He's on heavy oral antibiotics for 5 days and we will follow up with our doctor. He even asked the doctor when he could get the ear re-pierced!?!?! Seriously???? How about NEVER. As I left the ER...being flagged down with neon pink paper by a nurse telling me to make sure I pay my ER co-pay before we leave, another doctor literally ran and jumped in front of me to ask me how this happened. She was all like, "Oh I totally get the self-expression that kids have to have. I have a three year old......"
I was like, "Ok...he's the baby of 4. I was too tired to fight. I let him and #2 get earrings. It got infected. I tried to get it out and shoved it thru his ear. It was an accident." She laughed but I'm not sure she really thought it was that funny.

This was the worst damage I've done. When Andrew was about 3 or 4, he needed help zipping his pants and I accidentally caught his penis in the zipper. He yelled. Thank G-d there was no blood. But from then on I have never zipped any of my children's pants..ever. They either zip themselves or wear pants without zippers. It traumatized me for life.

Issac ended up with a black eye at 11 months old. Still have no idea how that happened. I went out for a girls night and Allan was home with him and Andrew.  The next morning, I went to get Issac from his crib and there was my sweet boy with a giant black eye. No one ever knew what happened. But, we had to lie to our then doctor because both Issac and Andrew were in the midst of the never ending ear infections and we were at the doctor's office every 5 days at that point. So, we told him, when he of course asked us what happened, that he fell and hit his face on the edge of a table. He suggested corner pads to prevent that. Oh. Yeah. Thanks for that advice.

Even Zion has gotten hurt in my care. Right after we got married, Simon and Zion were playing in the basement. Andrew had a Scooby Doo bowling ball. They decided (at the age of 4) that it might be a fun ball to throw around. So they did. And it landed on Zion's finger. MAJOR hysterics ensued. Fingernail turned purple and then black and then fell off. Welcome to the family, Zion!

I am far from the perfect parent, clearly. I make mistakes. Everyday I learn something new. I, perhaps, have learned more than other parents. But, the boys are still all in one piece....just a few little things missing here and there, but overall in one piece. Hopefully, I won't do any more damage...but ya never know....we still have a lot of years to go.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Manic Monday

Woke up this morning to a bunch of clouds. Wanted to go walking but it looked like rain. So, I started laundry, the first of what will be at least 6 loads today. Kept hemming and hawing over taking the walk...still looked like rain. So while the laundry was going, I watched way old episodes of TLC's A Baby Story....pathetic.  Then, an episode of Pregnant for 46 Years came on....who the hell comes up with these show ideas??? And more importantly, people really watch this stuff??

Got a call from the school nurse....she started off saying "Hi Mrs. Butman"-fine. Then she realized that Simon was the one in her office so she stopped and said "Oh, hi Mrs. Klein"--um, Butman,'s still me. Simon's earring has caused an infection...he was bloody and full of puss. Awesome. She suggested I pick him up, even though she's already cleaned the ear and he's all good to go. Seriously? When little girls come in because of the same thing, do you suggest they go home????? I talked to him. Told him his 6 weeks are up with the starter earring and tonight we'll go buy him a new earring. He was happy happy and I told him to go back to class and I hung up the phone.  Pick him up over an earring issue? Is this really where we are at????

Then I got a work call about some equipment. Handled that situation.  Switched loads of laundry. I cannot get over how bad uniforms can smell....even little boys nasty. And there are 7 to wash today...2 each for Andrew, Issac and Zion...1 for gross.  Still looking out the window, contemplating that walk....still cloudy...don't really feel like getting to the far side of the Wood Oaks hill and have it start pouring on me.  I'm a flower...cannot be rained on. HAHAHAHAHA.

Decided to DVR Extreme Couponing....but the DVR only has 6% room left on it. So I cleared that out. OOH. Found some episodes of Sister Wives I haven't watched yet. SCORE! (LOVE this show!!!) I don't think I have watched this much TV TV that is....not counting kids shows when I was a stay at home mom. By the does Kody afford 4 wives and 16 kids with another on the way????? He drives a Lexus and has a motorcycle.  Only one wife, Janelle, has a job. I don't understand this!

My poor Andrew actually had to walk to school today--imagine that?! I hope he survived and didn't collapse along the way. AND--he has to walk home AND walk to Haftorah lessons. I hope he will manage to survive. Better make sure I make him a huge dinner as I'm sure he will be starving! Oh yea--dinner---hmmm....what am I going to make for everyone? Issac has a playoff game so we'll all be eating in shifts again. No jalepenos will be on the menu...not after my sweet Steve cut some this morning and then went to use the bathroom and didn't wash the jalepeno-niss off his hands first. Brilliance.

Looks like the sun may be peaking out now....perhaps I should go take that walk. Unless the humidity and heat has crept up. Then I'll be sitting here working on that laundry and waiting for Khloe & Lamar reruns this afternoon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Anniversary

2 years ago today, I underwent a Gastric Bypass.  It was supposed to be a one night hospital stay and then home to begin my "new life".  As many of you know, us Neuhausers don't ever do things the easy way. Apparently, we must be fond of hospitals and are hoping to one day have a wing named after us.  My mom thinks after all we've spent, the wing should already be in place.

