Thursday, December 31, 2009

Post #110 to close out the year

I started this blog on April 15th this year. It's 8 and a 1/2 months old. Still a baby. And I'm still so new to this blog world. I can't tell you that I always know what I'm doing, or saying, or thinking here. But I can tell you that having this outlet, having this space, has helped me more than I ever thought possible this year.

I can also tell you that I am so very thankful for all of you who read this (real life or not), who comment, who have friended me on Twitter (and Facebook) and who have shown me love and support. In my moments of doubt, self-consciousness and loathing, you helped lift me, and through that I have found even footing again.

May your thoughts be positive.
May your eyes shine with light.
May your ears be filled with laughter.
May your words speak peace.
May your heart be filled with love.
And may your life be filled with joy.

These things I wish to you in the new year.

My best to you all, always.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

‘Tis the night before Christmas as I sit here and ponder
how my memories of this year couldn’t be fonder.

We rung in the New Year in middle-aged style:
Hubs awoke me with one minute left on the dial.

Enough sleep, at the time, was still far out of sight
but -finally- Bear learned how to sleep through the night.

A month later Hubs found a new place to work.
No more cubical farms was just one of the perks.

Next on the work front, I got a new gig
working from home, doing something I dig.

Bug has grown into such a sweet boy.
He is all things Transformers and robots for toys.

He can count, he can spell, he can add and subtract.
Brains is never something that he’s lacked.

Bug will be four in just a few weeks.
I swear it’s giving my hair new grey streaks.

Bear, our rough and tumbly son,
turned two in November, and goes through life at a run.

His language skills have launched in to turbo-charged gear,
and each day his chatter is happy to hear.

He plays hard but loves hard in fiery fashion.
I don’t think he’ll ever live life without passion.

Overall this 2009 year has been great.
We’ve traveled and grown, and even had dates.

But without you, our dear friends and our family,
our life would be full, but not nearly so merry.

So cheers to the old year and peace in the new.
We wish you good fortune in all that you do.


 
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Embarrassing Moments

It's been a little while since I posted for Girl Talk Thursday on MY blog. I hosted a couple weeks ago but beyond that, I'm a bad poster lately.

But today? Today I will share a couple embarrassing moments.



The first that I can think of was one of the paragraphs in my GTT host-post. Imagine being in middle school and having a friend, whom you idolized, pass you a note in the hallway, and wait with her friends as you read "we're not friends like you think we are." And then imagine everyone laughing at you. Yup. Embarrassing.

The second was in high school when we were eating lunch outside at the picnic table and a lovely bird decided to poop on me. ON. MY. HAIR. I had to wash my hair in the bathroom sink, with hand soap, because the school nurse had nothing, nor did anyone think I should be allowed to call my mom for help or anything. It was horrible. It stunk. Everyone at lunch with me saw it, laughed about it, etc.

Later in my life, while at work, I was talking to a co-worker and drinking a diet coke while lounging back in my chair at my desk. I decided to lean forward and put my drink can on my desk but I mis-judged my distance (I know, how far is it, right?) and timing (seriously) and missed the edge of my desk with my drink. And since I wasn't looking at my hand or the desk or my drink, I pitched forward, dropped my drink and banged my chin on the desk as I completely fell forward out of my chair. Grace was somehow lost on me. Luckily I thought it was hysterical and while I was mortified my co-worker witnessed this, it was just too funny to worry about.

The best embarrassing story though I will share actually didn't happen to me. It happened to another co-worker at the same job. He talked to his wife several times a day and one time got confused about who he was leaving a message for on the phone. See, he was leaving a message for the Marketing/Graphic Design guru at our company. I think it was in regards to some trade show trip they were going on. But he ended the call "OK thanks. Love ya, Bye." You know, like he says to his wife when he got off the phone with her. My office was next door to him and I heard it. He walked slowly out of his office, his face the color of a beet, hands up to his cheeks and said "oh my God I just said "Ok thanks. Love ya, Bye" to John on voicemail." He laughed so hard he cried. And so did we. John, of course, we really good natured about the whole thing, only saying "Hey Mark! Didn't know you cared!" It was the running joke of the office for quite a while.

So? What have you been embarrassed about?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good News, Bad News

So, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. It's the time of year, I know. It's two kids. It's a full time job. It's all of the above. I'm very, very lucky and thankful for the good things in my life. But here's a brief on the good and the bad.

Good News: Bear is feeling much better.
Bad News: Bear was in the ER twice over the weekend with croup. Croup sucks. Croup sucks bad.

Good News: The Christmas cards are designed and printed. The Christmas letter is written and printed. The envelopes are address and stuffed. They are ready to go.
Bad News: I have three papercuts and no idea when I will go to the post office to mail them. (HOPEFULLY TOMORROW!) Also? I haven't had any time to tweet because I am consumed by all things holiday related.

Good News: I have actually lost another pound in the midst of this chaotic holiday season.
Bad News: I am a terrible Hawt Mama who has been completely overwhelmed with life and have had no time to get online and post. The thought of it stresses me out completely because I usually don't do well with exercise and diet this time of year and talking about it absolutely freaks me out.

Good News: I recently got two bloggy awards and I love my friends dearly for giving them to me.
Bad News: I haven't been able to write my responses and share the love yet. Soon. I promise.

Good News: I found a pair of black slacks in my closet that fit me again and that I can wear to my cousin's wedding in a couple weeks. Now I only have to buy a nice warm top to go with them. Score.
Bad News: I also found my winter running pants and I think that means I have to go exercise again. (sub-Good News: I found an awesome new training route for me and Meredith for the River Run training program. sub-Bad News: We actually have to start training.)

So I have been absent from my social media spaces and it's killing me. I MISS you all and hope to be back in the swing of things soon.

Peace, Love and everything in between.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking for Signs

I was listening to public radio this morning and I'm not sure if it was a local segment or an NPR segment. But the story was about a farmer who reported a cow was born with a perfect cross on its forehead and that the children named it Moses. There was even a joke about it being a "Holy Cow." (insert groan) The farmer is reported to have said "He believes it is a sign from God but isn't sure yet what that sign means."

Ok.

I am so tired of hearing these stories. Why are people so busy looking for God in burnt toast or cheetos, on cow foreheads and other ridiculous places?

If you believe in God, look around you. Look at the trees outside, the grass, the flowers the bloom in spring. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Turn off your TV, open your windows and listen to the wind blow and the animals chatter. Look at your parents, look at your children, think of all your loved ones. Appreciate what is around you, the beauty of the world and life that we take for granted. If you have faith, then God is in those things every day and you don't need random pieces of food or natural genetic markings to prove the existence of something you already believe. The people who don't have faith like you, well, they see food. Or spots.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Highlights from my week

This hasn't been the greatest week.

Thursday afternoon Bug knocked Bear over in a wrestling match which resulted in Bear banging his cheekbone on the corner of the coffee table. Commence bruise. This was after we made a trip to the pediatrician (have I mentioned I LOVE our pediatrician who came in to see us on her day OFF. I seriously adore this woman) because Bear was pointing to his ear all day saying "Owie" and he'd also told his teachers at school the same thing. No ear infection, as I suspected, but we discovered that Bug's ear infection from the week before (with the bulging ear drum) hadn't fully healed and was still infected, commencing a second round of antibiotics for him.

