Thursday, March 31, 2011

Death & Dismemberment

Yesterday, as you know, was my one day in the office this week.  I left Andrew (my 12 year old) in charge of the other 3 boys while I was gone for about 6.5 hours.  While at work,  I emailed my sister, Tessi, like I do everyday. I told her how I was so excited to be at work. She asked where the boys were. I told her they were home. She then asked who was with them. I told her they were home alone. Her next email asked if when I got home, if any of the boys would be dead and/or dismembered? WTF? Was she serious? Is that what she really thinks of my children? That after a few hours alone they would kill each other or cut off each others arms, legs or heads??

This was good to know, I thought to myself. Good to know that my sister, who I practically raised, always took care of and taught many valuable life lessons thinks this of my precious children. (who of course, would never do such awful things) I did everything for my sister.  I sat with her while she had the Chicken Pox and watched Mrs. Doubtfire for a week straight and got balloons to tie to her bed. (while our mother boarded a plane to New York) I used to drive her to gymnastics.  I got my mother to buy her a $500 prom dress. (I think mine was less than $120; my second wedding dress was $500) Who taught her to get her eyebrows waxed and the importance of regular manicures and pedicures? I drove to Indiana University to pack up her entire room while she was having a gallbladder attack. (even though she didn't believe me when I said it was her gallbladder and that there was no way she was going to get thru her finals while having attacks and that she needed to speak to her professors and come home) Then, once we arrived back home and went straight to the hospital, I stayed with her several nights during her long hospital stay and left my children home to fend for themselves with Steve. Then, she went to Spain to study abroad and while there was in the ER twice. Who was on the phone with her all night long talking her thru it? When her apartment in Wrigleyville was infested with mice and she needed a place to live, who took her in?? And this girl thinks my fabulous sons would really do such awful things to each other???

Well....perhaps she knows my boys rather well. After all, she used to babysit ALL the time. After Allan died, she stayed overnight at my house with me and would get up all night with Simon. (who refused to sleep and drove her to tears) She stays with my boys when we go on vacation. She even attempted to cook for them during those stays.  She comes out to watch baseball games, even in freezing weather. This year her company, Events By Tess ( is even sponsoring Andrew's house league team.

So, while my feelings were a little disturbed by her insinuating that they would kill or mutilate each other, she may have had a point. Although, yesterday, they actually were all in one piece and the house was too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yeah 3x

The alarm went off at 630am today. I felt like a ton of bricks. And I automatically hit snooze. Then, I remembered what day it was. It's Wednesday. My one day of work this week. YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got up. Started getting myself together for the day. I put on my face and then headed to my closet to look for something other than yoga pants. (which I have been wearing for days now) While standing in the closet trying to decide which pair of jeans I would wear, (any woman would understand that there are different jeans for different days. Today, I need TTOM jeans-TMI for some of you, I know) I began singing Chris Brown's "Yeah 3x" ( and dancing. (I am a HORRIBLE dancer--ask anyone) I was feeling so good about getting out of my house and rejoining society. (Good thing there is no mirror in the closet for me to see myself dancing in my bra and panties for then I would hibernate forever). I spin around I find Steve staring at me. He asked me if I was really singing and dancing. My response was hell yes I am! I get to leave the house today!!!!!

Now, I must also tell you, that while I love, love, love this song by Chris Brown, I really can't stand the Mother F*****.  I used to like him. But then the Rhianna thing happened and I had to boycott. I also told my kids we couldn't listen to anymore of his music. (even though, really, we all enjoy it...well not Steve...but he's old) The boys understand that what he did to Rhianna was a terrible, awful thing and something a man should NEVER, EVER do to a woman. (or anyone, for that matter) But. Something about this song makes me feel good. It makes me feel alive. I have absolutely no friggin' idea why. And I thought this guy might be turning his life around and maybe he had been rehabilitated, but then he went ahead and went psycho on Good Morning America. So--I guess we need to boycott again. But I will tell you, that while I am sitting here typing this out. I have the song on and I am dancing  (or attempting to) in my chair. We have video cameras here at work. So I'm sure when Jordan rolls the video, he'll get a good laugh at me. Then he'll show all the other guys. Everyone will get a good laugh at my expense. But. It's all good. I'm out of my house!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day #2 of Spring Break

Today is Day #2 of the boys Spring Break. (or day #4 if you count the weekend) I am home from work again today. And I'll be honest-I cannot wait to go in to the office tomorrow. Is that bad? To admit that I need a day off from the kids and want to go be with other adults? To go somewhere that is mostly quiet (except when the guys come in and start playing music or when Jordan brings Oliver (his dog) and he goes nuts the second Jordan is out of his eye sight?) where I can sit and concentrate and feel productive?

I used to be a stay at home mom....for 5 years. Then in 2003, after both Andrew and Issac were in pre-school, I began to work part time. I found out I was pregnant with Simon 2 weeks later. I worked until about 2 weeks before I had him. The plan was to go back to work in September when Andrew started pre-school, which I did, but of course there was just that one major blip in the road. Allan died suddenly in 2004 when Simon was just 18 days old. I am not going to make this entry about that. I'll save that for another time. But, I did go back to work in September as he and I had discussed. And with the exception of 2 months off in 2010, I have worked since then. Here is what I have realized: being a stay at home mom is the HARDEST job on the planet. It is unappreciated, devalued and unrecognized.  It is so difficult to spend your days cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, cooking and doing things for everyone else and to hardly hear a thank you. Here's what makes that even more difficult--not being able to drive. I know I keep whining about this, but, if you're tired of hearing about it, stop reading. For anyone else still reading, I feel badly that I cannot take my boys anywhere this week. I feel badly we can't go to a movie or lunch or a museum. (well, not really. I hate museums)  I spent yesterday trying to spring clean and while I did accomplish a lot, I did have a complete meltdown and ended up locked in my room for 2 hours away from my kids. Maybe if I could drive and we could all get out for a while that wouldn't have occurred. (or it may have anyway....let's be honest.)

