Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cable Is Overrated

I am sitting in my bed, hiding from the chipmunk....and probably his friend, the squirrel. About an hour ago, I heard some noise in my family room. Didn't think much of it..thought maybe it was the wind. Then, I saw something move in the garage. How did I see something move inside my garage from inside my house? The wall unit in our family room had to have a hole drilled in one of the cabinets (in the back) in order for the cable wires to run from the box to the something or other thru the garage. Do other people have to do this?? Have wires running all over and in random areas???? And, in order for the high tech remote that Jordan got us to work, the cabinet must be open in order to change channels or to change the volume.  Anywho....first the noise.....then something filled up the hole. Then, that something was running across my floor. I, literally, was standing on my couch screaming bloody murder, when the chipmunk realized he ran into a corner, then ran back into the cabinet and thru the whole.

First, I called Steve crying and screaming. (just what every man wants to hear while he's at work) His answer was for me to call the village. Um, why would they give a shit if I have a chipmunk in my house? I kept crying and screaming until he said he was on his way home. Then, I called my dad. He didn't answer his phone. Next, I called my mom. She said it was interesting. Really????? As interesting as when you went postal over the mouse in your house?????? Then, she told me to call my father. So, I called him again and this time he answered. I told him of my situation and he also said it was interesting. WTF??????? He said I should go open the garage so the chipmunk could leave. Um, then I'd have to get off the couch, which would cause me to not be able to watch the hole where the said chipmunk kept playing hide and seek.  Then, he suggested I call Jordan and have him bring Oliver, his dog, over to scare it away. That would probably work, but Jordan is swamped and doesn't have time to deal with my idiotic phobias.

Steve came home with weapons still attached to his uniform, along with a scissors and duct tape.  He closed up both sides of the whole while I kept yelling and crying and he proceeded to laugh at me for being a baby.  I'm not sure why a furry thing running thru our house is funny......Maybe it would be funny if Steve was the one who was home alone and saw it.

I am now completely paranoid that the little shit is still in my house. His friend, the squirrel took refuge in my garage on Sunday, but I got rid of him. Apparently, he didn't like the rain. We once had a raccoon die in our garage. Steve and I were in Arizona and my parents were with the kids. My dad opened the door from the house to the garage and saw the raccoon climbing a ladder we had against a wall, and my dad freaked and yelled, and the raccoon fell backwards. He then crawled to a corner of the garage to die. My dad knew he was dead because he had my mom keep throwing objects at it and poking it to see if it would react. It didn't.  At that time, Steve somehow convinced the village to come get rid of it. Their suggestion was to throw it into our garbage can. Oh---great idea...so then all the random animals can get into my garbage can and have a giant picnic.

I don't know why the animals like my garage so much......it's a garage...not appealing in any way, shape or form. Maybe it's because my children don't seem to understand the concept of CLOSING THE DOOR. I keep telling them there will be animals. No one seems to want to believe me. When one runs in front of them, maybe they'll get the idea. Although, really, I hope we are done with this. I cannot take it. I can't breathe. And, I'd rather not spend the rest of the day in my room.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Grass is Greener...or the Chicken Tastes Better

Yesterday we had awful, awful weather here in the Chicago area. Non stop rain and it's still raining today. My ducks are back. My mallard and his lady friend were having quite the time in my pond-like backyard. Perhaps too good of a time....we may have ducklings here soon. Great. Like I don't have enough mouths to feed here as it is. Oh. And I planted my garden. So, of course Peter Cottontail is back too and looking rather fat. I sent Andrew outside to scare him away. I need to go get one of those fake looking plastic animals to keep in my yard so Peter and his friends don't come back. Then, I found a limping squirrel. It's like Old McDonald's farm here full of special animals.

In any event, due to all the rain, baseball was cancelled last night and that left us with no plans. So, I decided to defrost some chicken and actually cook dinner for the first time in weeks. Many of you know about the dinner struggle here between the children and me.  So...I decided to stop fighting and to just make life easier for all of us. I had no menu plan. Each night, I asked them what they wanted and I made it. I was playing short order cook, but, everyone ate every night and there was no fighting or prodding anyone to eat. So, things were calmer. It was almost zen like. But, dinner for Steve and myself became a struggle because we didn't want what the kids were eating and we'd stare at each other trying to decide what to eat. Yesterday, I decided I wanted real food, hence the chicken.

The boys came home from school and around 430, the questions began. What's for dinner? I told them we were having chicken. Well, what kind of chicken, I was asked. I told them the kind that I make for you. (No one liked that answer) Andrew said he wanted BBQ chicken, so that was what I made. Meaning, I poured BBQ sauce over chicken breasts and threw them in the oven for an hour. My good buddy, Uncle Ben, provided the rice pilaf and I sliced up a bunch of raw veggies. Issac went on to tell me how he doesn't like BBQ chicken and could he make himself a sandwich. I told him to go for it. But, he didn't do it. (Not sure if he was feeling that lazy or started to think that maybe the chicken would be decent enough to eat.) Everyone sat down...and here's the thing....EVERYONE ATE EVERYTHING. There was no whining, complaining, kvetching or prodding.  I was in shock. Steve had to work late so it was just the boys and me. It was so pleasant. Then, some wanted ice cream after dinner. And, since they ate dinner so nicely, I told them the freezer was their playground.

When Steve came home, I sat with him while he ate dinner. He told me that last week the little guys asked him why I stopped cooking dinner. (I like how I first heard of this last night.) Could it be, that chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, pb&j sandwiches and noodles aren't as appealing as home cooked food???? Could it be that the boys didn't realize how good they really had it? Maybe frozen, processed, sodium filled food isn't quite as tasty as food made with the best ingredient of all, which, as we grownups all know, is mom's love? I'd like to think my boys learned to appreciate what they have. But, I know better. Today, if I were to cook, I am sure they wouldn't enjoy it. So, maybe we need to find the happy medium, and I can stop killing myself to cook every single night. If I mix it up and alternate between "real cooking" and the "food" they really like, we can all be happy and not argue.  I'd like to believe that I have found the answer. But, I am not naive. I know that every time I think I have found the answer, things change. So I'll just savor the memory of last night and the taste of the super delish chicken.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chicken & Porn

Yep....chicken & porn. Maybe it's one of those weird sounding yet really good combos like chicken and waffles? I'm not sure though. I never really got an answer as to what the chicken & porn thing was.