Friday Bug and Bear are wrestling again and mere minutes after telling Bug not to push his brother, I hear Bear crying and turn to see Bug standing over him. I ask Bug "Did you push your brother again?!" And he calmly looked me in the eye, stared me down, and responded, "No Mommy. He fell off my hand." My immediate response was to clap my hand over my mouth in horror and hysterics as I desperately tried not to laugh out loud and give him the advantage in our standoff. I calmly sent him to his room to think about his behavior, made sure Bear was ok (all is better when you had that child a cup of milk), and proceeded to call my mom, Hubs' mom, my sister, and IM my friends, and update my Facebook status to tell everyone exactly how my son just tried to outsmart me. I. AM. DOOMED.

Saturday my beloved Florida Gators sadly lost the SEC Championship game. It was like they didn't even show up for the game. They were there, but not playing their hearts out. The coaching was awful, the execution was awful. I love my Gators but the best team on the field won yesterday and sadly it wasn't us. I actually hated being #1 all season. I knew early on that most teams who start #1 don't stay #1 all season through the bowl games. Here's hoping Alabama crushes Texas in the National title game and keeps the title in the SEC, where it belongs.

Today, well today was not exactly a day of tranquility for Bear. It started with him having two poopy diapers that were bright green. Green like the color of the frosting on the cupcakes at the birthday party we went to yesterday. His tummy was rumbly. Later he got his palm pinched in bi-folding closet doors (his own doing as he tried to close them). But pinched badly enough to leave a red, swollen bruise line across his palm heel. Commence tears. Later he was walking around me. I thought he was going to go one way, he went another. My sidestep the wrong way caused him to knock his head in the corner of a bar stool. More tears. An hour or so after that we were out to lunch and as I was buckling him in to his high chair he wiggled forward and his belly skin got clipped in to the strap. Alligator tears. (I feel beyond horrible about this.) After his nap he whines and clings to me and suddenly I hear a blast of poop. He cries. So do I. We go change his diaper and I find diarrhea and a bunch of clumps of clay like stuff. Hubs comes to help me so I can examine his poop. It's Playdoh. Green Playdoh from the birthday party, not green icing, causing green, runny poop. Joyous. As I make the kids dinner Bear climbs up on a kitchen chair and then manages to tumble backwards landing flat on his back on the tile floor. Big fat tears with silent crying until he manages to breathe and then wail. It is not a good day. 30 minutes after we put him to bed he starts to cry. I went in and rocked him for a while, holding him tight against my shoulder as I cried. I whispered over and over again to him "I love you." And right before I put him back in bed he whispered it back, "Ah-vaio Mimi." I needed to hear that.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Mayhem

15 minutes after I left my house this morning I arrived at my mother's house. By the time I had gotten there I had been cut off while driving three times. THREE times in a 10 mile drive. Later I went to get lunch with hubs (even though I was recovering from a migraine) and it took me 4 minutes to be able to back out of a parking space, backing out about 2 inches at a time before needing to slam the brakes back on for someone else to either ZOOM around me from no where, or take the right of way and back up behind me from another space after I was clearly already starting to back up. (Never mind the slew of shoppers wandering aimlessly around the parking lot, not looking, rude or all-important.) By the time I was home I was frustrated, annoyed and ready to join the foray of road rage. I declined to join today. I don't always decline to join but today I remembered something.

Friday is BLACK FRIDAY. And despite the stores beginning their "holiday sales" in July of this year, the true holiday shopping season begins in three days. (ZOMG!)

I am not always the nicest person when I am out of patience. I can get down-right biiiiiiitchy with people who push the limits of tolerance and stupidity. But I am usually much more patient during the holiday season. Why? Because I don't want to become part of the problem. You know, the awful-people-forgetting-the-holiday-spirit problem. When I go shopping, BEFORE I go shopping, at the holidays I tell myself "there are going to be more people. It's going to be crowded. I'm going to see people behaving badly. DO NOT BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE." And usually saying this is enough for me to shed the armor and beat the insanity. I park far away. I breathe deeper. I smile more. I wish more people would tell themselves this. (I need to be more like this ALL the time too!)

Plus? It's the holidays. And how can you truly get in to the giving and thankful spirit of the season if you are pushy, bitchy, rude and impatient?

This year we have even more to be thankful for: our health, our family, our friends, old and new, our jobs and home and unbelievable support system. And we have more people to remember and honor as friends and family leave us far too soon. So let's all take a collective deep breath together and make this a better season of generosity, tolerance and peace.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's HERE! My TASSIMO!

I talked to Jenn this morning and told her my Tassimo was supposed to be delivered today. Later this afternoon she sends me an IM that says "Hey your Tassimo was just delivered." Let's just say I almost dropped my laptop and scampered to the front door to find a BIG BOX JUST FOR ME on the front step.

So I manage not to squee too loud, lest I wake my boys and screw myself over in making a cup. I go back to my laptop, snap this shot, send it to Jenn, and then dive in.

 


And LOOK at what I found in the box?!



So I set about brewing a cup. Imagine me racing to open the machine, clean it, fill it, figure it out (I know it's not that hard people!) and try to brew it before the kids wake up. I decide to make a Latte first.



Do you see that steaming goodness?

And then? Then I go back outside to my porch, and sit, and enjoy my amazingly wonderful, delicious, perfect latte in the glorious 74 degree Florida weather and rejoice that I managed to drink one cup without the boys waking up first.

Hello Perfect Friday afternoon. Pleased to meet you!

 

 

 


Jenn darling? This mug is for you!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Over The Place

This week I am all over the place. I am high. I am low.

Monday morning I wake up to an email from my long time best friend Joyce telling me she's found her long lost older half-brother. The one her mother was forced to give up for adoption when he was 4. The one she has been searching for since 1998 or so. Me? I learned about this search the year her mom died, in 2001. Eight years. I cried and had goosbumps all day on my arms every time I thought of it. You know how she found him? She calls it "the message tree." Me? I call it social networking. Not Facebook (although now they're connected there and she is also to a niece she never knew she had), not through Twitter. Plain old email and phone calls and hard work. He's in Guam so it will be a while before they meet in person. I'll cry that day too. I feel like I've found a brother now too. It's that happy.

Tuesday we (the social media community) all find out that Anissa Mayhew is gravely ill. We all kind of sink down low together. It's a place we know well. It's a place no one needs to nor wants to go to again. Anissa is legendary. Iconic (in my opinion). Hilarious. And her family has been through ENOUGH for anyone in any number of lifetimes. Her story, to date, is strong, courageous, but gut-wrenching. For all her amazingness I still feel compelled to shake my fists in the air and rage at the universe. Her family is posting updates on a Caring Bridges site. I think I've refreshed that page eleventy-thousand times today. All I can do is sigh and hope.

Today is Moose's 1st birthday. I've known Moose's parents a long time and watching him grow up (with Chipmunk of course) is definitely a high on my list.

Today my freshman college roommate finally got a job after an exhausting search. A job that will very hard work but exactly the path I know she is made for. I'm SO proud and happy for her.

I miss Vivien. She's that friend who moved to Colorado who I want to go see like crazy.

Tomorrow is my Bear's 2nd birthday. SECOND BIRTHDAY. As exciting and joyous as this is, how is it possible already?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dude Response Friday - Fictional Five

After that great Girl Talk Thursday topic, we had to have another Dude Response Friday. And Hubs is playing along again!!




