Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Drugs Are Bad....Mmmmkay

There are so many drug commercials on TV now. Each commercial explains what the medication does, lists all of the oh so wonderful possible side effects, and then tells you to talk to your doctor about whether or not it would work for your problem. Why do I have to bring this to the doctor's attention? Shouldn't he/she be bringing it to MY attention. Isn't that why he/she went to medical school and I didn't?

There are a couple of commercials that stick out in my mind. There's the birth control one where the women are dressed as flowers jumping into a pool in the boring routine of "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc......" and they explain why a 4 time a year method would be better than taking a pill every day. Personally, I find the take a pill every day method to be pretty damn good. That method ranks #1 in my book, and only ranks #2 to sterilization.  That is, unless you are taking that one pill that discusses how it works awesome for PMDD. Except, that there were SO many side effects and problems with it, that it got pulled from the market, and was re-issued under a new name.  Let me tell you something, as someone who suffers from PMDD......that pill does shit for it. At least it did for me. Nothing replaces good old Xanax in combination with some other fun meds to calm your hormones down a bit. That and some wine, and some ear plugs so you can't hear your kids and spouse and you are good as gold.

Let's not forget the ever popular male drugs for erectile dysfunction.  You can find these commercials running repeatedly on ESPN, Comcast Sports Net and during most major sporting events on television, especially during the Super Bowl.  I love how they show a couple, a middle aged to early senior couple spending quality time together and then the mood strikes. Please. The guys taking these pills either don't need them and just think it's going to enhance what they have, (It won't.) OR, they have some young, new girl they think they need to impress. If you have the young girl, she's not with you cause she's so in love with you. You probably have money and that's what she is after. You climbing on top of her is at the bottom of her list. So lay off the drugs and take out the credit card.  This is not to say that there aren't men who truly need this drug and that for those who do it has seriously improved their quality of life. I believe that for those men, this was probably a miracle drug. It's just sad that so many other men think it's going to solve everything.

I am now on a medication that has a legitimate side effect of causing irritability. HAHAHAHAHA! I literally burst into laughter when my doctor told me of this. I told him I am irritable on a good day. What was this medication going to do to make it worse? I told him Steve and the boys may run away from home. He laughed for a minute, but then told me with a straight face that it is a true side effect and some people are very effected by it and I should pay attention. I think while I was adjusting to it there were some major episodes in my house, but, I feel things are better now. But, you may want to ask Steve and the boys for their opinions.......

There are way too many drugs on the market for me to continue picking on each of them. Just realize that when they tell you the side effects, pay close attention to your body. No one is going to look out for you except for you. So, for example, if someone tells you they have something for you that will fix your pain or aches or what not, make sure it isn't a super heavy dose pain patch that is meant for severely ill cancer patients and is going to leave you vomiting on the floor......I'm just sayin.......

Monday, April 25, 2011

The One Upper

Have you ever known someone who always has a story that can top yours? No matter what kind of story you are telling, that person has one that can out do yours? My mother is the queen of the one-uppers.

Let me start by saying that my mother does not do this intentionally. I don't think she sets out wondering how she can interrupt and take over another person's story by telling her own. Somehow, she just has this natural talent for doing it. I'm not even sure she knows that she is doing it. That is why, we, her family, have come up with several hand signals and gestures to make while she goes about telling her story. Unfortunately, I cannot demonstrate those signals to you here, in writing. So, I am realizing as I write this, that this blog entry may lose some of its oomph.  Bear with me.

My mother was never fat. At one point, at the age of 16 or 17, she was briefly overweight. In my world, her weight was fine for someone 5'7". She does not truly understand the meaning of being fat. Yet, somehow , she can one up anyone's weight loss struggle with her story about how she lost 30 lbs eating salami, crackers and diet pop. If today, I were to eat salami, crackers and diet Coke, I'd blow up like a balloon from the sodium.

My mother had a VERY terrible pregnancy with me. She was hospitalized due to her gallbladder and had surgery to remove it while pregnant. Her scar is very large. (Pre-laproscopic days) We all know this was an awful and scary experience.  Yet, when I had mine out, one month after I had Andrew, Lance had his out, and Tessi had hers out  after an 11 day bout with Pancreatitis, somehow, she still manages, to one up all of us.

Last year, on our horrific train ride from Rome to Tuscany for Lance and Roya's wedding, (that could be a week's worth of blog entries...perhaps I will do this in a couple of weeks when it will be their anniversary), as Jordan was ready to hang himself from the back pain (he had a spinal fusion 6 months earlier), Steve was ready to collapse (hernia surgery 2 months earlier), and Tessi was amidst a Crohn's flair up from the stress and anxiety of all this, my mother tells her that SHE has such a terrible stomachache worrying about all of us. Really??? Your butterflies up against a Crohn's flair up? Really? Our flight going home was an absolute nightmare....mind you.....we had 4 kids with us and SHE was complaining about her flight home. It was just her, my dad and my uncle. Seriously??? Your trip was worse?!?!?!?!

My mother went thru a lot of shit when she was younger. In recent years, knock on wood, she's been great! It's her children that are all falling apart. We've been in too many hospitals to name in the Chicago area, as well as in New York and Europe. Yet, somehow, in someway, her situation was always worse.  When we have good stories to tell, hers are always better. When we have friends who have stuff going on and we're sharing the story, she has a friend who went thru it, but it was better/worse/more difficult, etc. You get the point.

So...this is not meant as mean or bitchy or in any way trying to make my mother look bad. We all love her very much and she gives us something to laugh about all the time. So, thank you to Judy, the original one-upper!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Checks Your Ass Can't Cash

What is with people and their open ended offers?
"We'll get together soon." or "Let's do lunch." or "Let's have dinner."

I had a professor at the University of Skokie (a.k.a. Oakton Community College) who spoke of this often. Why can't people just commit and follow thru?  Rather than saying, "Are you free for lunch on Thursday?", it's just a vague saying in passing, "We'll have lunch soon." When is soon? What day is soon? I want to make sure I am available on soon.

I have encountered way too many people in my life who live this way. Franky, I find it annoying and a bunch of bullshit. If you really wanted to get together, you would schedule a firm date and time with me.
Why is it so hard to commit? The people who have such a hard time committing to a meal are the same people who cannot commit to anything else in their lives. For example, the professor I spoke of, divorced his wife for reasons that weren't really concrete, in my opinion. And, later on, he too, realized that they weren't concrete. She had moved on and remarried. He missed her terribly. He would speak of the regret he had over his decision and had wished he could go back and do it differently.  He wasn't happy being "tied down". He thought the grass might be greener elsewhere. It wasn't. He was alone and sad and unhappy. He realized his mistake. He decided to live life differently. Whenever a friend asked him for coffee, he would open his date book. (This was back in 1996. Today he'd open his iPhone or Blackberry calendar) He'd take out a pencil and ask the person what day and time so he could mark it down. Now, I realize his divorce and making a decision to actually schedule plans with people aren't quite the same. But his lecture that day was on both topics. So I am writing about both.

Also, remember to reciprocate. If people consistently invite you to their home, or parties, or for holidays, or pick up the check, keep that in mind. When you don't show any gratitude or reciprocation, it doesn't go unnoticed. You just look like a giant schnorr. And no one likes a schnorr.  Don't make offers that "next time" you'll pick up the check or that "next time" it's on you. No one believes you after you have made this offer several times and have never followed thru on it.  When the check comes, pick it up. It won't kill you. I promise.