We had no power at our office starting around noon on Monday. ComEd notified us it could take up to 3 days to restore service. They rock. So....BOOM held office hours out of the satellite office, a.k.a., my house, yesterday.  We all worked very diligently around my kitchen table on our laptops...cell phones buzzing.....it really was a very productive day. (And, a giant shout out to David and Devin for helping me out by taking a quick break to run and pick up my car from the dealership---not that I needed it....GMC could've kept it til July 13...and they didn't seem to care that they still had it sitting there...it had been there for 5 days...in any event...since I can't drive, it requires a small village to do this simple task, so thank you to them for helping me out!)

While sitting around the table, David began speaking of chicken & porn.  I thought it was an interesting combo. Reminded me of the Seinfeld days when George wanted to have his pastrami sandwich while having sex.  One may view this as weird; others may view it as multi-tasking. In today's super busy world when all of us have so many things going on, maybe it's practical? Devin thought it was a bad idea because then his hands would be greasy---good point. I asked David what this was about. I didn't really get much of an answer as we were then discussing what to do for lunch. (Anytime we hear food, it opens a whole new discussion....and, honestly, so does porn...usually it's not at the same time....bonus day yesterday!)

We headed over to Butterfields since we couldn't decide on anywhere else to go. (I also have my 10% discount card there...thank you Northbrook Baseball) Jenna, Jordan's girlfriend joined us so at least I was not the only female at lunch. But this group of guys is way cool so being the only female doesn't bother me.  David ordered an iced tea which seemed to perturb Big Daddy a bit. He was nervous David was changing too much. I thought it was an excellent choice. I was still trying to figure out the chicken & porn thing---I can't let things go....clearly....this was another great example.  We got into a whole other conversation on sex that led to details on things I had no interest in knowing and left me feeling rather nauseous. I will not write these details...I am finally feeling better. But, really.........DIS-GUS-TING.

We headed back to the house and got a lot more work done. My boys came home...they seemed to love having everyone there. Simon made his daily bag of popcorn and didn't want to share with anyone. (shocking) He talked to Devin about his earring and they compared stories.  Jenna got bigger hugs from Simon than I have in a long time.  All in all....it really was a great day! Just as they say a house is just four walls and a home is where your family is......an office is just walls too.....wherever our BOOM family is....that's home.  And if there is chicken & porn....then it's a bonus.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stressed???? Why Would I Be?

I have noticed that in the last few months, my skin on my face has gotten awful. I used to have pretty nice skin, with an occasional blemish around TTOM. But now, I ALWAYS have blemishes on my chin, and it has spread to my forehead and the side of my face. WTF??????? I made fun of Andrew a while back for getting his first pimple. Perhaps this is karma paying me a visit. He hasn't had one since and I have them all the time. Don't get me wrong. They aren't like giant, puss filled pimples all over my face. I get one or two of those every few weeks. But it's just this weird, not normal stuff and I HATE looking at it. But, when I thought about it further, it seemed to coincide with me starting my anti-seizure meds. So, of course I Googled to see the known side effects of this particular med.  Nowhere online does it mention acne. Awesome.  But when I read different  message boards, many women complained of acne and they too felt it was connected to the medicine.

I have tried different cleansers, creams, make up removers, etc. Nothing seems to help. A couple made it worse. I even treated myself to a facial last month. (I told myself it was a medical necessity. Too bad I can't get my insurance company to buy that.) I just look like a hot mess. Even Steve has made comments about it, and he never notices anything.  I have bought different coverups to try and hide everything. Even with that, you can still see everything. I am so frustrated.

I decided yesterday while I was home to email my neurologist to ask his opinion. I was even funny in my email stating that I doubted it was a side effect and that it was just Kerry's luck. I got a phone call back from his nurse.  She said that acne is not a known side effect. Duh. Tell me something I don't know.  She then went on to explain that acne can have many causes. Hormonal changes, different products or, even stress. She asked if I was stressed. Me? With 4 kids? A job? A house to manage? OH and NOT DRIVING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Why would I be stressed? She laughed. I'm glad someone could.  She asked for details about how these blemishes looked. I explained. She asked if I had any other seizures. Um. Dontcha think I would've called the office ASAP if I had? She said my doctor was gone for the day but she'd speak to him today and call me back.

 Don't get me wrong. I really like this doctor and his staff. They are super nice and pleasant. They are VERY attentive in returning calls and emails and are always eager to help. But this phone call was just silly.  I mean, I am 35 years old. I got the "your body is going to go through changes" speech when I was 10. The only"talk" I should be getting is "the big change will be approaching in the near future".   I know that your period causes hormonal issues and pimples.  I know stress can wreak havoc on your body. But, seriously? I mean, I get that she had to ask me all these questions in order to make a presentation to the doctor but come on! It's 10:32am. No call back yet.  So, I'll just sit here. Not driving anywhere; trying to "not be stressed", even though I have errands that have to be run and groceries that need to be purchased so my 4 kids can be fed; waiting on emails back from people to see if they can shlep my children to various activities that I cannot take them to. And, when my doctor does call back, I have a funny feeling that I will not have anything different to share with any of you than I do right now.   But again, why would I BE STRESSED?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hep To, Andrew!

Hep to!!!! When I was a little girl, I couldn't say Happy Birthday. Instead, I said Hep To. And once I was old enough to say Happy Birthday, my Bubby still wished everyone a Hep To. Today, I wish a half Hep To to my Andrew who is 12 1/2.  Shocking to me that he is getting so big. His Bar Mitzvah is now 6 months + 1 day away. We just ordered his invitations--a big step in making this day "real".  Well, that and the Haftorah lessons he's been taking for months.

Last night, Andrew and Issac were in my bedroom watching TV with me. For some reason, the Teletubbies came into our conversation. I cannot remember why. (not shocking...I don't remember much lately) The boys were trying to remember how the theme song to the show went. I remembered every word. So, I broke into song for them. They couldn't stop laughing. Then, Andrew did me a favor and made a video of me singing and talking about Noo Noo and Tubby Toast. He posted it on Facebook. Lucky me.