  1. Laurana Kanan


    I read the original Dragonlance series when I was in 7th grade. I think this elven warrior princess was my first real fantasy crush. She also stands opposite Colleen's Legolas entry as my own long-blond-haired elvish fighter. At least I don't remember Laurana having a shield-surfing scene during the siege of the High Clerist's Tower.

  2. Inara Serra

    Who better to counter my wife's Captain Mal entry than his own classic (and hawwwt) foil Inara? Oh, the things she could teach me... please... I can haz companion?

  3. Cameron

    I wouldn't normally put Summer Glau in a Top X list, but, I will make an exception here. Sexbot from the future that has to obey my commands? Sign me up, I'll take two. And if Sarah happens to wander in while I'm examining the full feature set of Cameron's chassis? ... ... ... Sorry, my mind was wandering a bit there.

  4. Yuna

    Definitely the pre-X-2 Yuna, before she chopped her hair (and skirt) and started playing gunslinging dress-up like a John Woo ninny. Yuna's story was really touching, and I wanted to be the spirit of the dead city (or whatever the hell Tidus was supposed to be) that gave her comfort (oh I want to put air quotes around that word). She definitely appeals to me in the strong-but-vulnerable category. And hearing the Final Summoning song still gives me chills.

  5. Cersei Lannister

    The ultimate bad girl of the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei is definitely a nasty, naughty chick. She's conniving, bitchy, incestuous, and uses sex as the currency that pays for her position of power. But I would still totally tap that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fictional Five

Back when we opened up Girl Talk Thursday in its own space and place we started the conversation with our Top Five, hosted by the awesome (and hilarious) Diane. That topic made a big splash (or perhaps inspired a few cold showers?) but it was also hard because we sometimes got tied in to the characters (*cough*Edward Cullen*cough*(gag!)) so we decided to revisit the topic and talk "Fictional Five." Now we're doing (hee hee) the characters, not the actors. So here are my Top 5 Fictionals.




  1. Aragorn, Lord of the Rings

    I love it when he talks Elvish. And rides a horse. And swings a sword. And broods. And... Oh? I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought daydreaming...

  2. Legolas, Lord of the Rings


    It must be the tights... or the long bow... or the Elvish... Call me crazy but the long blond hair is the only way I find Orlando Bloom attractive.

  3. Captain Mal, Firefly


    Oh how I wish this show was still on air. Captain Mal was an easy on the eyes, witty, gun-slinging space-cowboy.

  4. Zorro


    There is this one part of the movie when he's training and doing pushups over candles I think and his stomach "sags" for a moment and his teacher whips him. Uh huh. Mkay. Washboard abs much? Plus? He wears a mask and brandishes a sword and has a cape.

    Apparently I have a thing for fighters.

  5. Jim Halpert, The Office


    I just think Jim is goofy and sweet. He is my only one in this Top Five that doesn't brandish a bladed weapon. I'll just say the paper airplane here coupled with his sharp wit is what helps him make the grade in my book.


So? What's your Top Fictional Five??

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For Maddie

 

Maddie Spohr would have been 2 years old today. An age near and dear to my heart since my Bear will be 2 next Thursday. I met Maddie through Maria and I have been heartbroken and inspired by the little girl with amazing blue eyes and huge bright smile. Today, like every day, I am sending my love and support to Heather and Mike and their families.

When I first joined Twitter it was like 2 days after she passed away and I saw so many tweets going out with #Maddie and had no clue what a hashtag was or a RT or anything. (Special thanks to Maria (again) for answering EVERY question I ever had about Twitter!) Tonight on Twitter we had a party for Maddie's birthday. And I get it now. That little girl taught me about the good there is in this community.

Today I wore purple for a little girl I never met in person. Tonight I made an M for Maddie. I have never known another little girl to unite a community so swiftly, so fiercely, with so much love.

 


Little girl you are so very loved.

Please consider donating to Friends of Maddie and helping families in the NICU as they sit and watch, and wait, and hurt, and wonder, and hope as their little babies fight to remain with them. Every little bit helps. Every little bit matters.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Workplace Griping

Has it really been almost two weeks since I posted last? What's wrong with me?

But it's Thursday! Girl Talk Thursday. I missed last week too and that makes me sad.



Today we're venting about jobs. Goodness I have stories.


  1. I worked at Office Depot my Freshman through Junior years of college. I actually loved this job until we got a new manager at our store who thought he was the bomb. You know, the type that goes all power trippy in a management position? One night I was closing and part of my responsibilities was to clean the bathrooms. Well I got a migraine, complete with loss of vision and vomitting. I asked to leave early, like 30 minutes before the store closed. He asked me to stay in case someone needed to make a damn copy in the copy center. (Isn't he supposed to know how to do that?) So I agreed to stay (no one came in, which was good because I was curled over the counter trying to die.) At 9pm when the store closed I got my stuff and started to head out and he said "Oh, you have to clean the bathrooms still." Yup. He saw me barf but made me clean the bathrooms. I quit the next week.

  2. My first professional job outside of college lasted 5 years to the month when I was let go due to the economy (this was nearly 5 years ago, yikes!) There were times I hated it but now, looking back, I have only fond memories. I am still in regular contact with several people still working there too. There are too many crazy stories to tell about this place but here are a few to highlight the, well, interesting times.

    • My first boss there, another woman, and I didn't see eye-to-eye on a lot of ways to complete tasks. One day she cornered me in my office and told me that no one else liked me at the office and I should stop trying to be friends with everyone.
    • One co-worker blurted out in the middle of a meeting that I had an ugly face and skin problems. Later we found out he was diagnosed with a serious mental disorder which sort of excuses the outburst but nevertheless doesn't dispel the sheer mortification I felt when everyone turned to stare at me. I watched that same co-worker throw a mug of hot coffee on a wall, take relaxer pills, followed 1 hour later by 3 shots of expresso to pick himself back up for a presentation, take his captain's chair off the hinges in the company minivan and turn it around (while someone else was driving 70 mph down the Interstate) and then fall asleep and snore loudly, all on the same day. At the time no one knew he was sick so to say that day was uncomfortable is a gross understatement.
    • Another co-worker, and good friend, who happened to tell the best joke about a big black vibrator, killed himself on December 16, 2002 and I was the first one to the office (no it wasn't done at the office) to find the notes he left for me and several other people. I miss him. There was a lot of fallout from that, hatchets buried, friendships solidified, friendships lost - no one really had a good way to cope with that grief in the office. It was a really dark time.
    • We had a stapler policy which documented at exactly what point in the stapler clip you should extract the remaining staples and insert a brand new clip of staples, discarding the partially used clip.
    • We had a personal hygiene policy document that detailed how to wash your hands and when it was appropriate to do so.
    • A third party reseller who was attending a conference in our office asked my co-worker to rub ointment on some sores on his back. (this still makes me cringe to think about!)


    True Highlights though?

    • My husband and I started dating and got married while we worked there.
    • I made several life friends there who I miss dearly since we moved away.
    • I perfected my miniature golf game during our Friday morning sales meetings and hubs and I didn't pay to go to the movies for almost a year (going once or twice a month) because I won so many movie tickets.