So, I know this is on the shorter side today. I'm tired and crabby. But my point is this: do not make vague offers. Don't write a check your ass can't cash. If you really don't want to have dinner, don't make the suggestion to do so. I won't be offended. What offends me, is your empty offer. Trust me, I have people who DO want to have lunch or dinner or coffee or whatever with me. I don't need you pretending you want to do so.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lunch Lady Land

"In Lunch Lady Land, your dreams come true.
Clouds made of carrots and peas.
Mountains built of shepherd's pie
And rivers made of macaroni and cheese.
But don't forget to return your trays
And try to ignore my gum disease.
No student can escape
The magic of Lunch Lady Land."-Adam Sandler

The only part of the song that really holds true towards me is the gum disease part. And I had a gum graft done in September so I'm all good now. Why this talk of Lunch Lady Land? Because, I now can add this to my resume. Not because I volunteer with the PTA at my children's schools to serve "hot lunch", or because I actually work as a Lunch Lady at a school, but rather because I portrayed one yesterday in my acting debut in the new Boom Entertainment/B96 commercial being filmed.

I had not anticipated participating in the actual commercial yesterday. I thought I was to spend the day with the crew, fetching lunch, taking notes, and just helping out Jordan and Video Dave with whatever they may need. Rather, I got to watch DeAnna of DeAnna's Salon work on our lead actor in her stiletto heals. I am in awe of her. How the hell she stands in those ALL DAY long and cuts hair is beyond me. Props to her! I got to see the latest in male Prom fashion. I got to watch Devin stand holding a microphone steady in the air for rather long periods of time. It's a good thing he works out the way he does. Those arms come in handy.  My father did a drive by in a Budget truck and was honking the horn and slowing down traffic on Dempster.  

The fun really started at Stevenson High School. First off, let me start by saying this school is simply GORGEOUS. They have 5 cafeterias, a make shift Starbucks, an "aquatic center" (in my day, this was called a swimming pool) and many, many buildings, fieldhouses and all sorts of other goodies.  The school was very accommodating towards our needs. I ordered food to feed our crew. We took a short break in order to eat. Then, everyone started getting things ready to begin shooting. I went to buy some water from the vending machine. (By the way, they don't just have bottled water. They have Dasani, flavored Dasani, Vitamin Water and Smart Water) I came back to find several of the Lacrosse players eyeing our leftover food and bottles of Gatorade. They looked around to see if anyone was watching them, and they began to help themselves. Um. Excuse me. This is NOT a buffet! I quickly let them know that we don't steal things that do not belong to us.  They had no idea they decided to mess with the wrong woman. (An old, bitchy woman in their eyes...I heard them mumbling.)

Anywho....some filming occurs and the next thing I know, Video Dave is trying to explain to me that he needs me to play the lunch lady in this commercial. WTF? I didn't sign up for this. I didn't want to do this. I had no make up on. Video Dave, David and Frankie were trying to convince me that I was really good at being an angry, mean person and this is what they needed the Lunch Lady to be. Was I supposed to be flattered by this?  Is this how I am viewed by my fellow co-workers? (I mean, I know I am viewed that way by many people, but I thought these people were my friends!) I argued for a while about why I didn't want to do this and the bottom line was, they needed me to just say one line and they had already moved our leftover food to the cafeteria area and had started setting up the lighting. Ted, the Stevenson Activities Director who was allowing us access to what we needed even found me a dirty, used apron to put on. Oh joy! Thank goodness he didn't find a hair net.

It took a couple of takes, but I think I did an ok job. Steve, who was coming to pick me up from the shooting, actually arrived just in time to come in and watch me film. I never saw Steve run so quickly from a parking lot into a building. He came in and started snapping pictures with his phone and sent them to the kids who were at home. He told everyone that had he known I was doing this, he would've gotten a hair net for me to wear. How considerate!

So, all in all, I don't think I will be making anymore commercials but I did have a fun day with all the guys. I hope the rest of the shooting went well last night. Everyone should look forward to seeing this commercial online, hopefully next week!
And a special shout out Happy Birthday to Video Dave today!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Farfel & Fancy Desserts-Oh My!

Seder...night 2. Full house last night. My family of 6, my uncle, my cousin, Tessi, Mac, Jordan, Jenna and my parents all in attendance.  Jordan got dressed for the occasion.Rather than his usual uniform of his "Funny or Die" hoodie and black sweats, he wore a t-shirt and his Guitar Hero pajama pants. My dad got the honor of sitting in the kitchen with the boys as we were quite squishy at the dining room table. Again, we attempt a couple of blessings. Tessi calls Issac in to read the 4 Questions in Hebrew and it isn't going very well. Jordan begins to criticize his reading. So, we turn it over to Jordan. It went worse. So we kind of just skipped it. We sit eating our gefilte fish. Jenna asks Tessi about the benefit she went to over the weekend at the Brookfield Zoo. She asked her what the cause was. Tessi had no idea but she said it was good for people watching. Cool.

We move onto the soup. Just like the night before, my mom begins questioning everyone as to whether they want both matzah balls and farfel or just matzah balls. For some reason though, she felt the need to scream the question at Jenna while she stood right next to her. I guess my mom, who claims to remember everything, forgot she was in the same room with her.  Jenna says ok to both even though she wasn't quite sure what farfel was. Mac didn't either. The previous night's explanation went something like "its a hard noodle but it gets soft in the soup and, really it is flavorless, but it tastes good." Oh, well then sign me up!

As we sit and eat dinner, Amy is playing on Steve's iPhone. She always does when we are together. She has her reasons. We're all cool with it. Steve asks Amy how her mom is doing. Tessi suddenly says, "Does your mom have an iPhone?" WTF???? Where did that come from? Amy answers her anyway, and tells Tessi that she does not. Glad we cleared that up. Thanks for asking, Tess.

Dinner was delish as usual. Simon was having shpilkes about hiding the Afikomen again. It didn't take the boys quite as long to find it last night.  They again were super lazy about it but this time, we also had Jordan yelling at them about it. Fun, fun. Issac was our big winner.

Now, dessert comes out. It is like nothing we have ever seen. There is a beautiful fruit tray, with berries and melon, and even kiwi. The night before, we only had strawberries. There also was a magnificent looking cake/torte looking thing very decorated and fancy. There were chocolate dipped marshmallows, cookies and chocolate/toffee matzah. Where did all this come from? Why is tonight different than all other nights????? The answer is simple: Jenna was at dinner.  Apparently, she ranks. The rest of us, simply, do not. Not only that, my mom bought those weird moon shaped gel candy with sugar on them-Jordan's favorite. She actually walked over to him with the platter and offered him his favorite color before they were all gone. It was as if Lance was at dinner but in Jordan's body. None of the rest of us got offered our favorite color. Again, we were shunned. But, we are used to it. After all, if  Lance isn't there, someone else must take the position of the favorite child. I guess Jordan and Jenna are winning! My guess would be it's more about Jenna, and Jordan just gets to tag along for the ride.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Passover! Remember Where Your Bread is Buttered!

Last night was the 1st Seder for Passover. We were at my parents house. We don't do a "real" seder. We do a couple blessings, the kids read the 4 questions and goodbye, good luck, we eat.  I have to say, Zion is such an incredible reader. He has been since about 3 years old. But he read his question last night with such ease, and knew when to pause for punctuation, and was able to pronounce EVERY difficult word. It really was so cool to watch. :o) The yelling started soon after we sat down, so that was normal. (Good thing I brought 4 bottles of wine.) Tessi's boyfriend, Mac, joined us. This was his 1st Seder. He has spent a lot of time with our family so he's used to the "loud discussions" but I'm sure this was semi-amusing for him. Especially the book my mom gave him called something like, "My First Passover", which is meant for tiny children.