It's hard to believe Andrew used to watch the Teletubbies. It's harder to believe I let him watch that ridiculous show. It really was so weird. Although, not as weird as Caillou. What is up with that kid??? I miss the days of sitting on the couch watching Blues Clues and Rugrats. I remember the nighttime special that aired when Paprika got a sibling and Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper introduced their new baby and when the Rugrats were all Grown Up. I remember when Dora the Explorer made her debut on Nick, Jr, and then, later, when Diego got his spin-off show. I miss watching re-runs of Kipper. That dog just cracked me up. I loved his accent.  I miss Maisy. That was another good theme song. And, it was rather devastating when Steve left Blues Clues and Joe showed up. The show was never the same after that.  You can't just change characters once a show has taken off. It doesn't work. (Hence my feeling with the upcoming Two and a Half Men now starring Ashton Kutcher)

Now, all we seem to watch is the Disney channel. I guess it was sad to see the Suite Life end. I was never into it, so it doesn't effect my life in any way.  iCarly is still in high school hanging with Sam and the boy whose name I can never remember.  Occasionally, Nickelodeon still gets put on here.  SpongeBob is still having adventures under the sea with Patrick and fighting with Squidward. Rugrats are only on at like 4am. That show was so freakin funny. Angelica and the babies.

This is all making me feel rather old. I'm not old. I'm just older. I catch myself saying things like my mother and father. I'm not sure it's a good thing. Andrew went to his first Bat Mitzvah this past weekend. He won't tell me who he "snowballed" with. Why? His answer "cause you're my mom". Well, yea, I am. So why can't he tell me??? I guess that's not cool :o(  I think I'm cool......at least, kinda cool.

In any event, Hep To to my handsome boy!!!!!!! Maybe we'll have half a cake later on!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Karma--do people get what they deserve?

For years, I have listened to people say that "people will get what they deserve" or "they'll get theirs" or "karma will catch up with them".  Will it?  Will the people who treat others poorly, the people with little or no character, no ethics, no feelings, or who are just downright nasty get what they deserve?

Have you ever known that person who never has bad things happen to them? Their cloud always has a silver lining? No matter what goes on, the grass is always greener with them. Many times, these people have done nothing worthy of having everything go their way. In fact, I have found, more often than not, these people don't have kind hearts or good intentions. They just seem to have luck.  Then, there are the people who try and do and bend over backwards to help people and all they do is get shit on. Are they going to get what they deserve? When their time is up and they move on to the after life, will someone be waiting for them with a drink and a big gold sticker to praise them for all of their hard work?

When Billy Joel said "only the good die young" he knew what he was talking about. So often you hear stories of younger people who die young; and then you see people still wandering around and you wonder, how are they not dead yet? You know why they aren't dead.....because even the devil doesn't want them. They are that evil, that cold hearted and who wants to be around that?

I have to wonder sometimes what I did to deserve the hand that I was dealt. Don't get me wrong...my life, now, is wonderful. It wasn't always that way. I have been thru many a trial and tribulation. I've come out on the other end, stronger, tougher, more aware, kinder....sometimes a little bitter....but for the most part, I think I'm a better person because of all of it. These events have shaped me into the person I have become. I like who I am. (most days)  I appreciate life. I appreciate the gifts I have been given. I appreciate the people in my life and am grateful for them. I feel badly for the people who "don't get it". They take advantage, they are self righteous, they do whatever they have to in order to get what they want, no matter who they hurt along the way. I have faith that one day these people will get what they deserve. I don't know whether it will really happen. But, I have to have faith that it will happen. Without faith and hope, what else is there?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Today, is Sunday, May 15th, my sister Tessi's 23rd birthday. Tomorrow is my brother and sister in law's 1st wedding anniversary--yea Lance & Roya! One year ago today, we were in a castle in Tuscany preparing for the wedding. It was cold and rainy just like it is here in Chicago today.  Just as with most weddings, the hours leading up to the actual ceremony were somewhat stressful.  But, in the end, a beautiful ceremony was held, followed by a magnificent evening of dining and dancing. What am I about to write may come across as mean, harsh and perhaps hurtful. LET ME SAY THIS NOW: IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM IS IT MEANT TO BE THAT WAY. I AM STRICTLY TRYING TO BE FUNNY AND SHARE OUR EXPERIENCE WITH ALL OF YOU ON THEIR ANNIVERSARY. ANYONE WITHOUT CHILDREN IS GOING TO PROBABLY TAKE THIS OFFENSIVELY. ANYONE WITH KIDS IS GOING TO HAVE A GOOD LAUGH. I LOVE LANCE & ROYA VERY MUCH AND WISH THEM A LIFETIME OF LOVE, HEALTH & HAPPINESS, AND MOST OF ALL A VERY LONG TRIP WITH KIDS IN TOW AND A HELL OF TIME TRAVELING WITH THEM. :o)

That's all nice and good. And being in a castle in Tuscany is magical, like out of a Disney film--that is, if you aren't traveling with 4 kids in tow. Yes, you read that correctly. We shlepped 4 kids (at that time, ages 11, 9, 6 and 5) half way across the world to be at this wedding.  The first question most people asked me when I told them this was whether Lance and/or Roya lived in Italy. The answer: no.  Were we Italian or was Roya's family Italian? Again, the answer was no.  So, then why Italy? I suppose, because it's a very romantic thing to do. I am not married to a romantic nor was I the first time.  I, myself, am not a romantic person. I like the idea of romantic things and gestures, but on a whole, I am not. I believe Lance and Roya are.  I also think that Lance and Roya live in a fairy tale land sometimes. They do not have children. They have a ton of friends and many of them do not have children. It's quite simple to pick up and go whenever you want, wherever you want when it is just you and your spouse/partner/friend, whoever.

I expressed my deep concern over this trip to Lance when I found out they planned this Italian wedding. He wasn't interested. He simply told me that Steve, the kids and I would all be there. Period.
Just buying clothes, luggage, passports, copies of birth and death certificates and getting packed was enough to cause me to need Xanax on a daily basis for weeks leading up to this trip.  I had a nervous breakdown while packing on the floor in my living room. I sat crying and called Tammy, who told me to stop. She came over a couple days later and packed for ALL of us in a matter of minutes.  Thank G-d for her. I will say that our flight to Italy was not awful.  Our flight was delayed, but that proved beneficial as it helped the kids to fall asleep easier on the plane. Tessi, who was also on our flight, had her hands full. She was busy waking the kids up to make sure they had their Dramamine so they wouldn't get sick, dealing with Andrew and his anxiety and Jordan,who also flew with us, decided to mix a bunch of pain killers for his back and was throwing up and she became his nurse.