Tomorrow, I am going into work. And I have never been so excited to do so.  But....I still have a very long day ahead of me today with laundry, cooking, cleaning and whining, bitching and moaning (and that doesn't include the kids, lol) Wish the 5 of us luck. We really do need it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tangerine Party

I am sitting here in the kitchen, doing some work from home (well, blogging....supposed to be working) while Simon and Issac are eating tangerines.  Tangerines bring me back to my childhood and my Bubby.  We used to stay with her for a week each winter break while my parents vacationed. (You're going away too, Kerry..tell people you are going to Skokie, my mother used to tell me) The routine at her house was at breakfast, we discussed lunch. At lunch, we discussed dinner and at dinner, we discussed the next mornings breakfast. the evening..after dinner was done and Bub had washed all the dishes and what not, we would sit in the family room, on the sheet covered couch and have, what she called, a tangerine party.  Little did Lance and I know this meant we'd eat tangerines and watch tv. (non cable tv)  We were probably watching Dynasty or Murder She Wrote while Bub would peel the tangerines for us. (Unless it was Saturday afternoon. Then we watched Channel 11. We'd watch the guy paint, we'd watch Jeff Smith (the pedophile) on his gourmet cooking show. We'd watch Julia Child throw chickens on the floor and then we'd watch Yan Can Cook (Yan just couldn't speak English) and we'd watch the cajun guy cook...Justin something?? I don't remember. He liked his wine though. His English wasn't so hot either.)  That was it. That was the whole party. Nothing more, nothing less.

 A lot of times in the evening, it was just the 3 of us. My Papa worked in a liquor store and his shift changed each day. (But he ALWAYS had a hot meal...if he worked the day shift, he had a hot dinner. If he worked the night shift, his "dinner" was at lunch time and he'd eat a hot meal then. And if that was the case, we would wait to eat lunch until he had eaten his dinner. Bub still called it dinner even though it was lunchtime...I never understood that..I mean we got the concept...but....whatever) Whatever my Bub did with us, she made fun. There's no way in hell I could sit here today and tell my kids we were going to have a tangerine party and they'd go along with it. They'd be using the tangerine as balls and would whip them at each other. There would be fighting over what we were going to watch. There'd be fighting about who was going to sit where. It would be a nightmare. So, imagine the scene in the fruit store the other day when I bought these tangerines. As I bagged them up, I stood smiling and laughing while I remembered the tangerine parties from my childhood. Steve stared at me like I was special. I tried explaining it to him...about our parties. He just didn't get it. I guess no one would get it. Except for Lance, Bub and me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Homework and iMac

Last night, Steve and I had dinner with our good friends, Robin & Stu. I met them when I first moved here and my son Andrew and their son Noah became VERY good friends. Actually, I met Robin when I was looking at houses. She was outside waiting for the bus with Noah and I was looking at the house next door. I asked her questions about the neighborhood and the area. Fast forward about 7-8 months and our boys were playing baseball together and it dawned on me that she was the woman I spoke with! Anywho, Andrew absolutely adores them and their boys. He loves hanging out with them and is very comfortable with them...sometimes a little too much LOL

So...we finally found a night that the 4 grownups could have dinner together. We, of course, discuss the boys and what is going on with school.  Noah and Andrew have pretty much every class together this year and were just on the volleyball team together. (Many thanks to Robin & Stu for helping me out everyday with driving Andrew) So, Robin mentions the project that the boys had just finished up. Let me preface this by saying I didn't even know about this project. My wonderful son failed to mention that he had to do this. Robin called me to say that Noah & Andrew were partners and she needed to pick Andrew up to video tape them for part of it. I ask Andrew what the project is about. He tells me some jumbled story and that it's under control. Mhmmm. Little did I know that when he said "under control" he meant that Robin was handling the homework. As it turns out, Robin is a master with the iMac and I am challenged. I am lucky I even know how to turn this thing on. She knows how to use Garage Band and iMovie and all sorts of other things on here that just look like pretty little pics at the bottom of my screen. Well, long story short, even though Robin earns an A for her hard work on this assignment, the boys did not fare as well. I was mortified and humiliated that she did all this work and I had no such knowledge of anything. As you can see (well not really as you are not in my house, but pretend for me).....the "Mom of the Year" award is not hanging on my wall. This is just one of many reasons why there isn't one. You can call me on January 1st, each year, by noon, and I can tell you why I won't be earning the award for that year.

Andrew also told me that our friends were leaving Monday for Arizona. I found out this was false. I imagine he told me this because he is in severe trouble with me and when I told him his Spring Break would be rather miserable as punishment, he quipped back that all his good friends were leaving town. He told me destinations, dates of departure, etc....  I found out that none of this was true. But, good job for being quick on your feet, Drew. Too bad I am not nearly as quick. Guess I need to do a better job with MY homework.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Not Chevy Chase. My Fletch. Well, my Issac Fletcher that is. (Should have named him Fletcher Issac...didn't realize back in 2001 how cool my Issac would turn out and that he could easily pull off the first name of Fletcher).