The boys eat in the kitchen. They get fed before we even sit down. They get their soup so that they sit quietly. (As quiet as kids can be with the tv on and discussion amongst themselves.) After a couple courses and we are sitting actually eating dinner, my mom decides to share a story with us. You see, she got my uncle his own personal sized gravy boat. The dishes she uses for Passover are very flat, no rim. So, my uncle doesn't like how careful he has to be about gravy dripping from the plate.  Tessi and I ask her if she stole it. She makes a face. Oh. So she did. Not the first time she's stolen an item from a restaurant. (she likes salt and pepper shakers, and more importantly, Sweet n Low, Equal and Splenda, as well as stirrers, tea bags and napkins) She proceeds to go on and explain the story of the Crate and Barrel outlet in Vermont (I think it was Vermont. Tessi and I couldn't stop laughing long enough to really hear details.) The story goes on and on and eventually, she gets the gravy boat at an outlet in New Hampshire. (???) Then we move on to a new topic. 10 minutes later, my dad, who has been sitting at the table the ENTIRE time, asks when she's going to tell us the story about the gravy boat. Really?

Mac wanted more food but he was cornered in at the table. My mom tells Tessi she should go get Mac some more. She states she isn't his wife. My mom points out that once you are, then you no longer get him any food. He can do it himself. You're supposed to do it when you are dating. So, Tessi gets up and says this better produce a better diamond. Oh. Ok. Cause one time you got up and put some more turkey on a plate. That makes a lot of sense. Someone told her she should know where her bread is buttered. This seemed to confuse her. Maybe it was the wine. Or, maybe Tessi was just being Tessi.

Conversation continues, after many interruptions from Simon asking when Grandpa is going to hide the Afikomen and him calling my cell phone from my parents ancient house phone. Simon found it fascinating.  Then, my dad calls the house from his cell phone. Simon answers very politely. My dad is whispering and covering the mouthpiece, like he always does. (If you haven't witnessed this, its freaking hilarious. He covers the mouthpiece thinking people can hear him better when really, he sounds like a terrorist calling to make a bomb threat.) My dad keeps asking Simon if he can speak to someone. Simon cannot understand him. Finally he says, "Jordan isn't here. Goodbye." Then he hung up. (My dad never said Jordan's name, so I don't know where that came from.) Simon tells us the guy on the phone sounded just like Grandpa does when he covers the phone to talk. (He did a live demonstration. ) Hysterical laughter ensues.  In the meantime, my mom tells us she remembers everything. Yet, in the same breath says, "What were we just talking about?" Mhmmmmm.

My lazy sons took over half an hour to find the Afikomen. It literally was in front of their faces. All 4 of them were smack dab staring at it at one point or another and NOT ONE OF THEM found it. It was re-hidden twice. Andrew finally found it. It was so painful to watch.

Tonight, we head back to my parents house for round 2. Jordan and Jenna join us tonight, as well as my cousin, Amy. (yea!!!) Should be another interesting evening. Maybe my parents won't even remember last night and we can just re-enact the whole thing for those who weren't physically with us. We already know some weren't mentally all there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kerry a.k.a. Cruella DeVille

Woke up to snow......is this December 18 or April 18? Tonight's the first night of Passover....seder at my parents house, so it should be a good evening of yelling and screaming.(no one will be fighting, this is just how we communicate)

I had a very roller coaster weekend. I let 2 of my boys each get an ear pierced. I was criticized for it by perfect strangers. (I don't recall asking for their opinions.)  We enjoyed a yummy dinner over at Grande Jakes. Then we shopped as a family at the fruit store..nothing like living it up on a Friday night! Saturday was a rain out day for baseball....no complaints from me; the weather was awful. Instead, we got to have a visit with my sis in law, her hubby and my 2 nephews. (my late husbands sister) We haven't seen them in a really long time and this was the first time I can remember ever having a visit, just us and them, with no other family around. It was terrific. The boys are getting so big and are like real people now :o) I truly enjoyed it!  Steve and I had a great date night!! He planned dinner AND made a reservation! Dinner was fantastic. I could go on to tell you all about each dish and what not, but I am not a food critic.  (I am just a critic, as was pointed out to me later in the weekend)

Sunday was the busiest day of our weekend. A million and one different activities that the kids needed to get to, which means Steve spent most of the day in the car. I wasn't feeling great so I spent most of the day on the couch. One baseball practice got canceled and one was shortened due to weather, so there was a little relief there. Steve met some friends that were in town for dinner, so he got a well deserved break. I, on the other hand, was again reminded of why I am so "mean" and "scream a lot".

Let me say this: we, as parents, have no idea what to do when the doctor hands us a new baby and says here ya go: here's this new life that you are totally responsible for; you need to teach him/her right from wrong, good from evil, etc and so forth. You can read every book under the sun and in the end, nothing prepares you for being a parent. From that same thought, nothing prepares you for being a stepmother. I read plenty on how to "blend" families and how to be the perfect step-mom (Mind you, I am not a "weekend stepmom". I am raising Zion along with my boys). Please. It's all a bunch of bullshit. You get thrown into a pit of fire and you need to just figure it out, like you do when you give birth. You learn as you go.  I have absolutely NO IDEA what I am doing. It's been almost 3 years; it might as well be day #1.

I try to look at each and everyday as a blank canvas; a chance to start over and make today's "picture" better than yesterdays.It isn't going well.  Zion doesn't like me. He feels I "scream" at him everyday. (this was said yesterday to me directly, the screaming part, not the not liking me part; that's just my assumption) I should also state that Zion does have sensory issues and loud noise does bother him. I really do try to not yell at him because I know it upsets him. But, he interprets anything that comes out of my mouth as "screaming". My feeling---listen to what I am saying and then we won't have this problem. Just do what I ask of you (which isn't a whole lot) and things will be so much easier. Zion also has ADD which I know contributes to a lot of this. I knew early on he had this. I tried to explain it to Steve. I don't think he wanted to hear about it. (no one likes hearing that there may be something going on with their kid) But, I kept pushing. We had him tested an sure enough, I was right.He is on meds (which was a really rough decision for us) and his teachers at school are simply amazed at the difference in him; they say he is like a new child and absolutely LOVE how well he can focus now and complete tasks and get everything done. He's in an accelerated reading and math program at school---he really is brilliant. So, if there has been this 180 in his actions at school, why not at home??? He is super smart so I know he gets what I am asking of him. I think he just doesn't want to. And, this is frustrating. It's a circle we go through every, single day. He thinks he always gets screamed at. I explain he gets "screamed" at because he isn't listening. He goes off on a tangent. I try to again explain what's going on. The circle continues. I don't think asking one to clean up their toys is such a big deal. I also think that if you don't care about the toys you currently have and don't take care of them, why should you get new ones? (A hard lesson for all the boys...but Zion is the only one who truly gets upset over it.)

Zion is also very skinny. He has never had much of an appetite and the ADD meds don't help that. If it were up to him, he'd eat lettuce all day. So meal time is a huge struggle in our house. My boys are quite, sturdy and solid, for lack of better words. If they don't finish a meal, nothing is going to happen. If  Zion doesn't finish, it worries me. So, I harp on him. Is this fair--nope. Do I know it isn't fair? Indeed. Do I know how to handle it? Not in the slightest. Do I know that Zion feels that he's being treated differently than the others? Of course. Do I feel badly? Yes, I do. Should I just let him not eat and not say anything? I don't know how to do that. I don't know if I am capable of just letting it go. :o(

I say NO. I'm told this makes me mean. (not just by him, my own kids too) Life isn't fair. You cannot always get everything you want when you want it, how you want it. I'm sorry , but this is just the way it is. Zion has a really hard time with this concept. He was an only child for the first 4 years of his life.And, I know better than anyone about feeling guilty because your kid loses a parent and so you want to just give the world to them as a way of compensating for the loss. I get it.  His life got turned upside down when Steve and I married and he moved into a house with 3 other kids. I will say this: he has adjusted better than I could have imagined The boys all LOVE each other; they play and laugh and fight and everything as if all 4 were blood brothers. I love this--it truly makes me happy.