When we landed in Rome, we found a very nice driver, whose name escapes me right now, who was able to fit all of us in his van to drive us to our hotel. We spent a couple of days in Rome which were fine. I am not big on site seeing. I mean, I know there are major things to see in Rome. The double decker bus tour was perfect for me and allowed nap time for those who still needed sleep.  Then, it was on to Tuscany; the ultimate trip from hell and I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone.

First off, we arrived at the train station. We had pre-purchased tickets and hoped to just walk to the correct platform with all 9 of us (my mother in law was with us as well) and our approx. 16 bags of luggage plus DJ equipment that Jordan was carrying--mind you...he was 6 months post-op from his Spinal Fusion and shouldn't have been carrying anything.  We couldn't find ANYONE who spoke English in this hell hole.  Tessi, who spent a semester studying in Spain, couldn't find anyone who spoke Spanish either.  We thought we were at the correct platform and had gathered all of our things and people and were waiting.  We found out, with literally minutes to go, that we were at the completely wrong part of the station. We had to go RUNNING with ALL of our stuff PLUS 4 KIDS up a ginormous flight of stairs and halfway across the station. Simon almost fell backwards down the concrete stairs while trying to pull a suitcase behind him. Not one person in the train station who watched this happen offered us any help at all.  Tessi somehow managed to save him, told him to stop his crying and keep going. He actually listened.  I went running (and if you know me, you know I only run when chased, and even then, I'm more likely to lay down and play dead) to try and find the right track. I kept trying to look back to see if kids were following me and they were.  Tessi managed to find the right track and I followed her to the train. Kids were slowly dragging behind us but they knew better than to open their mouths and complain or else they would've been left behind in Italy forever. Tessi screamed at me to get on the train with the kids and to just find them seats. We needed to somehow get this luggage on the train in the overhead areas. So...I stood outside the train with the luggage while she kept screaming and swearing at all the non-English speaking people. Steve finally arrived at the train. Then it dawned on us that Jordan was nowhere not to be found. His  back gave out from carrying all of his equipment. Tessi screamed at Steve to go help him, but Steve froze and didn't know what to do. So, Tessi went running to get him. I stood with one foot on the train and one foot on the ground so the train couldn't leave.  Steve, who was 2 months post-op from hernia surgery was trying to pick up the luggage to put on the train. Tessi arrived back with Jordan who looked like he was about to collapse and started swearing again and made Steve, Jordan and me get on the train to catch the luggage she was about to throw at us.  But, there was a group of women from some country we couldn't identify who refused to move from the doorway so we could do this. Tessi kept yelling to get the fuck out of her way and they just kept jibber-jabbing in whatever language, ignoring her.  Tessi continued with her profanity and eventually they moved. Somehow, she managed to throw suitcases that each weighed 50 lbs over her head into the above seat compartments. We all sat in this non-air conditioned part of the train (even though we paid for 1st class) ready to die and had luggage at our feet as well, so no one could even move, when we began texting our mother.  We started to tell her of this horrific situation we were in. She tried to be sympathetic.  It wasn't working.

On this 2 hour ride, we sat, sweating, starving, and exhausted talking about how we were going to let Lance have it when we got to the castle. My mother kept texting all of us to see how we were doing and at that point , it was like, what the fuck do you want us to tell you??? This is a NIGHTMARE. Jordan, though, who had no money and was supposed to stay in Europe for a few more days after the wedding, texted my mom telling her he had no money and she better change his plane ticket so he could leave with the rest of us.  She felt badly since he was in so much pain and told him not to worry, she'd help him. Well played, Jordan.

We arrived in Arrezzo and had to somehow get all of our luggage off this train. So, Tessi makes us all get off, and she literally is throwing these suitcases at us. Then, Lance's friends, who were on the train in the real 1st class section showed up. They offered to help us. They should've run far, far away.  While one of us stood with one foot on the train and one on the platform and Tessi threw luggage, some guy, carrying a plastic bag of various drugs, kept yelling at my mother in law in Italian. She kept pointing her finger back at him and yelling "no, no". The two just kept yelling at each other, but, it bought us enough time to get all the luggage off the train.  The next challenge was how to get all of us and the luggage down all the stairs. The kids just started dragging bags when Tessi and I spotted an elevator. We headed over there and got into the glass box with a bunch of bags and Steve. The elevator made some weird noise, he stepped out, the doors shut and he left us there not knowing if we were going to live.  Thanks.  We all met up at the bottom and needed to find cabs to get us to the castle. After much hard work, we found cabs and just started shoving people into them. One of the boys ended up going with Lance's friends. They asked us if they were getting the "good one". Sure. Whatever you wanna hear. Just get in the G-d damned car.

The ride was so super nauseating, it's a miracle none of us threw up on one another. We drove around in circles up this mountain at full speed. When we finally arrived at the top, we all piled out of the cars. Jordan wanted to know where the bell boy was to take our bags. I told him to look in the mirror. He said, "fuck this".  We all went to find Lance to let him know just what we went thru to get there. He basically said he didn't give a shit.

Our time at the castle was not what we had anticipated due to the explosion of that volcano in Europe  right before our arrival. The ash was screwing up the weather and it was FREEZING and raining. I didn't pack warm clothes. My poor children wore the same sweatshirts for 10 days straight. We couldn't head into town because I didn't have enough Dramamine to deal with the twirly mountain cab rides down and back up and to take the flight home. We bought the wrong adapters for our cell phones and the boys Nintendo DS's. So, in the house we had at the castle that we shared with Tessi, we all had to take turns with her charger. We were losing our minds without our phones and toys.

The staff at the castle was marvelous. They were so wonderful to us and the kids and made us feel very welcome. The wedding was just beautiful and we enjoyed ourselves.

Then, we had to come home. Just when we thought we had we had survived a nightmare, another one was about to begin.