  3. I then spent 6 months working in a hell hole with a boss who I believed was a stripper in a former life (maybe not former?) and whom everyone believed slept her way to the top. She was a complete bitch who once lambasted me for saying "Yup, no problem" as a response to her asking me to please close the door on my way out of her office. I was told that "Yup, no problem" was not a professional way to speak to someone superior to me. Read: TOTAL. BITCH. I spent my entire 6 months there mastering my Excel skills and making sure all my columns of sales forecasts added up to NINE in this bizarre system created by the founder of the company. (I still have nightmares about the nines.)

  4. In my last job another female co-worker was jealous that I got to do the "cool" administrative crap and she was "stuck" making copies and answering phones (hello? I did that too but yes, I made more per hour than her, by 50%!) She and I were really good friends but when I came back from maternity leave, leave where she got to do a lot of my tasks and then I took them back over, she got all weird. And the company was not doing well (read: Real Estate Broker who spent money he didn't have and didn't make any sales either.) which made for a lot of speculation on whether one or both of us would be let go. Do you see where this is going? She took it upon herself to run around to our boss and other co-workers to tell them things I had vented to her about previously (and privately). But the awesome thing? She HATED these people too. But it wasn't like I was dishing out her "secrets." No, I had her back even as she was knifing mine. One morning I walked in to work and got in to a particularly good snarking match with her. She FLIPPED out and started screaming at me that I was a paranoid freak bitch who didn't deserve any friends and she couldn't understand why anyone would ever want to be my friend either. Four months later we were both let go but she continued to work for that company for free because she "believed in" the boss. I never understood this given what she would tell me about him. WHAT.EVER. I don't truly hate anyone but this woman? She ranks pretty high up there on the dislike scale. (And if you read this sweetheart, if you find this blog somehow? I bailed you out countless times and let you and everyone else think you'd done it right to begin with. I had your back you bitch. I hope karma strikes back hard on your cold bitchy heart.)


Now? Now I work from home and despite being grossly underpaid for what I do, I do like my job so I don't have any other complaints. I don't have to deal with stupid, catty, insecure, bitchy women either. But I do miss the office chatter so I gravitate to Twitter and keeping the TV on to fill the silence. It's good now.

So I believe everyone who has held a job in some capacity has SOME story to vent about their workplace. Vent away! It's Girl Talk Thursday and we want to know!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Honesty, A good policy.

I'm feeling all sorts of loved on today since my girl Jenn gave me a new bloggy award and I also randomly won her contest for a Tassimo! HOLY HECK I'm so excited!!



Here are the rules for receiving this award:

Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you
Tell those 7 people they’ve been awarded the HONEST SCRAP AWARD and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
Share “10 Honest Things” about yourself.

Here are “10 Honest Things” about myself:


  1. I can eat an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers without noticing.
  2. I am allergic to Dark Chocolate, Red Wine and Sharp Cheese. Most people tell me they feel sorry for me.
  3. I throw like a girl.
  4. Somehow a snake got in our house earlier this year and found it's way to my closet. I literally cried sobbed and stood on the back of the sofa and would barely help hubs get it out. I still get jumpy when I walk in my closet.
  5. I can not stand when it's, its, their, they're and there are used incorrectly. I especially hate it when I catch myself later having used it incorrectly.
  6. I can break 5 boards (without spacers) with one kick.
  7. When I walk up stairs my pelvis cracks in two places on every step every time unless I walk up sideways like a moron. Old karate injuries still plague me.
  8. I used to wear rose colored glasses. Now my lens adjust for two astigmatisms and shoot lightning bolts from them when I'm cross eyed double crossed.
  9. I sometimes think "holy crap I am married with two children, am living in our second house and wow, when did I grow up?!" (it's pretty cool though)
  10. I feel terrible guilt over the fact that I want to find another home for my cats.


*Dishonorable mention: My favorite animal is the Liger.

And I tag:
  • Tatiana at A Very Good Year. Lady you and Maia make me smile every day.
  • Diane at Mrs. Dashoff. Um, brilliant, hilarious, adorable, a Gator and is there anything else I need to say?
  • Maria at Mommy Maria. She's a total sweetheart and her post this week on being a crazy mommy made me cry I laughed so hard. "Dora makes me violent." O.M.G!
  • Jackie at In Full Blum. My dear friend from high school who I adore! Blog more lady. Blog more! I miss reading you!
  • Aidan at Ivy League Insecurities. She is a breath of fresh air and I like the way she writes and thinks.
  • Colleen at Mommy Always Wins. I hesitate to tag her because she's like up to her ears in stress right now, moving, working. But I love her blog, love her stories. So lady, don't be hating on me too much now, ok??
  • Caitlin at Mommy Geekology. Because I also love me some technology. Cat is raw and an awesome Mommy and friend.

    p.s. I totally also wanted to tag Lu at Jaded Perspective but dang it Jenn beat me too it. So hugs anyways darling!

  • Sunday, October 18, 2009

    On Trust and Doubt

    Ok so I hate to write about this subject because everyone is and wow, let's jump on a beaten horse and flog it some more.

    Here's linky #1 from Nic - someone I have followed since April and have supported.
    Here's linky #2 from the TSA - proven necessary evil in today's society

    Now I officially am providing trackbacks for trolls and I hate that.

    This is my space in the world. My thoughts. My words. I own this space, my feelings, my words. Go away if you don't like it.

    When I got involved in this virtual world of blogging and twitter I had major doubts. And it took a few months for me to warm up to it (now I love it). It also took me a while to find a core group of people I love to talk to, I look forward to talking to, people I genuinely care about. I read their stories and I love them, truly love them.

    And I still love them after this theatrical performance. But there is this shadow of doubt now in our community. Now I wonder who out there is real, who isn't. Worse? I have doubts about my own instincts. Did I support her and it was a farce from the beginning? How did I miss that?

    Screw that.

    We are just words out here, pictures, compositions of ourselves in this virtual space. We're human with human faults and insecurities. And all we can do is hope that in our honesty, others are honest too. Yes some of us blog/tweet for fame and fortune. Some of us just want a place to decompress. Others still need support and friendship and seek only the comfort of acceptance. I believe everyone needs to feel like they belong somewhere. The list goes on as to why we put ourselves out here. And I think we accept each other at face value. Why else shouldn't we?

    Oh wait.

    This doubt now? It's vile.

    I wish Nic the best. I hope she finds the help, love and support she needs to get through this. Until then I worry for her, for her family, and for the rest of my friends out there who are far more affected by this than I am.

    Also? My trust has never been given lightly and I rarely give it back when it's cracked.

    I hate that I have to say that out loud.

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Friendship

    I had sort of an epiphany the other day. I needed this clarity. I needed to stop beating myself up, questioning my integrity, challenging my stance, a hard line I didn't draw in the sand but refused to cross also. Instead my heart walked away.

    A very wise man once told his students that in order to be a good friend you had to follow 5 simple steps. They were be the first to communicate, be the first to smile, be the first to care, the first to share, the first to forgive. That last one he warned would be the hardest but the most important. By being the first to forgive you were being the better person, taking the high road, setting the example, being the friend you yourself wanted to have. I took this to heart, carried it there, reflected on it.

    Somewhere many years later I read a quote that said "To have friends you must first be a good one." I don't know who said it and I don't know if I truly care who said it, but it struck a cord with me as it encompassed everything in those five steps above. For people I love, for people I care to have a true friendship with, more than a casual acquaintance, I do my best to follow this thought, to be a good friend.