That being said, I wish Zion and I had a better relationship. I feel he just tolerates me. But, has no interest in me or what I say or do, unless I am buying him something. Everything I have done for him has been because I care and take an interest. He's only 7-too young to really understand. But, as I have said here before, I hope that one day, my kids will grow up and understand why I did things the way I did them. I am hoping Zion does too. I hope he will realize that I love him and only wanedt the very best for him. I hope he'll know that my harping and nagging was for a reason. I also hope, to one day, figure out how to be better at this. I still have work to do as a regular mom. After all, the guy at the fruit store asked me what kind of mother I was for letting the boys get earrings. I guess Zion isn't the only one who thinks I need work.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hear the BOOM?? There's an ECHO!

Today, I ask my devoted readers to humor me by reading briefly about my 2 awesome brothers and their businesses. As many of you know, Jordan, my youngest brother has a very successful entertainment company. My other brother, Lance, has started up a new social media site. I ask you all to take a peek today at the new BOOM Marketplace powered by The Echo System.  Register on the site so that you too can partake of all the awesome deals and save yourself some money!


Today's blog is more of a Kerry bitch-fest. (I know some of you are thinking that everyday is a Kerry bitch-fest, but not really.) Now, this morning, I had to spend $125 for a backflow irrigation company to come to my house to inspect this said irrigation system. The village of Northbrook has decided I have one and they need a report showing everything is up to par. I admit, I ignored their requests. Then, as some of you know, I got a postcard telling me my court case had been continued. Um. What court case??? My non practicing, attorney husband got to the bottom of it. The village decided to try to get a judgement against me for not having this taken care of. OOPS.  So, Steve called a company that the village recommended. (Do I hear kickback?) The dude showed up this morning. (After he blew us off yesterday) He was here less than 10 minutes and said he couldn't find any evidence of a backflow system. Not only that, he couldn't even find evidence of an underground sprinkler system.  Now, I am not an irrigation or backflow specialist. However, when I bought this house, there was, an underground sprinkler system. In fact, for a couple of years, I actually used it. I had it turned on in the spring and shut down in the fall. Suddenly, it's gone? How does that happen? The little heads that were in my lawn decided to get up and leave in the middle of the night? They were eaten up by all the supersize skunks and overly fat raccoons that hang out around here???? The squirrels weren't happy with what was in my garbage cans so they ate those? All the pipes and what not just left? Interesting.

So, the backflow guy (also named Steve) gave me a receipt after I turned over my check. He told me he'd send his "official report" to Northbrook letting them know he found no evidence of a backflow irrigation system OR a sprinkling system. He also said that they may want to send out their official water dude to come do his own "visual inspection" to see that nothing exists here. Great- more missed work so I can sit here while someone comes here to find out the same thing. Awesome.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thank you, Sir Winston Churchill!

‎"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
- Winston Churchill

Some of you may have read that quote on my Facebook page last night.  I like to Google quotes on different topics now and then. Usually, I do this when I am in a mood or needing some inspiration or a pick me up.  I was having a moment and decided to Google. And I came across this quote from Mr. Churchill.  A light switch was turned on.

Some people have shared with me (or not with me, but others) that they find some of my blog entries offensive, mean or inappropriate.  Let me start by saying this: I do not really care what you think. I am merely addressing this so there will be no more confusion. If you don't like what I choose to write about, or how I write about it, you simply do not need to read it. No one is forcing you to. And, I will in no way be offended by you choosing to read elsewhere. You are not the first person to dislike something I do and I know sure as shit, you won't be the last.

Based on all this, you may think I am super tough and very extraverted.  Not true. I am somewhat quiet and keep to myself when I am in new situations or around new people. I am not one to just show up somewhere and be like, "hey, here I am!"  (Hence, why attending the University of Kansas did not go well for me) A lot of people find me cold, stand-offish, snobby, and unapproachable.  I can see why they think that. I get it. But, once you do take the time to get to know me, you will see that I am loud and very opinionated and I will let you know exactly what I think, whether you asked or not. Know though, that I ALWAYS share my thoughts with the most sincere of intentions. If I tell you that you should (or shouldn't) do something, there is a reason behind it. I would never tell you to do something that would cause you harm. It comes from a place of love and concern, caring and compassion. This goes for my family, friends and co-workers. I mean no disrespect and I truly care about you and  your well-being. 

On the flipside of this coin: harm me, my kids, my family or my friends, there will be a problem.  I have a big heart. I am generous and will give you the shirt off my back if you need it. But, take advantage of me, and you will be sorry.  I do not talk poorly of people for no reason. Trust me when I tell you that if I have said something negative about you or someone else, there is a reason behind it.  Usually, I do not bother bad mouthing people to others. I was raised that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.  But, some people do such horrendous, awful things, that to talk about it simply is a way for me to deal with it.  You do not have to listen or partake in the conversation with me. That's totally cool. But don't judge me for doing it. You (most of you) do not have all the details. 

So, to Sir Winston Churchill, yes, I have enemies. But it is because I have stood up for something that I think is worth fighting for. And for that, I have no regrets, nor will I apologize for being true to myself. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blueberry Coffee, Benny & The Saint

Yes, Blueberry Coffee. Steve stopped at Dunkin Donuts for me this morning on the way to work so I could get my fix. We had been discussing my blog for today and how I didn't have much in mind other than to write about Steve's parents...he agreed to me doing this. I got out of the car and walked inside.  I ordered my usual. (XL coffee, extra cream and 10 Splenda...don't judge me.) A woman walks in behind me and orders a large, black coffee with blueberry. WHAT?! Who adds blueberry flavoring to coffee?????? Even the woman working behind the counter thought this was weird and said, "large, black coffee with SUGAR?" The woman repeated she wanted blueberry. I look up at the menu board, and sure enough, blueberry is an option. Since when is this an option, and more importantly, WHY is it an option??? As Steve pointed out, it's like saying, I am too lazy to eat a muffin (insert your own joke) so just add some flavor to my coffee. GROSS!

So, as I mentioned earlier, this blog will be about Steve's parents, my favorite inlaws.Yes, they are my favorite. Why? They never criticize me. They never criticize me as a wife or as a mother. They don't criticize my home or how it is kept. No discussions of how I should be doing "X" or "Y" with the kids or why I shouldn't be doing "X" or "Y" with them.  I never have to worry about seeing their number flash across the caller ID on my phone or TV. This is because they are deceased. And, they were long before I met Steve. I mean no disrespect, first and foremost. It's just that anyone who has inlaws, even if they have some magical, wonderful relationship with them, still has issues with those said inlaws.  But with this marriage, I have escaped that. (Although, in exchange, I ended up with a FUPA (a.k.a. Jabba the Hut), and that is WAY, WAY WORSE than any inlaws. Ever. Hands down.)

Steve has described his parents to me, in detail. I have heard wonderful stories of Benny, the "swordsman".
(don't even ask what this means, but if you have an imagination, I am sure you can come up with some reasoning for this @@) Even moreso, I have heard stories of Florence, the "Saint". Yes, the Saint. Steve swears up and down that his mother was a Saint. The woman did no wrong....ever.(Except, for the box of love letters from a life long before she met Benny that are in a box in Alan and Sharon's home. (Steve's brother and sister in law) I won't go into further detail of these letters, as I have not read them myself. but from what Sharon tells me, they're pretty hot and from a guy in Mexico. This is a button pusher with Steve. He wants to hear of no such discussion. The Saint was pure and innocent and there, in his eyes, was no one before Benny.