We opted to forget the train ride back to Rome. We rented a very nice limo bus (thanks Mom!) and arrived back in Rome in less than 2 hours. We had air conditioning. Everyone had room to sprawl out and nap. It was fabulous. Because I am smart and I prepare, I made sure everyone showered before bed and laid out everyone's clothes for the morning flight. This way, it would be simple to leave the hotel.
I woke up the next morning and knew something wasn't right. I went to look at my phone and saw I missed a call from American Airlines. I had left the phone on vibrate, which I never do. Oops. I call them back to find out our flight had been canceled. WTF?????? So, they put me through to a sales rep.  She says that our direct flight was canceled but she can get us on a flight to NYC and then onto Chicago but it leaves 90 minutes earlier than our original. I look at the clock. We literally would need to leave instantly. I make sure she books the 6 of us, my sister and my mother in law, and then I wake everyone up. We were out of the hotel in less than 10 minutes...would've been sooner if Jordan hadn't been beating around the bush trying to ask me to give him some cash.

We arrived at the airport and barely made it thru security and what not to find out that they didn't book my mother in law on the flight. Tessi, again starts swearing. The airline rep tells her to "not use those words" with him. They were inches from arresting her. But, she calmed down. They got my mother in law booked and in business class, no less. We make it on the plane. Our seats are spread out and one of the kids ends up next to a friend of Lance & Roya's. She looked panicked. "Will he be ok here? Is he going to need things?" LOLOL. "No, he'll be great." I tell her. BAHAHAHAHA.

We arrived late in NYC...330pm to find out they let our flight to Chicago leave without us AND there were no more flights that day from JFK to O'hare. Are you fucking kidding me????? So--we had to go to LaGuardia to catch a flight. I just sat down on the floor. And, if Tessi hadn't been with us, I'd still be sitting there today. We split into 2 cabs to get there. Tessi, again screaming and swearing at the driver. He told her to shut up at one point.  Steve's cab driver was Osama Bin Laden's long lost twin. Simon asked him if he was a Rabbi. Good move, kid.  Then when Steve's cab arrive at LaGuardia, he realized he had no cash. All he had on him were Euros. And, the cab driver took them!

Thank G-d the American Airlines rep at LaGuardia was sympathetic to us, looking all beat up and exhausted. She got us booked and we headed to the gate. Again, we were all starving. Tessi and I hit Auntie Annie Pretzels and pretty much bought out what they had. The people in line behind us were less than thrilled. And a couple hours later, we made it home. In my life, I had never been so happy to touch down in Chicago.

People have asked me if I still am upset about this trip. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Name is Kerry and I Compare My Children To Each Other

Last night, I made it out to my first baseball game of the season. It was a warm evening and we all went to watch Simon and Zion play. Let me just say this....I do understand that my boys are 7 and still 6. I understand they are in 1st grade and this is supposed to be "fun" and to help them "socialize".  And--I also know I shouldn't compare my children to each other. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. But----this was SO super painful for me to watch. Especially, since the team we were playing against, was the "good" team. (the team that my older boys would always play on)

First off....Simon thinks it's "funny" to purposely miss the ball when it's pitched to him cause it's "more fun" to hit the ball off the tee. Why? Why would that be more fun? It's also really important to him to drink 32 ounces of Gatorade during the whopping 1 hour game. Oh. And he likes to keep telling me that there are 2 ice cream trucks. "Mommy, do you see the ice cream trucks? Do you see there are 2 of them? Can I have ice cream now?" Me-"No, Simon. You are playing baseball." Simon-"But Andrew and Issac are eating ice cream. It's not fair."  Me- "They aren't playing baseball Simon. Can you please pay attention to the ball? Can you please try to participate in the game?" Simon- "Can I get ice cream after the game?" Me- "No, Simon." Simon- "It's not fair."  What else is new? And for the record, Andrew brought money with him to buy this stupid ice cream from the musical truck that stalks children and their parents. I had nothing to do with it. The trucks purposely drive up and down the same street playing their stupid music NON STOP until parents can't do anything but give in. It's a conspiracy of the knock off Good Humor people.

Zion gets a kick out of standing on 3rd base and talking to his coach...or the other teams coach.....or himself......he just stands there and talks and talks and has no idea that the ball is being thrown to him to make an out. When he isn't doing that, he's playing shortstop and likes to kick the dirt around. Or, he picks up the dirt in one hand and then lets it fall through his mitt. He also figured out that the bat can be like a sword and if you go charging against the metal fence with it, it'll go through the hole. Good times.

The other team was kicking our ass, fast and furious. They kept making 3 outs in a matter of minutes. Our kids were confused about why they weren't getting to bat. They don't seem to understand that as they get older, the rules actually come into play in these games. For some reason though, Andrew and Issac understood this concept. They paid attention. They would hit the ball. They knew how to field. And they both are on travel teams for the 2nd year in a row. I have gotten used to watching serious plays, bases stolen, real pitches being thrown and coaches getting worked up over unfair calls.  I know it isn't fair of me to compare, but my gosh, I need to watch kids who know what they are doing!! My big boys wear batting helmets so they don't get hit by pitches. My little ones should be wearing helmets in the field so they don't get hurt by a fly ball while they are talking about Spongebob and Pokemon. But.....I was really well-behaved. I sat and cheered the boys on. I only made comments under my breath and to myself. (mostly)

I know I seem like a bad mom for admitting to all of this. But, I know I am not alone. I know you people are out there--you feel the same way I do.  I've seen moms bring hard liquor  hidden in water bottles so they can get through an entire game. I don't go that far. But....I have until the end of June. I may just have to join em.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can't Let It Go

My Simon will turn 7 next month...pretty hard to believe. He arrived via scheduled C-Section on Monday, June 21st at 10:06am.  He weighed in at 8lbs, 11ozs (identical to his big brother, Andrew) and was 21 inches long.  I ran a fever later in the evening after his delivery and was having a hard time breathing. So....after rapid IV fluids ( a couple bags in a short period of time) being pumped into me and a little oxygen, all was well again. So I thought.