It was a Monday morning, a light dusting of snow was on the ground, when Allan and I left the house at around 5am to head the hospital for the scheduled C-section. He was my easiest delivery. They took me in for surgery at 730am (exactly as scheduled) and at 8am on the dot, Issac arrived, weighing in at 7 lbs 14 ozs and 20.5 inches long . He was my lightest baby. (I had gestational diabetes during the pregnancy and the point of the specialized diet and insulin was to keep him under 8lbs. Good job, doc!) In recovery, I was feeling great...drugs are a wonderful thing. The recovery room was filled with lots of family, including my grandfather (Papa) who was super excited to meet his second great grandchild. (Issac is named after my Bubby who passed away a few months earlier) Everyone is passing Issac around like a sack of potatoes and snapping pictures and I'm in lala land. What could be better? Well, by now, you should know that with my family, hospitals are never a good thing, even when one has a baby.  My papa had been holding Issac when Allan decided to take him back. I thought it was a bit abrupt but I didn't say anything. The next thing we know, my papa hits the floor like a ton of bricks and the nurses are yelling "CODE BLUE" over the intercom system.  Good times.  At the same time, another woman, who just delivered twins, has been wheeled into the recovery room with me so you can imagine just how crowded this room got. These poor people are trying to call their family and share their good news and we have a bad episode of ER going on here. Before I go further and scare anyone, my papa was just fine! As it turned out, we never did get an answer as to why he passed out and had no pulse. The guess (and yes, it was a guess. No test ever showed anything or gave us a specific answer. Does this sound familiar to anyone?) was that he hadn't eaten breakfast, HAD taken his morning meds, and was just overly excited at the hospital.  So....back to the recovery room. They whisk him away. Allan had to go with Issac for some more tests and what not. (routine after baby is born stuff...I am not sure what it is...I'm always way to hopped up on drugs after I deliver babies to know what the hell is going on) My mom is just standing there and isn't sure if she should leave me alone (with the unhappy twin parents..we've rained on their parade) or go with my papa. I tell her to go. I feel great. (Morphine drips rock)

Fast forward several years. My Issac is a true comedian. The boy makes me laugh every single day. Even when he makes me angry. He'll be on SNL one day. Just wait. But, while he is super funny, he is also super frustrating, probably because he is so smart. He does not like to do any unnecessary work. (very much like his late father) A prime example: Back in January when Steve and I were on our cruise, my parents and my sister, Tessi, watched the boys. I had told my mom that the big boys knew how to do their own laundry, and she should have them do it. So, my mom tells Issac to get the laundry out of the dryer. He does, brings it to her, and drops it on the floor. She questions him as to WTF he is doing. His response: you didn't tell me what to do with it. Mhmmmmmm. True Issac in true Issac fashion.

He is wise beyond his years and truly is a gentlemen. He has wonderful manners and can carry on conversations with anyone and everyone. I'd like to take credit for all of this. But. I cannot. Fletchy is just a true gem. And, I am a very lucky mama. XOXO

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday's Mail

Over the last couple of months, I tend to get VERY excited for Tuesday's mail to arrive. I normally am not one to get excited over the mail, as usually, it's just bills and junk. But Tuesday, Tuesday is different. The Sunset Foods weekly ad comes to my door. I sort thru all the other mail and then sit down with the ad. I carefully look through each and every colorful page searching for all the goods that are on special for the upcoming week. Will chicken breasts be on sale? How about Kraft Mac n Cheese? Could it be a good week for milk or cereal? So many questions are on my mind. And if all these items that I want to purchase are on sale, are they in fact cheaper, then Target? Lots of work for me to do!

First, I create the list of what I know we definitely need. Staples, like milk, bread and stuff for the boys lunches. Then, I try base dinners for the following week off of what is on sale. I have learned what milk normally costs at Target so I know if Sunset has a good deal. I have started to do this with many items I use regularly and it is so exciting to see where I am saving some money. (I know, LOSER, but hey, a few cents and a couple bucks there adds up!)

Here's the sad part....I am 35 and feel as though I'm 75. The only people I knew who would get excited over grocery ads were people around the age of 70. It gave them something to look forward to each week. And now, that is me. They would then putz to 3 different stores in order to get all the goodies on sale. I now do this too. What happened to my life? I mean, I was never a party girl or one to hang out in bars. But I certainly wasn't the one who would wait for weekly sale ads. And, why ARE they so appealing? The bright colors? The shiny pages? Something else for me to ponder.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Vow of Silence

A couple days ago, after a morning rant session about how my sons and husband don't do their share around the house in terms of keeping things neat and tidy, Steve emailed me from work. He wrote to tell me how my screaming just scares everyone. Households that have parents who are tense and angry, will in turn, produce tense and angry children. Interesting, I thought. (insert swearing under my breath as I read this) Was he implying that I was ruining the children??? That was never my intent. My intent was to teach everyone to respect where they live and to take pride in it! Apparently, I have failed at that. According to Steve, this house looks great for having 4 boys living in it. (I beg to differ) I agree with him that we live here and so, yes, the house will look "lived in".  I am not one for cold, museum looking houses either. BUT. Can't there also be a sense of tidiness and cleanliness???