 The Saint loved her sons and tolerated them destroying her home, embarrassing her in public, breaking neighbors windows, phone calls from school about inappropriate behavior and even the police.  She allowed girls to spend the night and parade around her home in their wife beater t's and panties and cook duck eggs in her kitchen.  She'd cook separate dinners for each boy if they so pleased because she just wanted them to be happy. Benny was against it, but she did it anyway. Why? Because she loved her sons.  (Is anyone sensing that I get lectured on this often?) The small detail that gets left out a lot, was that the Saint was "deaf".  Steve says she went deaf in one ear and wore a hearing aid in both. My guess, and of course it's just a guess and a presumption as I never met the woman, is that she turned those hearing aids off by choice.  That is the only way I could see her putting up with all the bullshit that went on in her home. She just didn't hear any of it--BY CHOICE. I would love that choice. If I could "turn off" all the yelling, fighting, screaming, non-sense, and other crap in my house, I probably wouldn't yell or raise my voice at anyone either. I'd just go about my merry way. But, I sure as hell wouldn't play short order cook or allow whores to parade through my house.  I have to draw the line somewhere.

So....to Benny and the Saint, thanks for such a great son. From my understanding, his nickname was the "absent minded professor" as a child. So, clearly his ADD has gone untreated for sometime. Would've been nice had you two taken care of that. Would've made my life a hell of a lot easier in some ways.  But, I know, way back when, doctors didn't treat these issues. And let's face it, Steve is way older than me. I hope you two are smiling down and at least get a little chuckle out of this. And remember, in my mind, you two rock!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dude, did you get it in?

That was a question I heard while at work yesterday. It wasn't said in reference to a key or piece of staging equipment that was being built. Strictly about sex. I am the only female in this office. The guys feel free to speak as they would if I weren't here. (Although, they try to pretend they are on good behavior while I am here.) I am far from a prude. I don't care if they speak this way or swear. G- d knows I talk like a truck driver most of the time. (no offense to any truck drivers out there) I just found it super amusing to hear this question. Like, isn't there another way to ask if you got laid? Then again, I am the oldest one here by a 5 year minimum...10 years in most cases.  Maybe I am not as cool as I'd like to think I am. (and I don't even think I am that cool to begin with...I never was) So, while the guy being asked this question wouldn't answer within my ear shot, because, as he put it, he's a gentleman and doesn't kiss and tell (i'm not sure a whole lot of kissing was going on), we all knew he did "get it in". (and props to him, I saw a pic)

Later on, the discussion turned to prison. It doesn't really matter how or why, it just did. I had many questions to ask of my co-workers, who I also consider friends. Like, why would one need money in prison? Apparently, the food in prison is not so great, so they need money to buy chips or candy or pop. (Really??) Prisoners can also purchase TV's to watch in their cells, but can you believe, they jack up the prices?? The soap prisoners get issued isn't Dove quality and isn't very good for the skin.  So, if their families send money to them, they can purchase better quality soap. My hard earned tax dollars feed these inmates 3 meals a day, and it isn't good enough. So, I shared my opinion with everyone. Apparently, I was amusing. I was called a "tough lady" and was told I'd make a great prison guard. To me, this sounds a lot like being called a bitch, but without having to say it--just like when Steve told me I'd make a great Secondary Inspector with CBP, part of Homeland Security. (Steve works for CBP) I don't understand why voicing my opinion, and saying no, when no needs to be said is so wrong. I don't see why questioning someone until the truth comes out is considered mean or tough.  Being Miss Suzy Sunshine isn't always the answer. Being Mr. Nice Guy doesn't always get you ahead. As they say, nice guys finish last. Sometimes, you need to grow a pair and say something.  I would've loved to had a job with the FBI. I would be great at it. Yes, I can beat people down with my questioning until they crack. I can voice my opinion and tell you why you are wrong. When I am right, I am right. Deal with it.

So, maybe I would be a good prison guard. Maybe I would be a good Secondary Inspector. Rather than take these things as insults, I am going to take them as compliments. It shows that I can stand up for what I believe in. It demonstrates that I have courage to not back down when I know that what I believe is right. I know my kids think I am mean. It's just too bad. I am not here to be their friend. I am here to be their Mother. I am here to raise them and to teach them right from wrong; good from bad. One day, I hope they will understand why I was this way. I am confident that they will. My wish is that they will appreciate it and realize that I did it for their own good; that I was hard on them so that they would grow up to be strong men who could do anything they set their minds to. And, that they understand the value of a good woman and will treat their wives with respect and love and appreciate her for all that she is. I try explaining this to my co-workers too. Don't de-value the women in your lives. Don't take them for granted. It's important to let the good ones know how good they are. And, for the ones who aren't so good, let them go. Cut your losses and move on.

WOW---Did I go off on a tangent or what today??? I think I forewarned of that early on in my blogging. Sometimes, I do that. Today is one of those days. I'm in a mood. (and for all you men, no it isn't PMS, or hormonal or emotional.....I'm just in a mood.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

It's official. Baseball season has started. And I am not talking about the Cubs or the Sox or the Yankees or the Red Sox. (that covers all the teams we favor in my house) I mean for my children. Simon and Zion (thank G-d) are on the same team. One game a week. For about an hour and a half...no big deal.  Then, there are Andrew and Issac. They both play house league which equates to 3 games a week (2 during the week and 1 on Saturday) and a 2 hour practice on Sundays. They both play travel league. That requires a 2 hour practice, also on Sundays. (Andrew's 2 practices are back to back, my poor baby! Issac gets a couple hours in between his.)

We don't have the travel league game schedule yet, but Andrew already has a practice game this coming Friday night. Once the season is underway, it will be about 2-3 games a week plus tournaments for both boys. Then, the grand finale of Cooperstown for Andrew this year. We all get to go watch him play at Dreams Park this year and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Then, onto to NYC to see Uncle Lance and Aunt Roya, and hopefully, the Yankees.

Last year, as exhausting as it was to be running pretty much every day and/or night of the week to watch my boys, I loved it! I love watching them in action and watching, how over the course of a season, they improve and grow and the amazing connection their teams have with one another out on the field. They have VERY dedicated coaches, who volunteer their time, (last year, Issac's coach for both house and travel didn't even have a kid on the team!) and teach the boys a lot. I also enjoyed getting a pretty sweet tan :o)

This year, it is different. Not because I am not looking forward to watching my kids or because it takes extreme dedication and commitment from all of us to participate, but because I cannot drive. (Yes, we're back to this again.) I have entered all the schedules that we have so far into our calendar and my head is spinning. It's no different than last year. But this time, until July 13, (not that I'm counting) it is all on poor Steve.

When we split the driving , it is a lot. But now, he has to keep running around. Yesterday, for example, he drove the boys to Sunday school. He took me to Sunset and Fresh Farms. Simon called at 10am to say he didn't feel well. Back Steve went. Then, back at 1045am to get Zion and Issac and to drop Andrew off. From there, he took Issac to practice number 1. Ran an errand, took Zion to lunch and came home. He went back and picked Issac up. Then he picked Andrew up. Next, he took Andrew to practice number 1 and then he took me to Target. We were home a little while when he had to drop Issac off at the next practice a few minutes early so he could get Andrew on time from his first practice and get him to practice number 2.(He also grabbed a hat for Andrew, who of course, forgot to take one with after I told him at least 10 times to bring ALL of his stuff with. When Andrew said he forgot it, I told him too bad.) Home for a while, then back out to pick Issac up. Andrew, thank goodness, got a ride home from his coach. Steve was driving back and forth for over 10 hours yesterday, with really, very little time for anything else.

To Steve, I say this: I LOVE YOU. We all love you. I am so fortunate to have found you and to have you in my life. I am so blessed to have you as husband, who loves my children so much, he gives everything of himself to them as if they were his own. I feel truly lucky to know that as much as you love relaxing on your weekends and watching the Sox/Hawks/Bulls, etc....you still get up and take care of everything without complaining.  There are not enough words to say thank you and to tell you how much I (we) appreciate you. So, I am writing it here. I LOVE YOU and I APPRECIATE YOU. xoxox

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Win!!!!! Wait, no I don't.