As a lot of moms do after arriving home from the birth of their children, they get on the scale to see how much weight has come off. Much to my shock and dismay, I was NINE POUNDS HEAVIER than when I had left for the hospital 4 days before. How the hell is that even possible when one gives birth to an almost 9 pound baby?? Shouldn't I weigh at least 8lbs, 11ozs less?????? Instantly, I burst into tears.  (not such a rare occurrence as I burst into tears all throughout that pregnancy) I was told I never should have gotten on the scale; that I was wearing clothes; that I had eaten that day; and a whole slew of other excuses from people trying to make me feel better. Ok, fine. Maybe they were right. I'll just weigh in tomorrow morning, after I pee, before I eat or drink anything to see the real results. Once again, bad, bad idea. The 9 pounds were still there.

Apparently, when one is pumped full of IV fluids, one tends to retain the fluids. (at least, I do) That Sunday night, the night before Simon's bris, I literally was up peeing EVERY 20 MINUTES throughout the entire night. Sure enough, I got on the scale in the morning and the 9 pounds were gone. (This still doesn't explain the 8lb, 11oz baby not being there, but, again, I am me, and where something can wrong, it will.) I looked (and felt) like an over inflated Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, except that I had a really good tan going on.

The same thing happens when I have the stomach flu. I hear stories from many people telling me that they drop 5-10 lbs after having it. Me?? NOTHING! How is that even possible????????? So, after having the stomach bug this past weekend, I got on the scale. Why I was shocked or even remotely surprised, I have no idea. Because, as sure as the sky is blue and the grass is green, I weigh the same thing I did before getting sick. Mhmmm. Just call me the 8th wonder of the world.

I guess my not being able to let go of the weight is similar to me not being able to let go of other things in my life. I can forgive, but I can never forget. I ALWAYS remember. And, I will bring these things up over and over again in arguments and conversations. Why? I don't know. I probably would be a happier and more relaxed person if I did--in fact, I am pretty sure I would be. I am envious of people who are capable of it. I know I am in control of myself and therefore, it is ultimately up to me as to whether I hang on or let go. I guess, as someone who always has some meat on her bones, I'll always have meat inside me as well. (That's what she said.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Did You Pull Your Vagina?

Last night, Tammy and I went to the movies to see "Something Borrowed". LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! (GREAT quote in the movie, hence the title of today's entry.) But, I think we need to review movie theatre etiquette. So, that is what today's blog is going to be discussing. And, as I seem to have come down with an icky stomach bug, this may be a shorter blog today. I even canceled my manicure appointment today. This, for anyone who knows me, is a HUGE indicator of just how not well I am feeling.(Big props to my Issac for making me toast and getting me Gatorade!)

Tammy and I arrived at the theatre. I got my Regal Club Card points awarded to me. (very crucial, as I earn free movie tickets, popcorn and pop) Tammy, however, was told the system was down and she couldn't get her points. We went to customer service because clearly, she was being lied to.  And, sure enough, they were able to give her the points she earned. After a quick stop at the concession stand, we headed to our theatre.  We were the first ones in and hardly anyone was coming in to join us, so it appeared that it would be a small crowd. I should know better than to say things out loud. I always curse myself.

As the theatre fills with groups of women arriving to join us for this chick flick, a group of pre-teen girls sits down in the row in front of us. Cool. A few minutes later, a woman comes in, alone. She asks the first girl if the seat next to her was taken, and then proceeds to sit down-right next to the girl, when there was another seat open on the aisle. Totally weird. The girl then repeats louder that there is going to be someone sitting there. So, the woman gets up and pushes past Tammy and me. The rest of our row was empty. On the chair next to me was my purse and Tammys' jacket. The woman asked me to move my stuff so she could sit RIGHT NEXT TO ME. WTF?????? The ENTIRE row was open. WHY did she feel the need to be so close to me. I am not a fan of people in general, so this was just yuck.  A few minutes later, her daughter arrives and sits next to her. A couple more minutes pass and the daughter tells her mom she's moving over a seat because "why are we sitting right next to these people?" EXACTLY. So the mother gets up, tells me I can put my stuff back (gee, thanks) and proceeds to move over so there is space between us. During the whole movie, this woman gasps and talks and makes sounds loud enough to wake the dead. She never shut up. On top of that, the girl in front of us refused to stop texting on her phone. She was doing it continuously for over an hour. Tammy finally had enough and became "that person" who told the girl it was annoying and to please stop it.

So, to review: if there are seats open in a movie theatre, you do not, under any circumstance, sit right next to a person. There is NO NEED for it. It's also rude if you are an exceptionally tall person to sit in front of a person if there are open seats. You block the view and it just isn't nice if, in fact, you have other options. Talking all throughout a movie is also a big no no. The people around you probably aren't all deaf. No one wants to hear your thoughts, opinions, guesses or assumptions about the movie. So, please, just shut it. I probably see a movie every week. So, yes, I have the protocol down better than other people who don't frequent a theatre as often as I do. But really? It's just common sense people. Put your thinking caps on before you leave the house.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tribute to Moms

Mothers Day Weekend. A time when children make hand crafted gifts in school to bring home and we are supposed to get very excited over whatever it is they have made. (if we can figure out what the said gift is)
A time when many husbands tell their wives that they aren't THEIR mothers, so why should they buy them a gift. A time for some who no longer have their mothers to reflect on the time that they had with them. And for others, a time to get together with family and have a yelling fest.

My children like to shop. The last couple of years, they ask Steve to take them shopping to buy me gifts for Mothers Day.  It is VERY thoughtful and considerate of my children to spend their own money to buy me things they think I would like.  Some of these gifts have been great. They know mama likes her bling and I have received a couple of nice bracelets and necklaces. I also have received some gifts that I wear around the house only.  I have tried to explain to Steve that he should try to explain to the kids to either pool their money and buy me one nice gift or just get me something simple. We'll see what happens this year.

I am fortunate that my husband has the utmost respect for mothers. As I may have mentioned in this blog before, Steve thought of his mother as "a saint". (The more time I spend with Steve and his brothers, I understand his feeling. It was either she was a saint or completely spent from those 4 boys she had.) Therefore, he appreciates all mothers and what they do. I usually end up with a beautiful gift and a day of not having to do anything. (Although, lately, with my non-driving, I haven't had to do a whole lot of anything...maybe we should be celebrating Steve and all those who do shlep my children and me.)