Amongst the other issues currently going on in our home is the dinner time meal. I pride myself on cooking for my family and I enjoy it. (most of the time) I try new recipes often and set a lovely table. (if I do say so myself) However, I also had instated a rule a while back. You are not allowed to say you don't like or "hate" something unless you have tried it.  Therefore, you must try what is served. If you don't care for it, then you are free to make yourself something else. I am not making another dinner. Apparently, Simon and Zion have found a loophole and a button to push and for the last few nights have made their own dinners. Because they don't like what I made? Nope. Simply because it gives them the control and upper hand (something I always want). The two of them would rather eat PBJ or cereal or microwaved chicken nuggets. This is driving me insane. But....back to the "tense and angry", I have said nothing. I do not fight. I simply sit there and watch them get up and go get their own stuff (with Steve's help, which is not part of the rule, but again, I am biting my tongue). I have had tons of suggestions (very much appreciated, by the way) from friends and family as to how to handle this. The bottom line is this....I cannot let it go! It's not in my make up!! I cannot just let things go. EVER. (insert hysterics from various people) It bugs the shit out of me that I take the time to make a nice meal, and set the table so we, as a family, can sit down together for 20 minutes a day and be together. (Granted, by the end of the 20 minutes I'm usually ready to start drinking, but this is not the point...of this entry anyway) Yes, even if the kids are eating garbage, we're still getting the 20 minutes together. I know. But if you have been paying attention, I don't work this way. I want it my way. And yes, I could just cook for myself and Andrew, Issac and Steve. But I don't really know how to cook for less. I am so used to cooking for a bigger group that it is just so foreign to me. What else is foreign? NOT YELLING!

I grew up in a house with a mom who yelled. (she of course has no recollection of any of this) The best part was when she would go crazy on us, then call my dad, scream and ruin his day, and by the time he would come home, the whole thing had blown over and he was in a pissy mood.(with today's technology, I can text or email Steve immediately and ruin his day) The thing is, that yes, she sounded insane when she yelled and we would make fun of her (and clearly still do), there was a certain level of understanding. She meant business. And, at least for me, there was a fear that if I didn't listen, or go along with the rules, the shit would seriously hit the fan. Lance, (the older of my two younger brothers) used to just laugh at her. She tried hitting him with a broom once when he wouldn't listen and the broom broke and this just upset her more. She bought a new vacuum(sp??) once when Jordan was a little boy. She told Lance and me to vacuum up the basement. Jordan wanted to do it. So, we let him. He ran the vacuum over the cord and broke it instantly. She flew off the handle. Funny, but as a mom now, I see the frustration. Just like when she bought a new wall unit for the basement. Within days, someone threw a ball at it and chipped the finish. We couldn't understand why she went nuts. Today, I understand why. She bought a new kitchen set with material chairs. (I still don't understand that with kids in the house, but whatever) Tessi was a baby in the high chair and I felt really sick. But, our kitchen was small and I was blocked into my seat. So, I threw up spaghetti all over the material chair. Granted, I was sick (and couldn't vomit in a toilet until I was almost 13) it was still frustrating that I did this on the chair. As a mom, I get it.

So....coming from a mom who was a yeller, and living with Steve, whose mother apparently NEVER yelled cause she was a "saint", I guess I need to find a happy medium.  Happy for who? I don't know. The yelling isn't working. All it does is upset me and raise my blood pressure and cause acne. (which I didn't have as a teenager but suddenly now it's all over my chin!) Yet, sitting around quietly isn't doing much either. Maybe, I should go have that drink.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Driving Non Miss Daisy

This morning, my mother drove me to work. (Thanks, Mom!) She will then pick me up later this afternoon. I have no independence anymore and I hate it. Tammy drove me to work yesterday, and my brother, Jordan, drove me home. I appreciate everyone's help and support during this awful time period in my life. But, I can't help but be bummed that not only have I had to relinquish my driving, but also, control of the radio. I am a button pusher. And, I can also admit, a control freak. So, imagine my surprise when I got into my office, turned on my computer and found out that the one and only, Elizabeth Taylor, has left us. I hope she may rest in peace with her good buddy Michael Jackson and all of her ex-husbands. But, see, I feel that if I had driven myself, and had control of the radio, I would've known this sooner. Would it have really impacted my life to know this half an hour sooner? Nope. It's not as if I have travel and childcare arrangement to make in order to attend her funeral. I just hate not being able to live my life the way that I want.