Got up this morning. Steve and I drove the boys to Sunday school and headed to Sunset for some grocery shopping.  As we make our way thru the store, I find it. The thing that has been driving my mother and sister crazy due to lack of product availability is right in front of me. TONS of it. What is this product that is so exciting??? Temp-Tee Kosher for Passover Whipped Cream Cheese.

As a child, I was raised in a home where we kept Passover strictly. All different dishes, glasses, covered counters & tables, the full nine yards.  My mother would have her annual nervous breakdown in the days leading up to it while trying to get the house ready. (Sorry Mom, but you did.) Somehow, us kids were always in her way and we'd try to hide as best we could. The only saving grace of all her manic-ness was knowing that once the holiday started, we'd be able to have Temp-Tee cream cheese on matzah, sometimes with jelly, (strawberry for me) and sometimes not.  Now to east coast people, this is no big deal. They are able to get Temp-Tee year round. But here, in Chicago, we are only allowed it's deliciousness once a year.

So there it is. With a sale sign on it to boot. $1.99. How excited was I?? I was a rock star. I grabbed a bunch of it and filled up my cart. We finished our shopping and checked out. We got into the car and I sent a text to my mom and Tessi. I told them about my find. My sister responds immediately with excitement.  She is overjoyed at how I accomplished this major feat. She tells me that our mom put our uncle on the job to find the Temp-tee but so far, he had no luck.  I then get a text from my mom. She tells me that my uncle, in fact, already found the cream cheese for her and my sister.  And. He only paid $1.50 for it. Well, whoopie f*ckin do. My balloon deflated.  I was crushed. I thought I had done such a good deed and was going to make their days. Instead, not only did I not find the Temp-Tee first, I paid more for it.  So, while I share my devastation with my mom on the phone, she tells me not to worry. It's all good. She'll still buy the cream cheese from me as one can never have too much. Thanks, Mom. But, somehow, it just doesn't feel the same.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Russell Brand Unites a Family

Last night, Steve and I took the boys to see the movie "Arthur". The boys had no idea this was a remake of the Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli movie. Steve and I were skeptical as to whether or not it would stand up, as many remakes do not. But I have to say, Russell Brand was terrific!

Before we take our seats thought, we must face the concession stand. For most people, this is probably not a major ordeal as it is for us.  There is the major discussion of what we will eat. (We were eating dinner at the theatre due to time constraints) "Our" theatre now offers all sorts of options--which is great, except for us, the weirdos, it causes way more problems.  Pizza, hot dogs, mini corn dogs, boneless chicken nuggets, and some kind of chicken sandwich. G-d forbid my children would all agree on something to make it easier. So after we stand there fighting for a good 5 minutes, I have the order down. So I thought. I needed 2 cheese pizzas, 1 pepperoni, an order of mini corn dogs, an order of nuggets, an order of nachos, a large Diet Coke, a medium Diet Coke, a medium fruit punch and a small fruit punch and a large bucket of popcorn.  This is where the fighting began.  Anyone who has been to a movie in the last 10 years knows that the drinks are so big you can bathe in them. This is why we share them. But then the shit hit the fan because of the kids I chose to share drinks. Apparently, I picked a bad combination. @@ The 18 year old working behind the counter refuses to take my whole order at once. Every time I order something, he walks away to start getting it. This created more chaos. Each pizza was put in the oven at a different time. So was all the other food. He tells me it'll be about 15 minutes and to come back. So I take the kids and 2 of the drinks and go get seats. Steve waits at the counter with Andrew for the food. We take seats and again fighting occurs because of the drink sharing. Steve is sending me texts about how he is going to torch down the theatre because of the incompetence.  I am still hiding my giant water bottle in my coat. The 2 older women in front of us are hot, then freezing, then hot again. Then the aisle seat is no good. So they move over and are sitting right in front of Simon, who has his feet on the chair.  He refuses to move his feet and I don't tell him to move. These women were more annoying than my kids. So, one woman gets pissed and they finally move a few aisles down. Goodbye and good luck.

Finally, Andrew starts bringing food in. Steve eventually joins us as the movie is starting. I have to say the movie was adorable! The kids completely loved it!! And all was well, for the most part. Simon , as usual, needed to re-postion himself on Steve's lap and complain of his tiredness. Then he needed to pee. Then Andrew was "starving". So I text Steve to get more mini corn dogs. Simon comes back with them. Then he leaves again. Then they both come back with Simon carrying more chicken nuggets. The movie ends. We are putting our jackets on when a woman taps me on the shoulder. Uh oh. I'm gonna hear about my kids. But, instead, she tells me that I have a wonderful family and terrific children. ME??????? Yes, me. After all the arguing and fighting over food and drinks and seats and what not, my family and I enjoyed a movie together. My boys were quieter than most adults and all the teenagers in the theatre.  And while this quiet evening cost a small fortune, to hear this woman say this to me was priceless. I was so proud of my kids for being as well behaved as they were.  I really don't remember the last time I enjoyed an evening or outing with my family as much as I did last night. This will stay with me for a long time to come. Or, until the next fight begins.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cemetery Etiquette & a Thank you

Yes, that is what I am writing about today. Most people would find this discussion morbid and sad. I try to find the humor in everything in my life and when the worst event ever, losing my first husband, occurred, I found the humor as he would've wanted me to.

The reason I bring this up today? We are upon the 6th anniversary of my husband Steve's 1st wife's death. Yes, Steve is widowed as well. He received a notice from the cemetery she is buried at asking if he wanted to plant summer flowers. The price for these said flowers that will cover a very tiny section of her grave was an insane amount of money. If he wants to have the flowers planted, go for it. I would never say to not do so. However, we all know that the cemeteries and the people who run them play on your emotions and take advantage of you and tell you that "if you really loved them...". PUHLEASE.  Just like all the mail I've received telling me I can get a deal and save money if I have my headstone created now with my name and date of birth. Oh. Ok. Sure. I'd love to go to the cemetery and see my headstone just sitting there waiting for me. Awesome idea.

The first time I took all 3 boys to the cemetery to visit their dad was rather amusing....for us. Probably not for the families holding dedications that day, but, I'm sure they have forgotten about it by now. (or not, they don't know my name) Simon was about 14 months old...he really had no idea what we were doing. We stopped before hand to buy balloons and flowers since it was Allan's birthday the day of our visit. As we were driving from the store to the cemetery, Simon ended up letting his balloon fly out the sunroof of the car.  We got to the cemetery, parked our car and got out. Now, this may sound bad, but, it's always a process to find his grave. I  mean I know the general area of where he is. He faces Walter E.  Smithe furniture and is near a big tree. (Although the tree is way bigger now than it used to be, which also leads to confusion sometimes) So, the kids and I start walking with our balloons and flowers (looking like we were there for a big party) and of course we are a bit confused as to where to find Allan.  So, the kids are running and galloping all over and laughing and giggling, because to them, this just looks like a big park.  I look over to see a family holding a dedication. They are all very serious and stern and here we are laughing it up. They must have thought we were insane.  So, eventually, we found Allan and left him our "birthday gifts.  Were we being inappropriate? Yes. But by now you should know we always are. But were we really? No, I don't think so. My kids were SO young when their dad died. And where are the rules for how one should act in a cemetery? Or how one should handle death? Everyone has to handle these things in their own very personal way. There is no right or wrong. No one can tell another person how to mourn, how to grieve or to move on with life. We cope with things through laughter. Every single day.