    I am so very thankful for my friends.

    A couple years ago I lost a lot of friends I considered to be family. They came to my wedding and weren't on the "God I *have* to invite these people" list. They lied about me, they used me. But one person told me to just suck it up and go apologize for the miscommunication, beg some forgiveness and in time the cloud would pass and things would be back to normal. I couldn't do that. And I struggled with my integrity. How could I believe this saying, embrace these steps as truth and not actually carry them out? I don't like to be someone who talks out of both sides of her mouth.

    And then it hit me. If you want to have friends you must first be a good one. HAVE. If you want to HAVE friends... and that was it. I don't want to have them for friends. I don't have to beat myself up inside over not being the first one to go back and talk to them again, to first forgive them for the childish character assassination in my own home and subsequent fallout afterwards. It was this simple all along and I never put it all together. I knew it on the surface but never felt like it followed my heart.

    For me this is liberating for my spirit, like shedding a molted layer of skin to reveal fresh growth and new life. I can honestly say I am a better person for having known them. But they can never take away the lessons I have learned and the foundation from which I will continue to learn. I am no longer stricken with doubt and I was wrong to question my own integrity.

    I like thinking simpler.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Crafty Crafts

    Tuning in this week we have: "Getting crafty. Yes? No? HELL No?"



    Can I get a "HELL YES!" please?

    I love to craft. I love it, love it, love it. Sadly, I don't have much time for it. I love it so much that Bek, V and I started a blog a while ago to document The Things You Make.

    Last year for the holidays I made a TON of fleece scarves and blankets. I also blinged up an apron for my mother and made her some wine charms too. I've been known to collect pine cones in the woods, spray paint them silver or gold and hot glue flowers to them with a ribbon to make a really pretty Christmas ornament. I have BINS (ask V) of materials and do-hickeys for making stuff. BINS. I LOVE IT. V and I used to plan "craft time" when we got together which usually involved us hunched over some folding tables working on something independently and watching football. Why'd you have to move to Denver V?! WHY!? (just kidding, I know why!)

    My most recent craftiness was making my Bug's vest so he could be a ring bearer in our cousin's wedding this last August. I am not the world's best sewer but I can sew a straight line and a zig zag like nobody's business so that pretty much gets me through.



    (note the wine glass in the middle of the workspace? and the workspace being my foyer floor?)





    Currently I have fabric cut and pinned and prepped to make zipped pillow case covers for the boys in cute little flannel fabrics. I also made a pattern to make my Bug some waterproof but soft and comfy underwear for overnights. That is sort of on the back burner right now but I intend to resurrect it. There are also cloth diaper inserts from some old towels in my sewing future.



    A few months ago, stressed about what to get my Bug's preschool teachers for an end of year present, I came up with the idea of making bookmarks for them. (I also got them Starbucks giftcards so I'm not a total freak.) I figured I know they read books and this wasn't a mug with an apple on it. So bookmarks with a little note on the back thanking them for being my son's first teachers was what I came up with. I am choosing to believe that they only use these to mark the pages of their most current novels.



    Painting. I also love painting. But not really vases and fruit. But shapes... on wood. Wood I cut out with my handheld jigsaw and sanded myself. I am hardcore when I do projects. Here are the flowers I made for my dear friend Erica's daughter's bedroom walls.





    These flowers were, of course, inspired by my awesome artist of a mother who made the wall hangings for my children's rooms. Check out Bug and Bear's rooms.

    Do you all go to craft shows? I do. Every year at the holidays. Normally I don't buy anything though. I just get out my camera phone and take photos of everything for ideas on what *I* can make.

    I think crafting is good for my soul. It's in my blood. I can see how things go together. I know without doing it yet, how to construct something from the ground up. Putting projects together is therapeutic for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I'm usually very proud of what I create.

    What about you? Do you craft?

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    The Movie in My Mind

    So you know what I love about TV shows and movies? I LOVE that the characters always know what to say, when to say it, what tone to say it in, what facial expressions to make, yadda yadda. It's like they thought about it forever before saying it. It's like they have a coach or something helping them with their actions.

    Wait a minute...

    Can I get a director for my life please? Kidding... if you know me you'd know I'd say "I have to do that job because I want it done right." That's my Type A showing just a little bit...

    But I do wish I always knew what to say or how to say it during a confrontation. I often freeze up, especially when it's important, and just stare away. But in my head I'm rehearsing. I'm thinking of what I would say, how the other person might react, how the back and forth, give-and-take of the argument would play out if I had *actually* opened my mouth.

    A lot of times I do say what I'm thinking, but not usually when I'm very angry or hurt. No, those times I shake or I cry. And I look like a doofus. And people assume I'm weak and unable to control myself. And later, much later, I always think of the perfect come-back or zinging response. LATER! You know, when I'm over being shocked. And I think "that wasn't so hard to think of, how come I couldn't when I needed it?"

    I think I freeze up now because before, when I was younger but still an adult, I reacted without thinking. It was raw. Now, now I work on it and I do better. I have to do better. I have kids now. I am human, they have to see that, but I want them to see me working on self-improvement. Not perfection, just improvement.

    Someday though I'd really love to have that perfectly rehearsed and edited scene-from-a-TV-show-or-movie-argument where I say everything perfectly, confidently, with no hesitation. Someday I don't want to have all that extra footage from the movie in my mind on the cut room floor.

    My mind would be so much less cluttered that way.

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    Over The Top

    My dear friend Princess Jenn tagged me this week in a meme called "Over the Top." And I love this stuff. Before I started this blog I'd do ALL of these types of things if they came my way via email. It's fun to play along!


    There are only 3 tiny little baby rules to this posting… Answer the questions below using only one word Thank the blogger who gave it to you Pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers.

    Now the questions:

  • Where is your cell phone? counter
  • Your hair? boring
  • Your mother? artist
  • Your father? engineer
  • Your favorite food? pizza
  • Your dream last night? unsure
  • Your favorite drink? chai
  • Your dream/goal? security
  • What room are you in? great
  • Your hobby? photoshop
  • Your fear? pain
  • Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
  • Where were you last night? gym
  • Something you aren’t? patient
  • Muffins? blueberry
  • Wish list item? money
  • Where did you grow up? Buffalo
  • Last thing you did? worked
  • What are you wearing? jeans
  • Your TV? big
  • Your pets? cats
  • Your friends? awesome
  • Your life? hectic
  • Your mood? mindful
  • Missing someone? V!
  • Vehicle? Honda
  • Something you’re not wearing? shoes
  • Your favorite store? Kohls
  • Your favorite color? blue
  • When was the last time you laughed? earlier
  • Last time you cried? September
  • Your best friend? Two
  • One place that I go over and over? bathroom
  • One person who emails me regularly? boss
  • Favorite place to eat? restaurants

    Now, will you all play along?

    Viv's Rambling
    In Full Blum
    A Very Good Year
    Dashoff
    Take a Second Glantz
    Confessions of a First Time Mom

  • Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Crazy Roommates

    Ok so I thought about this a lot today, the roommates I've had over the years and if I had any really crazy stories. I don't, really. Mostly it was frustrations and head shaking at silly things. I've moved on. But I did learn very early that I didn't want roommates unless that roommate was my husband, or about to be my husband. So after my junior of college I lived alone until I met my now husband and started dating him. A year later we moved in together, six months later we got engaged, a year later we got married. Best roommate ever.