Each day, I need to depend on someone else to take me to work, take me to buy groceries, take me to pick up prescriptions, take me to a haircut or nail appointment or take me to do just about anything. I don't live in the city where I can walk to most places. The closest grocery store, Dominicks, I cannot stand. The nail place is walking distance but the weather has been shit. (And we all know how important this aspect of my life is. G-d forbid I not get there) My Bubby, may she rest in peace also, never drove.She lived her life this way--she always needed someone to take her to do everything. And now, I understand why going to different grocery stores and produce stores were a big deal to her. It allowed her to get out--to get some fresh air--to see people (not that I care so much about seeing people. I'm not really a fan of people. But that's for another blog entry) Going to Target or Sunset of Fresh Farms has now become a highlight of my week. Early on in my non driving, Tammy had a dentist appointment. She offered to take me with so I could get out of my house. We had lunch first. But I gladly jumped on this opportunity as it enabled me to not sit and stare at Maury Povich on TV to see how many men will be tested to see who is the baby daddy. I enjoy taking rides now in the car. (well, depending on who is driving. As I think I've mentioned, there are certain people whose driving I cannot stand) Yesterday, Jordan and I took a long ass ride out to St. Charles for a work appointment. I enjoyed it because it enabled me to see things. For example, they have a Super Target and a brand new Wal-Mart. Gas was slightly cheaper. And, we went to a Dunkin Donuts for some coffee! I haven't had DD coffee in over 2 months now!!!!! I make my coffee in my Keurig (best invention EVER) every morning and take it with me to work. I have no control and do not feel comfortable asking all my drivers to stop each day just so I can have my XL Coffee with extra cream and 10 Splenda. (yes, you read that correctly) Would they do it? Yes, because they love me and care about me and I think they feel bad for me. But, I am not Miss Daisy. They don't work for me. They are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. And for that, I will be eternally grateful. xoxoxoxoxox

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yes, is tit in?

Yesterday morning, while sitting at my desk at work, I received a text from my father. This is what it said: "Yes, is tit in". My first thought was WTF???? But, I responded anyway."Is tit in??????" His response back: "Sorry, was thnkn u imeant tit0".  No--those are not typos....this is the way my father sends texts. I respond back: "Who it Tito??" I never got a response to this question.

My dad turns 63 this May. He's still a fairly with it guy (on the days he remembers to medicate) and definitely has a great sense of humor. To the people who do not understand his sense of humor, we simply tell people he has Tourette's ( no offense to the people who do in fact have this disease). For example, we could be in a restaurant and he'll decide to ask the waitress if she is a lesbian. A.--why does it matter? and B.--why would you ask?? and most importantly, C.--IS IT ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS?

My dad also does a lot of reading in the medical field. He says he believes in vitamins and things that are natural. For several years, he was on a big "it's good for your liver" kick. No matter what he ate or did, it was all about his liver. A few years ago I was having major stomach issues  (which turned out to be anxiety) but nothing would calm it down. My father suggested I drink cider vinegar and have some straight lemon juice to cure this. Against my better judgement, I followed his advice and almost dropped dead in my parents backyard. My father also doesn't believe in any diagnosis my siblings or I have received from any medical professional. My youngest brother needed a spinal fusion in 2009. My sister has Crohn's. (my dad says she needs tumeric and cumin, and let's not forget the cider vinegar. Cinder vinegar is to my dad as Windex was to the dad in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". It'll cure anything.). He also doesn't believe I have a seizure disorder. He truly believes that I had a seizure on my trip due to no sunscreen on my face, in combination with taking one non drowsy Dramamine daily throughout the cruise. This is no joke.

When my father speaks on his cell phone (that is, when he isn't washing it in the pocket of his cargo pants in the washing machine, or dropping it in toilets, or leaving it in heating vents of the trucks he rents out), he covers his mouth when he speaks. I only wish there was a way for me to illustrate this to you. It truly is the funniest thing ever.

As far as being a grandfather goes, my kids think he's the shit. They find him hysterically funny, they love whenever he speaks, he can cure Sunday night school anxiety and is always good to split a slab of ribs with. He's also great at teaching kids how to make spitballs. Sigh.

Monday, March 21, 2011

We don't get invited back.

Sunday, Sunday. No Hebrew school for the kids so they were super excited. It was Purim Carnival day! (enter not excited parents--spend lots of money to win tiny junk that the kids just "love" and then in three months, I spend hours cleaning it all out of the house to throw away)

This year, I got out of it. I had a ton of paperwork and bills and what not to deal with, so Steve took the boys himself. He doesn't really mind. He buys tickets for the boys, they run around and do what they want, he sits and stares at his phone, (this year, keeping up with the NCAA scores) then they eat and come home with said junk.

I remind everyone that we had a 1st birthday party to go to last night. Simon asks whose party are we going to. I tell him Leah's party. He stares at me, confused as to who this Leah might be. I explain how we know Leah and her family. Simon's face lights up and he says, "OH! That's the house I threw up at!"
Yes, that is correct. When this family's middle child turned one, they had the birthday party at home. We were all invited. Unfortunately, what was planned as an outdoor party became an indoor one as the skies opened up and we were getting ready to build an ark.  The buffet was set up in their kitchen. We all line up, get our food, and find seats. A few minutes later, Simon stands up, and throws up all over their kitchen floor. I quickly pick him up and go running to the bathroom while I yell behind me to Steve to start cleaning. I should also add that Steve I were married 6 days when this event occurred. Zion (Steve's son) was really not a vomitter so Steve had never had to clean this up before. As Simon and I hide in the bathroom because I am totally mortified and wonder how we can escape this party without people screaming and throwing things at us, Simon questions why we are hiding. I explain that he just threw up all over the kitchen with 100 people in the house and now everyone will think their kids are going to get the stomach flu. He says he's not sick and reminds me that he just throw up a lot. (No shit, sherlock) We leave the bathroom, I finish helping Steve clean as he's about 7 colors of green and looks like he's contemplating annulling this marriage, when I tell the other boys we have to leave. Everyone is upset as they haven't finished eating and of course have not gotten cake. I yell thru my teeth to get outside. I say goodbye to our hostess who tries to reassure me it's no big deal that she now needs to call in a Haz-mat team to decontaminate her home and she hopes Simon feels better. (Our hostess is very concerned about germs as her 3 kids tend to get sick ALL the time and the last thing she needs is someone leaving them all over her home)