Let's not forget all those fathers who are raising children alone--those doing the job of 2. We are always quick to talk about single moms and how they are both mom and dad. There are many dads who do the job of 2 as well.  I will say this: I think it is much harder on a child to lose their mother than it is to lose their father. Do not misunderstand me: no child should ever have to lose a parent. But, I just think, after our experience and all of our support groups we attended and families we met thru them, that it is so much harder for the children and men who lose their mothers/wives.  Many dads are programmed to be the provider and to handle the "manly" things. They aren't sure how to arrange playdates, plan birthday parties or braid their daughters hair. These men, at least the ones I encountered, really deserve the credit and respect and to be honored on Mothers Day as well.

Last but not least, the celebrating of the actual day. This year, we will be at my parents house for brunch. I got a year off from hosting since I have been a "prisoner" in my home and this way I can get out.  We will miss my brother, Lance, and sister in law, Roya, who are off in Paris having a most marvelous time. Yea for them.  The rest of us who will be in attendance are surely in for good food, loud talking and maybe even some yelling. (Who am I kidding? It's MY family--of course there will be yelling.) Then, my husband and children are taking me to dinner at a surprise location. I look forward to a day filled much love and laughter. And, for all of you celebrating, whether you are a mother, father, grandmother, or a mother figure, have a most splendid Mothers Day! xoxo

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5 Guys at a Dunkin Donuts

This morning, my adoring husband stopped at Dunkin Donuts for me on the way to work--our new Wednesday tradition. And, I had a gift card--WINNING! (thanks to Mom &  Dad) We pulled into the parking lot to see not 1,not 2, but 5 Comcast trucks sitting in the parking lot. 5 trucks. For the life of me, I cannot understand why 5 separate technicians would all be at the SAME Dunkin Donuts around 840am when Comcast issues time slots that begin as early as 8am. (possibly 7am, I am not positive though) Is this why we are given time slots? So that when we are told sometime on Wednesday between 8am-12pm it is because our technicians need to meet up for a pow wow over some coffee?

I am back with Comcast now for the third time in less than 10 years. I left them for Direct TV. I left them for AT&T Uverse. I keep returning. Why? They seem to be the lesser of the evils. It's not because they are so wonderful. It's because everyone else sucks so badly. Direct TV would go out on us if a bird flew to close to the house and caused a bit of wind. And, if it rained or snowed, forget it. AT&T Uverse would constantly need to have the boxes re-set and the channels would freeze all the time. The biggest issue was our wireless internet NEVER worked. So, back to Comcast we went.

Comcast isn't any cheaper than the other guys. In fact, we now have no movie channels, Game Show Network or Oprah's new channel, OWN. (no love lost there) We no longer can watch our DVR'd shows from any TV in the house. (the boys hate this) We can only record 2 shows at a time instead of 4. (this is annoying) The more I write about this, the more I realize that we became so dependent on the TV for so many things. It's pretty sad. Even sadder? --that when the Comcast guy came out a few weeks ago to reinstall everything, I got yelled at because I placed the order wrong. I tried explaining to him that had the customer service rep spoke some kind of English, maybe it would've been placed correctly. He didn't seem to care. So he called for backup. (Perhaps one of his buddies who was sitting in a local parking lot having coffee)

Why do we put up with such service? Why not just boycott the cable and satellite companies and just have basic channels like we did way back when? Because, really, who are we kidding. My kids don't understand the concept of only having cartoons on Saturday mornings. They don't understand that there was no such thing as "on demand".  They don't realize that cartoons like SpongeBob and shows like iCarly weren't on 87 times a day in case we missed it the first 86 times it aired. They don't get that there weren't tons of channels just dedicated to kids..and not just for one age group of kids, but for kids of all ages. Nick Jr., PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel,Cartoon Network, and a whole slew of others I cannot think of right now because I have tried to remove them from my brain.

I suppose I could be the ultimate mean mother and get rid of cable all together. But, who would be getting punished here? The kids or me? In the end, it would be me. I admit, sometimes I just need a break and what offers a better option for me to take one than cable. We have enough TV's that kids can disperse and can all go watch Pokemon and South Park and SpongeBob and Tosh.O til their eyes roll out of their heads. And, while they do that, I can head to another TV (one with a DVR) and watch my episodes of Bethenney Ever After or Say Yes to the Dress that I haven't had a chance to watch yet.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just Call Me Leona Helmsley

This morning as Steve and I were getting ready for work, he called me Leona Helmsley. Really? That's pretty harsh, even for me. I've been called many a name in my day.....but I don't think I've ever been called "the queen of mean".

I make my kids clean up after themselves. I make them clear their dishes from the table. I make them hang up their jackets.  I tell my kids that when it's too cold out, they cannot wear shorts (Too cold has now been established as lower than 60 degrees.)  I tell my children to brush their teeth twice a day. (I know they don't always listen.) I remind my children to say "please" and "thank you". I make them eat fruit and vegetables and do their homework. This makes me "mean".

I yell at my husband, too.(He'd be more than happy to verify that for you.) I remind him when things need to be done or taken care of. I remind him that certain things are his responsibility. (I pretty much handle everything. Once in a while, I ask him to do something.) For example, HE got a red light violation in Northfield, in MY car. The ticket came in the mail. I asked him OVER and OVER again to please take care of it. Yesterday, he finally did it. I was supposed to be happy to spend over $100 because he "remembered to do it before the ticket fine doubled".  Seriously?

At work, I yell at the guys I work with. Why? Because I care. This morning, someone who shall remain nameless, was outside and picked up what he thought was a needle. He brought it into the office. I asked him WTF he was doing. He said it wasn't a needle--it only had glue in it. Well, how did he know that?? I mean, if you THOUGHT it as a needle, WHY ON EARTH would you pick it up???? Then, he told me that air and bleach kills HIV/AIDS and to not worry. I made him Google this to prove it to me. Turns out, he was correct. BUT, really, why risk it??????? So I continued to yell. Then he told another guy we needed more girls in the office. Apparently, I am losing my likability here- as if I've never lost it anywhere else.

I don't really care if people think I am mean. I don't walk around smiling. People have always thought I'm cold, snobby and stand-offish. So? Who gives a shit? I am who I am. If you don't like it, move on. Otherwise, stick around. I can make you laugh and I can cook you a fabulous meal. Just bring your earplugs with for dinner if you don't want to hear the yelling.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Prefer Female Strippers

Last week, I was at work talking with Big Daddy and Video Dave about Administrative Professionals Day. They mentioned that they had hired a male stripper for me. I said I'd rather have a female stripper. Suddenly, I had their undivided attention. Silence came over the office. All eyes were on me. I, then of course, had to explain myself.