Warning: this story will get gross. If you get grossed out, stop reading now. Seriously.

I've struggled with my weight all of my life. And finally, after many unsuccessful attempts, I needed something more drastic. So, under the knife I went.  (not really a knife, lol...laproscopic) The procedure itself went great! I was hardly in any pain afterwards. I have had 3 c-sections and a gallbladder removal, so this was like nothing. They were even able to use one of my gallbladder holes for this surgery. I was feeling totally fine....not hungry (so weird!) and was ready to go to sleep for the night. Steve and everyone went home. My mom stayed overnight. (We never leave anyone overnight alone at a need someone to be your advocate in those places or you will get eaten alive.) They even brought her a cot--how thoughtful!

I dozed off but then, I started to lose my shit. (not different really from most days, lol, but something was wrong). I wanted to get out of my bed. I was connected to an IV and the wall and kept screaming and swearing at my mom and the nurses to let me out. They wouldn't let me up. I wanted to go to the bathroom but I had a catheter, so no need to. But, I really wanted to. So, I kept screaming and swearing. I think I dozed off again, and when I woke, my dad was there staring at me. Weird. Guess my mom called him to come back..she knew something was wrong.

All of a sudden, I thought I pooped myself. Told my dad. He thought I was kidding. I was totally not kidding so he ran and got a nurse. She came in, called for help...and they cleaned me up. A completely humiliating experience--let me tell you.  So after all that and fresh linens..all is well. For 2 minutes.  Then, it happened again.  My dad, again, thought I was kidding. I started yelling. Off he ran to get the nurses..again.  They changed the linens and cleaned up..again.  This went on a few more times. No one bothered to tell me that, in fact, I was NOT pooping myself. (Um, would've been nice) Rather, I was bleeding out. :o(

My doctor came in. (the doctor's understudy guy....I love him!) He started to force feed me ice chips after telling me earlier I could have one about every 10-20 minutes. I thought I was going to vomit. I felt SO FULL after a few ice chips. (so weird how that can happen). He told me I had to keep eating them in order to stop the bleeding. In the meantime, the main surgeon was en route to the hospital.  He came in, fully dressed in his sport coat, tie and cufflinks. Glad he was in no rush.  Told me they were going in to stop the bleeding. My blood pressure was almost non-existent at this point. And I know I kept saying that I had babies at home (I never refer to my kids as was odd) and that they couldn't kill me today. I was told several time to stop saying that by the doctors. I also asked to be cleaned up and was shot down. I asked if anyone called Steve. It was now 7am and the sitter was at the house. So my mom called him and he raced over. I didn't get to see him though. Then, a team of nurses came in..and I was wheeled off into an elevator to the OR. I kept repeating that they couldn't kill me. One nurse told me to pray---gee, thanks for the vote of confidence lady.

In the OR, the new surgeon introduced himself. How polite. I asked if I could be cleaned up before they began and everyone yelled at me NO. As it turns out, the ice did stop the bleeding. So while in there, they cleaned out all the clots and I woke up in the ICU. Things in there weren't so bad. The nurses pay tons of attention to you. Downside--my mom was stuck with a crappy chair to "sleep" in.

So...Friday rolls around..things seem better. My uncle Marlow comes to relieve my mom from her babysitting duties. She went home to sleep and shower. Marlow and I were chatting and he was timing my drinking of liquids. All was going well. The next thing I remember was waking up at about 4am on Saturday. Yes, Saturday. Apparently, around 1pm Friday, I had a seizure-a big one. They ran every test possible and all results were negative. They never found a cause. They were guessing due to the major blood loss and the trauma, that was what caused it. When I woke that Saturday, I was tied to the bed by restraints and again, I was yelling about wanting to go to the bathroom. My mom told me they didn't have one. Was I 2 years old????  She used to tell me as a child places didn't have hot dogs on the menu. Then I learned to read. Lying went out the window long ago.  In any event, again, I was super mean to the nurses...yelling and swearing at them and my mom. One nurse yelled back and told me to be nice to my mommy.  I had a central line in my neck which was super uncomfortable and a slew of other wires and what not. Sunday evening, I was returned to a regular room and Monday evening I was released. AH...but not to my house. Swine flu had hit and so I had to go to my parents house for a week. Steve visited me a couple times and was kept at a distance so I wouldn't catch his cooties.  He was running the house and all of the kids everywhere.(Issac was the only one who ever got really sick...the rest got sick from Tamiflu) Do you see a theme? Steve always gets the raw end of the deal.