We are walking to our car and of course our children are completely confused as to why we left. When we are home and Simon throws up, we just continue whatever we were doing as, at that point in time, Simon was throwing up almost everyday. (After a gammet of tests and what not, we realized Simon was throwing up as an attention getter--never a dull moment) We get home, Simon has chocolate milk and chicken nuggets and is completely fine. The hostess calls to check in, I keep apologizing profusely, explaining that he is just a puker and that I'm sure no one will get sick. ( I can imagine the faces and gestures she was making as I told her this)

All of this brings us back to yesterday's party. Simon asks me where the birthday party is going to be.(will it be at their house again because they had such a cool basement??) And I have to explain to him that we will never be invited back to their house again because of what he did and that was why the party had to be out at a restaurant--to prevent things like this from happening. Simon just smiled, and gave me a bear hug and said "I love you. mama". Granted this was adorable, it still does not make up for all of the vomit that has been cleaned up over the last few years. And fortunately, he survived the party last night without throwing up anywhere! WINNING!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh. I'm sorry.

Yesterday, another pretty typical Saturday in our super exciting lives.  We ran a couple of errands, chased down a cupcake truck and took the boys for haircuts.  While we were sitting there, and I played referee between the boys who were waiting for their cuts, I got a text from my youngest brother, Jordan. He and his girlfriend, Jenna, were in the burbs and wanted to see the boys. They wanted to pick them up and take them to paint pottery. An offer from someone to take all 4 boys for a couple of hours!!!!!!!! Could the day get any better?!?!?!? I told him what time we'd be home and that we'd see them soon.

We pull in our driveway to find Jordan & Jenna sitting in the trunk of Steve's Xterra. A---Steve clearly left the car unlocked. B---Jordan knows the garage code, and yet, they chose to sit in the trunk, with the door closed on a beautiful day. Alright. I don't judge.  As I give the boys a quick lecture (again) on how they better behave or else no one will ever want to see them again, I start grabbing my things as Jordan & Jenna need to drive our car in order to fit everyone for the field trip. Steve opens the driver door and gets out because he needs to use the facilities before he and I head off for our couples time at Target & the produce store. I continue to gather my phone and purse, when I notice the garbage can on the driveway is moving. At first, I chalk this up to my horrific allergies that have been causing dizzy spells over the last few days. Then I notice the garage wall is getting closer. STEVE LEFT THE CAR IN DRIVE when he got out. His terrible habit finally has caught up with him. When Steve stops the car, rather than putting the car in park, turning the engine off, and then opening the car door, Steve opens the car door, grabs his phone, starts to exit the vehicle, then puts it in park and turns off the engine. I seriously had no idea what to do at this point. The kids are yelling, I'm yelling, Jordan is laughing. All I envision is the damage to my family room wall unit and TV as we go plowing thru the house when I lean over and just throw the car into park hoping my transmission doesn't fall out. It didn't. I get out of the car screaming about how stupid does one need to be to leave the car in drive when Steve comes outside. I start yelling about what just happened, and his response: "Oh, I'm sorry. I've never done that before." @@

Steve comments to Jenna that her new car looks pretty sweet and she offers him the keys while they are gone. He says, "Did you not see what I just did?" All I can say is that Jenna must really love Jordan to offer up the keys to her brand new car to the guy who can't even remember to put the car in park AND to spend a couple hours painting pottery with the boys. Jordan is a lucky guy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Day I Had to Give it Up

We came home from our fabulous cruise relaxed and somewhat tan. And, with a black eye. Apparently, when I had the seizure, somehow I did quite a number on myself. I twisted up my glasses and had a black and blue eye--the interesting eyelid was black and blue in such a way it looked like I had really nice make up on. Too bad I couldn't figure out how to get my other eye to look that way. I also had quite the sore tushy. My tailbone was absolutely killing me! And, believe it or not, I was pretty happy to see my boys. I really did miss the loud, crazy antics that go on here daily.

I scheduled an appointment with my internist (whom I LOVE) to fill him on the mishigas that went on. He ran a bunch of blood work, did a quick neurological exam and sent me off to a neurologist. 2 days later, I drove off to see the neurologist for my life altering appointment. I explained the whole history to him, blah, blah. He ordered a crapload of tests for me and then the news came. He was prohibiting me from driving until I was 6 months seizure free. Since this was the 2nd seizure, it was too risky to let me get behind the wheel. I walked out of the appointment, sat down in the hallway, called Steve and told him he had to come get me. Then, I sat and cried as I waited for him to get to Evanston and watched a ton of drug reps bring really good smelling food into all the doctors offices. There was definitely Chinese & pizza. Why do all doctors offices get these free lunches ALL the time??? (I mean, I know why, but why can't other industries get in on this??)

I went home, sat in my house and felt more trapped than I ever had in my life. Driving is everything to me. I am a bit of a control freak (enter laughter from those who know me) and take that away from me and I'm a mess. But, I made all my phone calls and scheduled all of my tests. Then I had to arrange for rides to everything like I do for my children. Thank G-d for my best friend, Tammy, my mother and my husband, Steve (even though I cannot stand his driving and if he and I survive the next few months of this, we'll survive anything).