    So my freshman year of college I have two roommates. The first was very, very, very different from me. She never washed her hair but spent countless hours using a flat iron on it after putting loads of product in it and it STUNK up our room to the point where I gagged a lot. Plus she left hair everywhere. EVERYWHERE. She also snored and would go away for the weekend but forget to turn her alarm off before she left and it'd go off at o'stupid:30 on Saturday morning. I'd unplug it and she'd get mad she had to reset it Sunday night. Needless to say we made lots of arrangements with the dorm staff to split us up after first semester and I never saw her again.

    My second roommate was a friend from high school and we are still friends to this day. But we weren't very good roommates. I blame that mostly on the fact that I completely, 100% HATED her boyfriend back home and how he had her on a line and could pull her heartstrings at any moment, even sending her driving back home 1.5 hours in the middle of the night just to see him. And when he'd visit us he was a jerk to me. I get it now, I do. Hindsight tells me she was super in love with him and that trumps all other sort of reality. I wasn't very nice to either of them after a while so the blame for our short roommate stint also falls around my feet too. We laugh now about the fact that we'd be on our computers, backs to each other, emphatically NOT talking to each other verbally, all the while fighting over AIM.

    I learned how to type without looking at the keys that year. Thanks AIM.

    She and I are still friends to this day. I adore her. I talk to her several times a week. (Plus I got the supreme satisfaction of her telling me two years ago that I was right about that guy.)

    Sophomore year I lived with a friend I met in the dorms the year before. She was fun, outgoing and also dating two men. One knew about the other, that other didn't have a clue. And I had to cover for her all the effing time. And it got old. And she was selfish and we started fighting. So she started doing all these things to piss me off, including smoking pot in the house which led to her having a party one night while I was at work and I came home to find white dust on the coffee table and everyone completely high, on what specifically, I don't know. I moved out two weeks later and in with my very best BFFs (still to this day) and stayed there for 8 weeks.

    Those BFFs though? They had a snake. A BIG effing snake that I couldn't be around when they fed. I couldn't take the noise of the rat screeching. And those BFFs? They told me they had sex on my bed with my stuffed animals while I was out. They teased me mercilessly. Oh and she had an internship in another city and was gone during the weeks. And her mom called one weekend, forgetting that I lived with them. And I answered the phone early that morning. And I kinda got the third degree about who I was and why I was at the apartment that early and her daughter wasn't.

    I laugh about that all the time.

    Do you have crazy roommate stories?

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    Small, Small World

    Some people you are just supposed to meet and know. Call it fate, divine intervention, whatever. It's just supposed to happen.

    Two cases for my point.

    When I first joined twitter Ange found me through Maria. Later she found me on Facebook after a couple months of chatting. Turned out that we had a mutual friend in common. A friend of hers from high school in WISCONSIN helped teach Joby and I our wedding dance 7 years ago. I taught this guy and his wife some karate too. Ange lives in PA. Adore her I do! It was crazy to think I met someone, another awesome Mom on Twitter, who I actually had a real life connection too.

    I honestly didn't think it'd happen again.

    And last night it did. And I'm left just shaking my head at the awesomeness of it all.

    I was having a conversation with the fabulous Princess Jenn last night on Google Chat. She and I have talked a lot lately. Through a series of events the topic of Sharepoint came up and I told her that I had never used it but that I knew someone who wrote books about it. When she inquired and I told her Andrew, I could almost hear the gasp from her all the way from Alberta, Canada to Florida. Her husband knows Andrew, has worked with Andrew. She has met Andrew and Meredith. I went to high school and college with Andrew and I just love his wife Meredith. We've (Mer and I) exchanged Christmas cards for like 6 or 7 years but never actually met in person until recently when our families got together for a BBQ at their place. And even more funny? I met Mer at Starbucks this past Monday to work and chat (we both work at home and just sometimes need to get out) and I told her that she needed to make sure to follow Jenn on twitter because I was sure they'd get along great. We were JUST talking about Jenn. And two days later I find out that Jenn has already MET MEREDITH in Las Vegas at a business conference.

    Sometimes, sometimes, you are just supposed to know someone.

    I have to say that I especially am thankful for these more personal connections with these two awesome ladies. I know that putting yourself out there online can be scary and there are some fake-psychos and retards out there. Mostly everyone is awesome though and sometimes they are awesome with a super side of sizzle too.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Smelling Things

    Smell. It lifts. It nauseates. It tantalizes, overwhelms, inspires. It's a memory. Definition. It's safety.

    It's Girl Talk Thursday. What scents do you love? Do you like anything weird?



    For the longest time I only wore one scent. It was Freesia flowers from Victoria's Secret. I wore it on my wedding day because it was just me. It's light, airy, and sweet. (not even remotely like my personality but, I hate heavy scents).

    Now I add a spritz of a peach splash from Bath and Body Works. I also own splashes of Warm Vanilla, Rice & Shea, Cucumber Melon and something else. For special occasions I'll dust off my bottles of Clinique's Heart or Happy.

    For my home my favorite scent is vanilla. I'll burn vanilla candles to make my house feel more homey. At the holidays I love Pumpkin Spice candles or Cinnamon.

    When I was preggo I could NOT stand the smell of cooking chicken. I could eat the chicken once it was cooked. I could handle the raw chicken. But the smell of it cooking, forget it. I made me barf many times.

    Right now, as I sit to type this, my windows are open and the clean, fresh smell of the cooler outdoors, the fall, is wafting through the screens. This and the smell of fresh cut grass? It calms my senses, it relaxes my mind. I feel connected to more than just the interweb as I type. I feel the earth. And for this Taurus, that is one of the best feelings ever. I have roots.

    The smell of clean, warm clothes is enough to turn me on.

    Oh the sweet smell of my children after a bath. For me, this is the smell of love, security, home - my past, present and future all rolled in a frog, duck, dinosaur, monkey, or fireman towel. This is the smell of my heart, my soul.

    Highs and Lows

    So this week started out with Bear biting Bug across the bridge of his nose. The bite broke his skin and has left a crescent moon shaped line on the left side of Bug's nose. Joy.

    Tuesday at preschool Bug bit the side of his tongue. You know what happens when you bite your tongue right? If hurts. A lot. And if it swells you keep biting the same spot over and over again, re-aggravating the lump until by some grace of existence you either learn to not bite the bump, adapting to your most current self, or the freaking swollen spot goes away. Or both. Until that time, it hurts. Explain that all to an almost four year old. Go ahead. Try to get a word in edgewise when he's crying for the umpteenth time as he tests the limits of your compassion and composure. It's fun. Couple all that in with not sleeping because his tongue hurts and he can't settle down without sobbing from the injustice of it all.

    Wednesday hubs was giving the boys a bath and I was in the kitchen twittering cleaning up. I hear hubs washing the boys' hair. And then I hear hubs say "What is that?" To which Bug responds "I think it's poop." You see, Bear pooped in the bathtub. That was fun.

    Tonight - after putting Bug to bed over an hour early, he came out an hour later and was bleeding from his nose where Bear bit him. I guess he decided that scratching the scab off would be a really fun way to spend his extra time in bed.