After almost 2 weeks of being gone from my kids, after telling them I'd be gone 1 night, I went home. Needless to say, they weren't happy with me. But, they got over it.  Would I do this again? Absolutely. It was not a cure all. Everyday is still a struggle. I still have to make choices. I realized that I must begin working out now--which I HATE---but I need to do it. I am happy with how I feel now. My health is great--knock on wood. On paper, I look PERFECT, LOL. All my numbers are exactly where they should be. I am much happier with how I look. Now, to just tweak some things with the exercise. Hoping it works.  Onto another year!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bub!!

Today is my Bubby's birthday.....I think she would've turned 88 today. ( I may be wrong about this...I was never sure what year she was born in.) In honor of her birthday, I will share some funny stories about her.

I used to call my Bubby on the phone and pretend I was her friend, Olive. To this day, I have no idea who in the hell Olive was.  I never met the woman. I have no idea if she really existed. In any case, I'd call her house and tell her it was Olive. Then, my Bub would pretend to have a conversation with Olive. Eventually, I would tell her it was me. She would act so hurt and offended that I "tricked" her. For years I believed that I was fooling her.

High Holidays at her house were always a treat. The adults sat in the dining room. The kids would sit in the kitchen. We weren't allowed to have any pop before the main course was served. G-d forbid we wanted to get ice out of the freezer. It took 3 people to hold things in place and move other things around in order to get the ice trays out without 3 lbs of hamburger meat falling and breaking someone's foot.  We would want to watch TV. Well, the tiny tv's speakers blared into the dining room. Everyone in there would talk louder to talk over the TV. In turn, we would make the TV louder and so on and so forth. Eventually, we got yelled at to turn the TV off because it was too loud.  And, anyone who knows us knows we are loud to begin with. So talking always seems like yelling. My Bub would finally sit down to eat (as the rest of us were finishing) and would tell us all that "Millie didn't have this". Millie was one of her oldest and dearest friends.  In Bub's mind, Millie's family was much quieter and more well behaved then us. Here's what Bub never knew: Millie never had this because her family didn't give 2 shits about her. They probably didn't include her in holidays. And, when my Uncle Aaron passed away, Millie came to the Shiva, brought by her son. We found out that her son decided one day to pack up her apartment and shove her into a nursing home. Millie had nothing and her kids wanted nothing to do with her. We still talk about Millie at holiday meals. We have no idea at this point if she is even still alive. If she is, we should probably invite her to join us.

Bubby would bake for everyone's birthdays--everyone got their favorite cake. Uncle Aaron ALWAYS got a rum cake. I got yellow with chocolate frosting, as did my mom and Lance. My dad would get chocolate with chocolate frosting.  For our birthday parties, we did not have Deerfields or Jewel cakes. We had Bubby cakes. She would bake and frost. My mom would decorate. The cake was always 2 layers...usually one chocolate, one yellow and it would have chocolate frosting.  When I was dating my late husband, she baked him a cake AND decorated it with all Vegas themed things, knowing he loved Vegas. For Andrew's 1st birthday, he got the king of all cakes: a TRIPLE layer one before and no one after ever got a cake like that.

And, speaking of birthdays. We threw my Mom a surprise 40th birthday party. The party was held in our house. My mom was out working that day. As soon as she left, Bubby came over to start arranging her own deli trays---she hand rolled (along with my help) each and every slice of salami, turkey, corned beef, etc. She sliced every vegetable and arranged everything. I cleaned the house. Mind you, I was 16 years old. My mother came home. My Bub lied to her about my Uncle Marlow having a party and they lost power in the house so they moved the party to our house. My mom was having a shit fit about how the house was dirty (I worked all day on that house!) and how she was tired from working all day and didn't want people at the house. My dad took her out and then they came back to the party. Surprise!

We used to go shopping every Saturday with Bub. My dad worked Saturdays so my mom, Lance and I would pick her up and go to different malls, putz around and have lunch. She and my mom were once attacked by crowds of people at Randhurst over the calzones they were eating from Sbarro. People acted like they had never seen food.  We'd go to Stratford Square so I could go to the Hello Kitty store and we could eat Charlie Chan's for lunch.  I think we ate chicken on a stick.....I think......I'm getting old. Can't remember.

Bub was a GIANT worry wart. When I was 19, I was dog sitting for my parents friends dog in Wilmette. They wanted me to sleep at the house with the dog. Fine.  G-d forbid I would've stayed there alone. My mom made me tell her that Tammy was staying with me at the house. So, my Bub decided she had to take Tammy to lunch to thank her for doing this. Off to Olive Garden we went, with her and my Papa. Tammy was terribly uncomfortable the entire time as we were LYING. (my mom said it was ok to lie because it made Bub feel better...uh huh...surely) Bub LOVED the Olive Garden. She'd order an entree but would fill up on salad and breadsticks and then take her meal home. That would last her for  like 2 or 3 meals. She loved, loved, loved that salad!

In any event, this has been a nice stroll down memory lane. Well, for me anyway LOL. And for my family. The rest of you will probably wonder what was funny or amusing about all this. You would have had to have known her to understand. And if you didn't know her, you missed out on quite an amazing lady. NO ONE had more patience or a bigger heart than her. No one ever will. Happy Birthday, Bub!