I'll spare you all the in and outs of hospital shtick and waiting rooms and elctrodes stuck to my head for an EEG and a hockey mask over my face for the MRI. I'm sure you all know how super pleasant those are.

A couple weeks later, I'm back at the neurologist, via my mother, to discuss all the results and what the future holds.  The bottom line is, all of my tests came back normal. No tumors, no lesions, no brain bleeding, no heart condition, no nothing. I'm "normal" (BAHAHAHAHA). 50% of all seizure cases have no cause; apparently, this is a good thing because no one wants tumors, lesions, etc. Yet---I have NO ANSWERS.  Dr. Ryan, (not his real name), along with his nurse and I sit to discuss what this means. It means that now that I have had 2 "unprovoked" seizures, I am considered to have a "seizure disorder", a.k.a. Epilepsy. I find this to kind of be ridiculous, but what do I know. I ask the questions my father (who is NOT a doctor) insisted I ask: "Was this seizure caused from dehydration?" and "Was this seizure caused from taking Dramamine everyday on the cruise AND not wearing sunscreen on my face?"  I still wish I had a video camera rolling to show you Dr. Ryan's reaction to these most insane questions and how he fought back laughter to tell me, "NO!"  At this point, I am still waiting for him to tell me that since all my tests were fine he's going to lift the driving restriction. HA! No such luck. Not only that, he tells me he is prescribing anti-seizure meds that I will be on for the long haul. And, that there are side effects to the meds: some diziness, tiredness, and IRRITABILITY.  I literally BURST OUT LAUGHING and told him I am irritable on a good day. His nurse lost her shit and started laughing, he cracked a smile and went on to tell me that he believes it is a true side effect. I said I am moody ALL THE TIME (just ask Steve & the boys) so what is this going to do to me??? He said if I felt  I was being overly irritable (not in the minds of Steve & the boys) to let him know. And off I went , home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Today is the 2 month mark of me not driving......the longest 2 months of my life and I have been thru WAY worse over the last 6+ years. I am crabby, sad, and feel as if July will never get here.  I have no choice though....the risks are too great and I cannot take the chance of hurting my children, myself or anyone else. So-----bitchiness wins!!!!! At least this time, I have an excuse :o)

Friday, March 18, 2011

An Epic Tale

About a year ago, my best friend Tammy and I were discussing how to celebrate our upcoming 35th birthdays. We decided we wanted to take a cruise for a week, with our husbands, sans kids. So, we went ahead and booked the trip, without having any child care arrangements really in place, because as my mother always tells me, "we'll handle it". (We refers to a team of people in my family, because as Hilary Clinton once said, "it takes a village" and with our nutty situations, it truly does). So after much preparation and what not, we leave town and head for Miami!!!

We arrive in Miami, all of our luggage shows up at baggage claim (this right here should be enough to say our vacation was great) and head to the Holiday Inn right near the port.  We check in and head to our rooms (I should tell you upfront that my husband, as a government employee, is entitled to certain discounts, so this hotel offered one to us, and so we took advantage. All this meant was a queen size bed and not a king. Fine. Oh. And a free breakfast the next morning. Winning!)) Immediately, Steve is having a hissy fit about how the bed is too small, the room is too hot, we're all gonna get killed and why do 8 different pizza places slide menus under the doors. Can you envision the good time going on here? It's midnight and I just wanna sleep a bit before we board the ship. So, after a night of no sleep because the prince felt a pea under the mattress, we eat our breakfast, get in 2 separate cabs, drive to the port, our cab driver reminds us to tip her (um, really?) and we have arrived to see our giant ship awaiting us.

Boarding was a breeze and we attack the buffet, as everyone else does, because none of us have eaten in 2 hours. The only mistake we made was not packing bathing suits in our carry on bags because we couldn't get into our rooms and we didn't have our luggage. No biggie. We spent days having a MARVELOUS time just relaxing and having nothing to do. Then, Thursday hits.

Wednesday night, Steve and Mike (Tammy's husband) decide they want to sleep in the next morning. Cause this trip has been so strenuous on them and napping 3 times a day isn't enough?! But, no problem. It's an "at sea" day and that means you must get up and reserve chairs at the pool. Tammy and I are pros at this. So, we tell the guys we will handle it. I wake up Thursday morning. Tammy texts me to say she's already ready to go so she will go get the chairs and that I should just meet her at breakfast. I tell her no problem and that I am 5 minutes behind her. I grab all my stuff, excited for my day in the sun, and head to the elevator. But, the next thing I knew, I was in the medical center with a woman jabbing a needle in my arm, blood flying and me screaming (ok, the me screaming part is not so unusual)

Apparently, I had a seizure. The security team saw me on the cameras and sent help. Then they called Steve in the room, who by the way, had no idea I wasn't in the room. And Tammy, as she always does, knew it was me when the Captain was announcing trouble on deck 12, and came straight to the medical center.  I would try to imitate the Captain's voice here for you but it won't work and the only ones who would laugh would be Tammy and me, so I won't even bother, but just believe me when I tell you, it was hysterically funny and I do a great impression of him! Anywho, after getting yelled at by the doctor and nurse for being belligerent and swearing (do you see a pattern here?) they give me IV fluids, yellow Gatorade (I only like red...seriously...and if I am forced to, orange. But yellow???? Who the hell likes this flavor of pee looking drink???) and some plain chicken and rice and sent me on my way. No answers as to why this happened or what may have caused it....I was told to follow up with my doctors at home. I slept most of the day and by Friday morning I was ready for the sun again, only to find it was cloudy and chilly. The highlight of the day: watching another cruise passenger get taken off the ship by a tiny little rescue boat driven by the Coast Guard that was bouncing in the ocean. Seriously, this person must have been on the verge of death to want to not wait the one day until we were back in Miami to be taken care of. If the little boat ride didn't kill him, it's a miracle.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Am the Other