Steve copes with laughter as well. He and I have, together, laughed our asses off with everything that has come our way. And I think the reason we "get" each other so well is because of the tragic losses we have suffered.  I think that's why we found each other. I think there was a stronger power, a force, that brought us together, because, I don't know if we really could be with people who haven't been thru what we have been thru.  So, there is a rainbow at the end of the storm. And I owe a thank you to Steve's late wife Michelle. She helped in creating the person he is today. I think that part of why he is so compassionate and loving, kind and caring is because of what he went thru with her and her illness. So, I thank her for all that she did for him, even if it wasn't done in the way that anyone would've planned or chosen. May she rest in peace.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lunch with strippers

Yesterday ended up being a pretty good day! I was at work, in my super inappropriate Charlie Sheen t-shirt  because I wouldn't be seeing anyone other than the guys I work with, (and they don't care) when Jordan decides we're going out to lunch. Well, A. I am at the mercy of everyone else so when someone says let's go out, it's like WOOHOO! And, B. Nice surprise in the middle of the day. (even better when it's a "Boom Entertainment lunch" so it's on the company--WINNING!) C. Oops. Inappropriate t-shirt and now I was going out in public.

We all get into the cars and head over to Moretti's, but not before printing out our $10 coupon (thanks, David for the reminder!) We pull into the parking lot, and there is not one car. Are they open?? Yes, they are. Ok, weird.  We walk in (after a small disagreement about whether or not we are parked in a handicapped spot--as it turns out, we weren't but we moved anyway) and Jordan says, "all the waitresses here are also strippers". Um. Ok?! Do I really care and more importantly, do I want to know why my brother knows this? Then he says, "all strippers smell the same. they all wear the same perfume." Again--why are we discussing this?? There's no hostess to greet us. The place is really empty but all the TV's are on.  Finally, this girl with awful teeth (but I could totally see her being a bad stripper) tells us we can sit wherever we want. Oh, the choices! We sit down and wait several more minutes before some dude brings us menus.  I notice there are lunch specials for $5.99 but they go from 11am-2pm. It's 203pm. But we were in the place before 2pm. Not my fault no one wanted to help us. So Jordan asks the stripper if we can still get the lunch specials and she says ok.  I guess she must be used to just saying yes to whatever guys ask of her when she knows tips are involved.

We all order and I'm watching the Cubs and Sox both play sucky baseball. (even though the Sox ended up winning yesterday) Jordan and Devin are watching America's Funniest Home Videos and laughing their asses off. Seriously. I am not really understanding why it's so funny to watch people who purposely videotaped themselves in the year 2000 falling down. After that show ends, there was some show on with girls in bikinis wresting and riding horses at a rodeo and guys doing stunts and really getting hurt. These 2 are laughing like they have never seen things like this. Dave (the video guy--I'm sure he prefers a more professional name instead of me calling him "the video guy" but, roll with it) and I were confused as to what was so funny.  David (our warehouse manager) kept talking about strippers and Heavenly Bodies and and how the girls that work there really aren't strippers because they don't get naked. Isn't Heavenly Bodies a strip club????

And while all of this is going on, we all have our phones out and we're explaining Words With Friends to Devin, who has never played before.  (BTW, I suck at this game!!! I cannot beat anyone!!!!!! My player name is KFK76, for anyone interested in taking me down)

The stripper brings our check. She lets us use our $10 coupon with our $5.99 lunch special-SCORE! Jordan pays our bill. Inside the bill is a card to fill out to get another $10 coupon so Jordan has me fill it out (I see another company lunch soon!) and then gives the stripper David's phone number on the check.
We get in the car to go back to work and what comes on the radio in Jordan's car? A radio show discussing strippers and how if you strip 1 day a week, you might as well strip 8 days a week. You can't just be a part time stripper. You either are or you aren't.  Good to know.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So, yesterday's post discussing Lou Malnati's made me think of another time Tammy and I were there with our kids. It was Valentine's Day 2002. Zoe and Issac were 11 months old. Andrew was 3. Mike and Allan were with us as well. We went for dinner with all the kids as Valentines Day fell during the week and we had no sitters and decided to go for heart shaped pizza. (A tradition my Mother instilled in me many, many years ago. She always got heart shaped pizza for us on Valentines Day before she and my Dad would go out.)

So here we are, sitting at a table, right by the kitchen. HUGE pet peeve of mine. I do not like sitting near kitchens or bathrooms. It irks me. I don't like to hear the yelling that goes on between staff members in the kitchen or what goes on in a bathroom. If I wanted all that, I'd stay home.  Anywho, the kids were super loud and probably tossing food on the floor from their high chairs. Oh. And Issac had a huge black eye. I just remembered that.  He woke up a few days earlier with his first black eye. We never did figure out how that happened. Although, we did have to go to the pediatrician right after it happened as he and Andrew both had ear infections that took 3 rounds of antibiotics to clear up.(Everyone says ear infections aren't contagious, yet both boys had one that was so nasty they were on meds for almost a month?!) So we made up a story that he hit his head on the corner of the coffee table. We thought that sounded better than saying we didn't know. Afraid the doctor was going to call DCFS on us. He didn't. PHEW. Back to dinner......we look like real winners sitting with the banged up kid and then making a mess and we kept being really loud and obnoxious. (imagine that) Finally, we get the hint that our waitress has had it with us. So we pay the bill, and get up to leave, and I swing my diaper bag to put it over my shoulder when I hit the waitress coming out of the kitchen caring a big thing of Fettucini Alfredo and it ends up all over the place. And, instead of me apologizing and helping clean it up , I stand there and laugh. We all were laughing. I don't think she appreciated that very much. We then quickly scurried out.

So the inappropriateness of the behavior at Lou's relates to the inappropriateness of my work outfit today. I am wearing my Charlie Sheen "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour shirt. One of my co-workers told me it would be ok for me to wear it here. So I am. The front has a picture of Charlie surrounded by the words "Fucking Brilliant". The back has a list of tour cities. (as if anyone really cares) Simon (my oh so perfect son) told me he was very upset with me (and Charlie) this morning as I shouldn't be wearing the shirt outside of our house. He told me Charlie uses very bad words (and Simon doesn't?!) and his mom should punish him. I told Simon I'd pass that info along. Anyone have Mrs. Sheen's email address?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Deep Dish Pizza Day

As I went to check on Facebook this morning, I noticed that Lou Malnati's posted that today is National Deep Dish Pizza Day and they are running a special for lunch: a personal deep dish pizza, soup or salad and a drink for $7.50.  SUCH A DEAL! Makes me think back about 10 years, when I was pregnant with Issac and my BF Tammy was pregnant with Zoe. She, Andrew and I would go to Lou's for lunch. I was able to eat their personal size pizza without it throwing my blood sugar out of whack. (I had Gestational Diabetes during my pregnancy with Issac and had to go on Insulin to keep it under control...another super fun time in my life)

We used to go to lunch all the time, Tammy and me. All throughout college and after, even when our kids were little before we went back to work. One of our favorites: Eduardo's Pizza. They had an awesome lunch special: personal pizza, salad and a drink for only $5!!!!!!!! Beats out a footlong sub anyday in my book.  She and I used to go all the time for this special. It was one restaurant in our regular rotation. Then, we continued the tradition even after Zoe and Issac were born. We'd take them there after Gymboree for lunch too. I'll never forget that we went there on Issac's first birthday for lunch. The four of us plus Andrew all went after Gymboree.  One would think this was a fun time, a celebration, if you will. Except that Issac had his last bottle forever the night before. He woke up on his first birthday to only a sippy cup and let's just say he was not a happy camper. My Issac was VERY attached to his bottle. He had one in his mouth almost all day long, except for naps and sleeping at night. The kid drank NON STOP; at home, in the car, in the stroller, everywhere. My kids NEEDED their morning bottles. Some kids need their bedtime bottle--mine, not so much. That morning bottle was like my morning cup of coffee-a MUST. So, when Issac didn't get his that morning, things were not great, to put it mildly. He got no bottle on the way to Gymboree and not one after either. (he would look so forward to that bottle in the car afterwards)

We arrived at Eduardo's for lunch. I gave Issac his sippy cup and probably some kind of cracker or Cheerios. I'm pretty sure he threw the sippy cup at someone. I gave it back, he threw it again. You see where this is going.  Andrew thought it was amusing. Tammy thought I was horrible.