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Pullups and Poop

    Today I drove over to the house of a woman who sell's all sorts of cloth diapers from her home. I have been looking for an overnight waterproof underwear with an insert pocket for my Bug. One that didn't have snaps or velcro. A real underwear look and feel. Bug is a deep sleeper and still doesn't wake up to use the potty overnight. So with kids in tow today I went. And she was wonderful and showed me all sorts of cuteness. She does have an option for Bug and I'll be ordering several pull-ups for him. I'm very excited to get off the expensive disposables for him.

    While we were there my kids played with her kids. It was nice. Until I realized that Bear SMELLED. And this was after he was bouncing up and down on a riding truck. (do you see where this is going?) I mention we should get going so I can change him outside in the car, and Bug says "I have to go potty now." He says this as I notice that Bear's hands are covered in poop. And his legs have poop smears on them. And I die inside.

    I die because my disposable diaper FAILED at the cloth diapering sales woman's house. And after it failed my son decided to investigate the warm goo inside his pants. And then he didn't like it on his hands and decided to wipe it off on his legs. I die.

    So I cleaned up Bear as best as I could in the bathroom while Bug peed. And then we made a hasty exit to the driveway. Where it takes me 20 minutes to figure out how to get Bear's clothes off of him, cleaned up and in to a new diaper.

    I sweat profusely in the process. I'ts 91 degrees here in Florida today.

    I know she was laughing at me from inside her home, probably peeking out any one of the many windows that looked on to the driveway.

    Sigh. But I'm going to buy a decent order of pull-ups from her. So she's getting cash and already got amusement. I'd say for her that's a win and call it a day.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Thank you

    Just wanted to take a quick moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has commented or @'d me on Twitter to support me and everything this past week. You are all awesome and I appreciate you more than you know.

    So thank you! I don't always comment back but I wanted you to know it means a lot.

    The week that was... well... bad.

    Dear Karma,

    Please take note of the events below of the last week of my life and send me some of the good stuff now please? I'm due.

    Kthnxbai,
    Me

    Tuesday:
    Before even leaving the house to take the boys to preschool my father calls and asks me to take my mom to Crucial Care and it opens at 9am. I do and there we find her blood pressure at stroke/heart attack levels and after an entire battery of tests, don't really find anything but they refer her to another doctor and they make an appointment for her on Wednesday. I get her home with enough time for me to rush over to preschool and pick up the boys at noon. They eat, have naps, get up and we leave for me to go teach karate. Bear decided to scream for a full 2 hours before finally sleeping, then woke up at 3:30am and was awake and ready for the day until 5:30am. The only work I accomplished was during nap time and then after sitting next to Bear while he screamed for 2 hours. Oh and while I sat and had Bear scream at me I composed this post on Defense.

    Wednesday:
    Attempt to work in the morning for a couple hours while my friends Pixar and Disney entertain my children until my mother-in-law arrives at noon. I operate on about 4 hours of broken sleep. At noon I leave, go get my mom, take her downtown to another doctor, come home, work for an hour-ish, then go to dinner at a fancy restaurant with hugs (yay MIL in town). Bear proceeds to scream for another 2 hours. I write my Girl Talk Thursday post and schedule it for 6am the next day. Bear wakes up at 4am and is up until 5:30am. I have a complete meltdown from the lack of sleep, not knowing what the heck is going on with mom, and the fact that I have work deadlines.

    Thursday:
    Get kids ready for school, notice all sorts of bug bites all over my Bug, worry he got them in preschool on Tuesday (that's when I first saw them) and prepare to take them to school and then my MIL to the airport. Dad calls, he's taken mom to the ER. Teacher at school says no other kids have bug bites, not sure what's going on, go to airport, call boss, lament that I can't complete my project this week, explain why, he's cool, then I drive to Walgreens to buy Benadryl and Calamine lotion for my Bug's bug bites. Decide that heading home is not worth it for 15 minutes and go to preschool 45 minutes early to hang out with some friends in the gym area (Preschool is attached to amazing local fitness center/gym/pool). All hell breaks loose.

    When I arrived at the preschool I walked down a hallway with glass windows that look out on the courtyard playground and noticed Bug's teacher standing outside and decided to stop and watch for a second because I thought it was odd she was out of the classroom. Then I noticed my Bug standing next to her and he was SCREAMING. I waited a second to see if it was nothing and then got goosebumps because I realized something was very wrong. When I got to them she told me that his screaming just started about 15 minutes ago and he's complaining of knee pain. There was good reason for that. His knee was almost the size of a baseball and the tops of his feet where reddish-blue. And those bug bites? They had spread all over his legs and tummy. His teacher was wonderful and helped me collect Bear from his room and put him in the car for me. No Bug had not fallen nor otherwise had an accident at school.

    I called my husband and told him "I'm going to take Bug to the doctor's and I'm coming to get you because I'm not going to do two hungry children at lunchtime in the doctor's office by myself." I'd have to carry Bug and that would leave Bear with free reign to roam. Hubs had already left for lunch and I told him I was coming to get him where ever he was. Since he wasn't driving he had his co-worker drop him off at a gas station where he proceeded to wait for 15 minutes until I got there. (And when I got there another driver nearly clips me because she can't be bothered with swinging wide out in to her side of the exit lane. I give her no look, no finger (so tempted), nothing because I'm anxious to just get hubs and fly to the docs. But she decides to back up her car and yell at my husband and I. On a normal day I'd have flipped her off but that day I just kept saying "get in the car! get in the car, let's go!" And I have to drive out of my way to use a different exit from the gas station so that woman doesn't think I'm following her and decide to be more of a bitch.)

    While driving over to get hubs I call the (BEST) pediatrician in the world directly and thankfully, she picks up on the first ring. I beg her to see Bug before lunch and despite a little hesitation because she had an appointment to be somewhere at noon, she agrees to see him. I know that I have it wonderful with this doctor. To have a direct line to her is amazing and I never want to abuse it. I knew I was pushing my luck to not try the main number for a sick visit but it turns out my instinct was correct. Upon examining my Bug for a minute she immediately started making arrangements for us to to go the Children's hospital downtown as a direct admit, helping us bypass the ER. At first she believed that Bug had a joint infection because of the size of his left knee.

    At this point I'm about to lose it. Remember the lack of sleep? Remember my mom in the ER? Remember my work deadlines? But I'm thanking my gut for calling hubs first and insisting on getting him, thanking my luck that I decided that morning to pack the boys' lunches to have on hand instead of feeding them at home after preschool, and thanking my super messy trunk for having enough baby supplies to throw together a hasty diaper bag of activities, clothes, diapers and misc crap to survive at least an afternoon in a hospital. Somehow my luck also included an umbrella stroller to push Bug in (which I normally don't leave in there) but did not include my Ergo Baby Carrier (for Bear) but that wasn't tragic.

    So we hurried up to the hospital only to wait. They didn't have a bed available for Bug yet. So we waited in the lobby and cringed as every worker walked past wearing flu masks. Luckily (again) Bear fell asleep in the car ride over and managed to stay asleep on my shoulder in the waiting area for another 1.5 hours.



    While Bug waited in Daddy's lap they spent nearly 2 hours staring, fixated, on a huge, automated marble maze contraption. The thing was AWESOME and just what my mechanically inclined little Bug needed to wile away time in comfort. He never whined. Never cried. Never complained. (He saved that for Friday morning when I was all alone with him!)