My husband, Steve, finds my hairbrush most offensive. I truly do not understand this. I mean, yes, it is filled with hair of mine that has come out of my head..and I admit...I am not always on top of cleaning it out as often as I should, but this is the most offensive thing in our bathroom to him. (I think there is WAY more offensive stuff, but, whatever). The thing is....I do not have thick, beautiful hair like he does. I don't have great hair like my mother or my sister or my brothers. I hardly have eyelashes. My siblings were all blessed with long, "look like you always have mascara on" eyelashes. I look like I lost mine at a Hibachi steakhouse...and that's with loads of mascara on. I am was not blessed with a fast metabolism like my siblings either. Remember Sesame Street? The song that talked about how one of these things is not like the other? That would be me. I am the other.

My weight has yo-yo'd my ENTIRE life. There is a picture in my parents basement of me, as a gymnast, (short-lived, I have no athletic ability either) wearing a lavender and white striped leotard with a pot belly. I was probably 8 or 9 years old in the picture. The belly has always been there. Over the years it got smaller and bigger and then smaller and then even bigger, but never, ever, ever was it flat. Finally, after reaching my peak, and my doctor telling me I really needed to do something, I underwent Gastric Bypass in June of 2009.
Best decision I ever made. It has made a HUGE impact on my life and my health and my overall well-being--mostly for the good...and then, there is the bad.

See, I had complications post-op...I was the 1 in a 1,000,000 (anyone who knows my family knows we ALWAYS fall into this category). I will spare you the very gory details of those few days, but, after everything seemed to have leveled off and I was on my way to recovery, I suffered a seizure. From what I've been told, it was quite a sight to see. I felt totally fine before it happened at 1pm that Friday.....and then next thing I knew, it was 4am on Saturday..I was restrained to my hospital bed and my poor mother was trying to sleep in a very uncomfortable chair. I was slurring something awful (since I took a nice bite into my tongue during it) and had no idea what was going on.  I do remember screaming and swearing and being rather belligerent (I'm all these things on a good day, so I don't really understand why they say that can happen after a seizure) at the poor nurse who was being so super nice to me. And the really sick guy in the next curtain over in the ICU...well let's just say his family was quite happy to see me leave. (And I was thrilled to leave the ICU because the woman who came in after suffering a heart attack who was screaming on the phone at someone about how her doctor didn't say she couldn't have another cigarette, well she was just too much for me to handle. She was super loud on the phone and my swearing was too loud for her---it was a mutually happy parting) From what I was told, they ran every test possible and there was no reason they could come up with for the seizure. So, they basically chalked it up to the trauma my body had suffered and figured it was a fluke thing. The neurologist at that time put me on medication, suggested I not drive for a few months and that was it. The not driving lasted all of 6 weeks. I was ready to lose my mind and decided I was fine. I felt fine. My energy was back. Everything was heading in the right direction...and it was.....until January 13 of this year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And, it begins.....

I have been contemplating writing a blog for sometime now. Finally decided to take the plunge. So, here I am. Get excited. As you will learn, I am a completely upbeat, positive, full of sunshine person......LOLOL....right. As I get more into writing this blog, you'll learn more about me and how I got to where I am. It's quite the tale. I'll probably jump around a lot and go off on tangents (as I do when I tell stories in person) You'll adjust.....or you won't. I don't really give a shit (you'll also learn I don't give a shit about much...especially State Capitals) I hope you will find this somewhat amusing and maybe get a laugh now and then. I laugh at my life all the time.
Day 62 without driving........I'm over it. But, I have until July 13 before I can run free, so I have WAY too much time on my hands.
Today, we switched back to Comcast from AT&T Uverse---always fun when the install guy comes in the house and gets pissed because I didn't place the order correctly. He called for back up. The back up guy got the tv's working, yet kept checking ESPN. Why? Don't know--it was working just fine. What wasn't working fine was HBO--the only movie channel we now have. (Do you hear the tiny violins playing?)
I'm not sure why I'm upset----we had a million channels and there still was never anything to watch. All this means is now is that it'll take me less time to discover that there still is nothing on tv.
BUT---I am super excited that we now have working wireless internet again!!!!!! Now, I can keep my ass on my couch instead of having to go upstairs to the computer or waste the battery on the phone and iPad by using 3G. It's the little things..........
Dinner tonight should be fun. Making a new recipe for myself. Steve & the boys are on their own. No one appreciates what I make; half of them don't like it anyway. So...let them figure it out.
As I sit here typing this, Issac sits down next to me. He's very upset with our new cable. I've told him that when he moves out and pays his own bill, he can upgrade up his wazoo.
I could go start packing lunches for school tomorrow. They're all getting the green Shamrock bagels my mom brought for St. Patty's Day(we're not Irish....we just like to find another excuse to eat more food). Only my stepson eats cream cheese...none of my boys will.....freaks.