But, I learned, that either shit or get off the pot. Go cold turkey or don't go. I did it with Andrew when he was 14 months old--took away his bottles. But that was more drastic.  He woke up that first morning and had a major meltdown when I handed him that sippy cup. My husband had a meltdown too and proceeded to tell me what a witch I was. I told him to go to work and have a nice day. That night I had somewhere to go. I knew that with enough crying from Andrew, Allan would give in to giving him a bottle. So...earlier in the afternoon, I took all the bottles and hid them in my car so that Allan couldn't give in after I had 13 hours under my belt of going bottle free. The phone call I received that evening was not a pleasant one when he realized what I had done. But it was one lousy night. Andrew survived. Allan almost didn't. And the next day, it started all over again. Andrew cried. Allan yelled. And I did my best to keep a smile on my face. (which, for anyone who knows me, is quite a feat as I rarely smile on a good day) It took Andrew 4 mornings to get over it. On morning #5, he took his sippy cup and all was well with the world. It took my stubborn Issac 5 mornings to get past it. Simon---didn't give a shit at all about his bottle; he loved his sippy cup. (which is rather shocking as he is the most stubborn out of them all)

Back to the whole pizza thing......seeing that today is National Deep Dish Pizza Day, I wish we could go to lunch today. But, I am at work. Tammy is at work. Life is different now. Maybe another day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

You're Either With Me or With the Trolls

Last night, Steve & I went to see Charlie Sheen's live show. It was not as good as I had hoped for. I really had been hoping to hear his ranting and raving. I wanted to hear about how he has tigerblood and adonis DNA. I wanted to hear about the goddesses. Instead, I got to hear some doof ask him questions that didn't really have much to do with anything ("Who likes the Cubs?" or "Who likes the Sox?" or "Who went #2 during the break?") or questions Charlie couldn't answer. (What did happen in Aspen?") There was no boo-ing him like they did in Detroit. The crowd was good for people watching. And I did learn a few things about Charlie:

Charlie got his "fuckin kids back". OOOK. A. I didn't know this. B. Your "fuckin" kids? NIIIICCEEE.

Charlie apologized to Jon Cryer for calling him a troll. He said Jon is a "rock star" and he was wrong for saying otherwise.

Charlie isn't able to get Obama on the telephone. (Are any of us?) We pay his salary and he feels we should be able to call him. Um. Alright.

Charlie wrote checks for about $200,000 to Heidi Fleiss during the '90's. (and that was "'90's dollars" which would be the equivalent of "a billion dollars" today.) Ok. He's comfortable admitting to this. Personally, I have a hard time believing he has to pay for sex but if that is what he chooses to do with his money on his own time, that is his business. And, I think there's a reason he prefers it. I will get back to this.

Charlie also shared with us that the hooker that was with him in the Plaza Hotel in NYC did not have sex with him. And, she stole his watch. (This is why 2 is the magic number. 2 women is all you need, he says. He has 2 eyes..one for each of them). It's a love triangle. "We all took Geometry. We know what a triangle is." And, he says, he's the top point.

Charlie would go back to work on Two and a Half Men if CBS would just call.

Is Charlie bipolar? Could be. I'm not a professional. But then again, who doesn't have a slightly altered mental state now and then?  If  he is, some meds would probably help. But, I know a lot of people who choose to not take meds. Again, his own personal choice.

Charlie is a failure at marriage. 3 marriages and 3 strikes. He is not cut out for it. And, he explained why. And, to me, it kind of made sense.  Charlie wants what Charlie wants, when he wants it, how he wants it, where he wants it. Period. He wants freedom. He wants to be able to still have all his hobbies. (his hobbies include crack and internet porn....not necessarily everyone's first choices, but, again, it's his life) To me, it sounds like Charlie wants what every man wants. Every man wants to be able to still have their "freedom". Men do not want to give up what they enjoy when they get married. Men still want to be able to have their friends and watch sports and hang with the guys and not be told by someone they can or cannot, when they can (or cannot) or how they can. (or cannot) They also want to be able to have sex with lots of women. A lot of men are willing to give up certain things in order to be married and have a family. Some men are not willing to. Charlie tried. It didn't work (three times) This is why he loves his goddesses. They "allow him" to be who he is. He has his freedom with them. (Probably doesn't hurt they he essentially is paying them to let him be this way, but ya know, these are just details) I think this is why he prefers sex with hookers. He pays them. They do whatever he wants. They don't tell him what to do. He's satisfied (usually) and they allow him his "freedom". To me, an empty life of just sexual satisfaction sounds meaningless and unfulfilled. To Charlie, it sounds like exactly what he wants. Throw in some fuckin kids and he's good to go.

Good luck to him.

Will I still keep up with the news on the latest with him? You betcha. I can't help it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Keurig & Kids

Here's the advantage to purchasing appliances kids know how to use: they can do things for you.

The Keurig has to be one of my all time favorite inventions. I've had mine for over 2.5 years. I purchased it before all the hype at Target, Costco and Bed, Bath & Beyond. I bought mine while watching QVC one day. (yes, I used to watch this channel sometimes) I did not realize how this machine would change my life. To have coffee (or hot chocolate or tea) in under a minute?! To have any flavor you may want to have? Any brand?? Genius!!!! I admit that this machine, while it did get a lot of use, has gotten the most use in the last couple of months since I cannot do my Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks daily runs. And, it has saved me a ton of money as well!!!!

What is even better is that my Issac now loves to play barista and make my coffee for me. He knows exactly how I like it, with extra cream and 2 sweeteners. And, he takes such pride in making my coffee. He does a little dance and strikes up a conversation with me, just like they do at Starbucks. Only, I have no line to wait in and no one in front of me ordering a double tall decaf soy chai latte with sugar free hazelnut. When I want a refill, Issac is more than happy to take care of that as well.

I need to find more appliances that are kid friendly for my house.  Maybe, I should have Issac make me some coffee and I should watch some QVC and see what other cool new appliances I can get for my house.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day

Today is April 1st-April Fool's Day. To most people this day probably doesn't mean a whole lot.  To my family, you would think it was a religious event. My brother, Lance, takes it the most seriously. In the past there have been such pranks as him getting his college girlfriend pregnant and her wanting to keep the baby. He called my house while I was in the shower and told my husband that he had to get me out because it was an emergency. So with shampoo in my hair, I stood in my bathroom trying to figure out how to help him. Took me a while to figure that was a joke.

Then, there was the year Lance called my Dad and told him he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. He told my Dad he needed bail money and an attorney. My father spent the entire day trying to figure out how to get the money to him (my Dad is not one to understand the concept of bank transfers or money wires) and on the phone with a lawyer in Chicago hoping he had a connection in NYC (I think it was in NYC) to help Lance out, without my mother finding out.  That one really was a good one.

Then, there was the year Lance was closing on a condo. My Mother was in Texas. Lance called her having a panic attack that he was at the closing and was missing a document that only my Mother had and he needed her to get him to him immediately. She was frantic and running around trying to figure out how she was going to help him while being so far away from home. That was another good one.

Last year, I texted Steve that I was pregnant and I didn't know what we were going to do. He was panic stricken and freaking out. After a few hours, I felt kind of bad and let him know what day it was. Needless to say, while he was relieved, he was far from happy.

Today, I have already received 2 texts: one from my sis in law, Roya, telling me that she is pregnant. Good luck to you and Lance. The other text was from my Dad telling me he has obtained a dog and must watch it for 2 weeks and he hasn't told my Mom yet. Awesome.  You people need to realize that we are ALL on guard now when April 1 approaches. You can tell me anything you want today and I won't believe you. So go ahead, hit me with your best shot.