Let me start by saying I am no prude. I don't believe that men who go see strippers are sexist. No one held a gun to these women's heads. They chose to be strippers. In my opinion, these are women who have jobs, who make money and are not taking advantage of the "system". I have no problem with these women.  The men who choose to go visit these women are another story.  I get the whole Bachelor Party thing. I think it's stupid, but I get it. Men who feel the need to visit strip clubs often are a whole other cup of tea.

I have been to a strip club and watched female strippers.  It doesn't do anything for me, but I am not offended by it either. I also found it to be a very quiet, subdued experience. Music was playing quietly, men sat and sipped their drinks and others sat and had lap dances. Then there were those special men who chose to head to the VIP room with the stripper of their choice for a private dance. Kudos to the strippers!!! Any guy who thinks by paying more money for a private dance is going to get him the stripper's phone number or a date has serious issues. But more power to the women who convince these guys otherwise. They are raking in the money and I say "Go girl!"

Now, I did have an experience at a strip club with male strippers in Vegas that I found most repulsive.  And, not so much because of the strippers, but rather because of the women who were watching the strippers. Most of these women were there for bachelorette parties. So, these women were drunk and not in the greatest state of mind. (Or maybe this was their normal state of mind, in which case, I feel even worse for them.) I do not understand the thrill of watching men (many of whom are gay, not that there is anything wrong with it, but realize, they have no interest in you) who have stuffed their banana hammocks with socks so they can shake it at you. Male strippers do not get naked. What is the big excitement here? That you PAID a guy to dance all over you while he's all sweaty and gross? And, even if these men did get naked, would that really be so exciting? I don't see the big whoop in seeing a naked man's body. I get why it's hot to look at a woman's body--women are beautiful creatures with curves and features. Men don't have a lot. And, walking around looking like Pinocchio is nothing exciting.  Furthermore, I think the reason they don't get naked is exactly for that reason. They wouldn't look like Pinocchio---they wouldn't be turned on or excited.  The women in the audience aren't doing it for them. So, it would just be a let down for all of those women. I also was repulsed that these men kept insisting that I "wanted" a lap dance. Nope. I didn't. I was just fine with my $10 bottle of water.  When the rude and ugly stripper put his hand on my purse and told me that I had the money to buy the dance and I should just do it, I got up and left. I would've been less offended if he had touched my boob.  Don't tell me what to do with my money and do not put your hands on my purse.  It was expensive and G-d only knows where your hands have been.

Downstairs in this strip club were the female strippers. It was so quiet and mellow down there. It was dark...women were dancing.....men sat quietly watching.  Corey Feldman, the washed up '80's actor walked in.  I would've loved to sat and had a drink with him and discussed all the fake boobs. But, my oldest son had been busy texting me the ENTIRE time I was in this club and I really needed to call him back. He was leaving for overnight camp the next day and was having major anxiety. (This trip had been planned way in advance of him deciding to go to overnight camp. I wouldn't have intentionally left him days before he was leaving for 4 weeks.) He kept calling and texting me and I couldn't tell him where I was. So, I lied and said I was gambling and the dealer wouldn't let me speak on the phone while I played. (not a lie)

After sharing this story with Big Daddy and Video Dave, they convinced me to blog about it so that all of you could also know why I prefer female strippers. So, I hope you have enjoyed. Maybe we can get a group together and go see some dancers.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Suicide Circle

For those of you not familiar with it, Suicide Circle is an intersection at Golf and Wolf Roads in the suburbs of Chicago. When driving through it, you need to know how to merge and go. Period. There is no time for nerves or waiting or wondering what you should do. You need to just do it.

I take this route to work each morning with  my various drivers. I also take this route home. There is no question, you must be aggressive and on your game to drive through this successfully.  Tammy has got this mastered. There have been several mornings that we have almost died, but, fault was not hers. Some people need to learn that talking on your cell phone should be reserved for when you aren't supposed to be focused on the road.  When Steve and I take this route home, it is rush hour.  As I may have mentioned before, Steve is a bit of a nervous driver. He isn't super comfortable driving through this intersection, but we have survived thus far. The other day we had a near death experience, and I seriously thought I was going to end up on my face on Golf Road, but, Steve managed to swerve away from the lunatic.

Last night, Steve, Tammy, Mike and I had dinner at Salsa 17 with our Groupon.  We have been there many times before and love it! Always nice to enjoy dinner with a most delish margarita and a coupon always makes everything better. (I am starting to get old.)  We left dinner but it was still early and we weren't ready to go home to our children. So, we were trying to decide where to get some dessert.  Then, it dawned on me that I had a WeDeal for Omega! (more coupons!!) We proceeded down Northwest Highway towards Golf Road. Steve didn't realize that we were approaching the dreaded circle.  Understand, it was dark out and we were approaching from the west, whereas we usually approach from the east or south. So, this was new for him.  Steve was very hesitant to jump into the circle to take his turn. Finally, he did, but rather than going "straight" (as if there had been no circle to go through) Steve proceeded to keep driving us around the circle. It was like a scene from "European Vacation".  Tammy and I were laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee in my pants. I ended up smashing my head against the door of the car from thrashing around so much. (probably similar to how I look when I am seizing, except I was conscious lol) Steve was screaming at us to stop laughing and to help him. I couldn't open my eyes to see where we were because I was laughing so much and tears were pouring out of my eyes.  Cars were honking. It was quite an exciting Saturday night.

Finally, we arrive at Omega. I haven't been there in probably 13 years. It has been totally re-done and is quiet fancy shmancy now! So impressive!!! They still give you a giant bread basket full of muffins, croissants and all sorts of breads upon sitting. We all looked at each other and said we should just eat that and go. But, we didn't. We all ordered dessert. We had fun people watching. Then the bill came. I did not have the physical WeDeal with me, but, there is a way to just show the restaurant your phone so they can pull up your coupon number. This baffled the manager. He refused to accept this. So much for the coupon. We had to pay for it. Guess we need to go back. They are running a Mother's Day special. Maybe Steve and the boys will take me there for dinner....and then we can drive through suicide circle again.