    Our lunch this day? Peanut M&Ms for me and a Snickers for hubs. Fancy huh? That dinner from the night before really was a faint memory at this point.

    About 2 hours in to our wait a very nice pediatrician (our doctor's friend and mentor) came out to the lobby to examine Bug there since no beds were ready still. From there he ordered xrays and labs and asked us to fill out some medical history paperwork for Bug. In the next 1.5 hours we got in to xrays and had his blood drawn. We then found out that his joint was not in-fact infected (YAY! because in our waiting time I imagined Bug needing an amputation and nearly sobbed many times). The doc determined that Bug had Serum Sickness, best described as a severe allergic (but not really an allergy) reaction to the antibiotics he had been on 2 weeks ago for a raging ear infection. The doc said he wanted to admit him for overnight observation. While trying not to panic I asked him if we could just observe him and bring him to our doctor in the morning (because SWINE FLU was in that hospital!) After a quick phone call to her he agreed, canceled our admission, and we left the germ pool.

    Friday:
    After an uneventful night but only another 4 hours of broken sleep thanks to Bear, we headed to the doctor (where my son's patience from the day before had completely disappeared), then the pharmacy, then managed to get home in time for lunch and naps. I worked again that afternoon and evening. Deadline passed so now I play catch up this week.

    I was exhausted.

    Updates:

    Bug has had no more of the major joint flair ups nor hives from the serum sickness. The pain associated with the joints in serum sickness is likened to rheumatoid arthritis so it's no wonder he couldn't walk on his leg and he was screaming in pain. This hurts me.

    Mom is doing better but still is not 100%. She had a procedure done this morning to determine if she had h pyloria (an infection that could cause all her symptoms) but first determination is that is not the case. They did find some other things but they were generally mild and will only need minor follow-up. Tomorrow she goes to a new general doctor (mine, who I like) to see if someone can piece together all the different reports we've gotten and figure out what the heck is going on. I hate to see her so washed out. And selfishly - she's my daycare 3 days a week and it's very hard to work when the kids are home.

    I am slightly less stressed out and more rested. I actually went to bed at 9:15pm on Saturday night and slept until 6am without waking once. Bear must have decided to take pity on me and sleep well. I also managed to get out of the house for a couple hours yesterday to get coffee and shop at Kohls with a girlfriend. I so needed that.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Defense

    Last week a parent of one of our karate students asked us to talk to him about what someone is doing to bully him at school. So tonight we did. And holy shit it scared me. All the while we were talking about self-defense and not getting in the fight or running away or if he had to, use his techniques he knows, I was dying inside. DYING. This is a really nice 12 year old young man. He's adorable, smart, and kind. The kid who wants to beat him up? It's over video games that got confiscated at school when my student borrowed them. Despite offering to replace them, an offer the kid and parents haven't taken them up on, this kid still wants to beat up my student. Even threatened his with a piece of broken glass and told him he'd get cut.

    This? This terrifies me.

    So we talked to him about composure and self-confidence. We talked about how this bully has gotten a big group of friends together who will help the bully beat my student up. We talked strategy and tactics. We told him that it's ok to defend himself if he's punched or kicked. He's worried his mom will be mad at him or he'll go to Juvenile Hall if he hurts someone. We explained Florida law that it's ok to protect yourself if someone attacks you. You are allowed to defend with equal force. If that kid comes after him with broken glass I hope to God my student breaks his legs. Broken glass = deadly force. Defense = OK. This is a good kid. He doesn't want to hurt anyone. *I* don't want him to hurt anyone. He wouldn't hurt a fly if he didn't have to. He has a good heart. And this situation is wrong. His mom tried to talk to the bully's mom too. Nothing.

    We live in a nice area. He goes to a good school.

    Bullies. Bullies suck.

    I am not sure how to teach this to a minor. When I taught karate to adults it was so much easier. How do I temper the seriousness of the situation but not instill fear? How do I not cross the line of treating them like young adults but remembering they are still children?

    This is not easy. I don't know how to do it and honestly, I don't feel like there is anyone to ask.

    I think it would be best for me if my children don't age past 5, don't go to middle school or high school and want to give me hugs and kisses for the rest of their lives. Right?

    I say this because I'm scared. Scared to death of them going to school. Why? Because I have day terrors about their safety. I know it's ridiculous but seriously, it's not unfounded. Just today a kid was killed in school during an altercation. I came home from teaching a class about defense in school against a bully and his gang and I read that article.

    I want to cry. But I can't. I'm the mom now and I have to figure this shit out.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    I remember.

    I still remember her running down the hall at work. I hear her voice say a plane has crashed in to the World Trade Center. I try to pull up CNN. I can't. So I head to the conference room at work to find the TV. We find out the owner of the company hadn't paid the satellite bill in a while. No signal. The projection TV won't work. We find an old, maybe 20" TV in a closet. There was no antenna. I ran to my office and got a wire coat hanger, somewhere I found pliers and cut it open, then proceeded to hold it in to the antenna spot on the TV so we could watch a fuzzy news feed from the local station. Eventually the company owner got the bill paid and the projection TV turned on, just in time to watch the first tower fall. I remember how quiet it was in the conference room. And then I remember saying "There are people still in there." And then she said "oh they all got out." She was crazy. I will never forget hearing her say "they all got out."

    We didn't get much work done that morning and left for lunch at 11am. We ate pizza. I don't know why I remember we ate pizza. No one was really hungry anyways, we just had to go somewhere.

    The weeks that followed you could find me glued to ABC News watching Peter Jennings report on what was going on. One night at midnight in the midst of my sobbing I got up and told my boyfriend (now husband) "We're going to Walmart right now. I have to buy an American flag." And we did. And I hung it inside the window of our apartment for a year - until the property management told me I had to take it down. Years later I cried when Peter Jennings died. I associate him to that time in my head.

    The only good that came from 9/11 was the unity our country felt. The unequivocal banding together, the common pride of being American, of rebirth, reconstruction and the glory of the American dream. I only wish we had held on to that unity. I wish that we could still stand together as equals, as humans, and despite our differences in politics, color, gender or creed, that we could advance progress with the same spirit of America we felt on 9/11. If we could hold on to that, if we could respect that, we could do so much more good for ourselves and the world.

    I remember. I will always remember.





    Halloween Costumes - Discuss

    Do you like Halloween? Do you dress up? For this week's dose of Girl Talk we're cleaning it up a bit and talking about costumes. Favs from the past? Plans for the future?



    So... I loved to dress up as a child. Now, not so much. I hate to say it but dressing up now sort of embarrasses me. These days my plans for Halloween revolve around my kids and what they'll be each year. Me? I wear jeans and some sort of cute girl shirt that has pumpkins on it or says "Happy Halloween" on it. (Hello Old Navy! Thank you!) This year I bought some bling to iron on my own t-shirt. I'm so original no?

    As a child my mom did a great job coming up with costumes for us. She made them. Painstakingly made them and at the time, they were the coolest things ever. I mean check me out here... I received my favorite Pink Panter stuffed animal when I was 2 on Christmas Day. I loved that stuffed fabric so much my mother made me a Pink Panther costume when I was in Kindergarten.




    The best part about that? The body of the costume was a fleece pajama zip up one piece. I grew up in New York. I trick-or-treated in MOON BOOTS. Warm pajamas were awesome. Plus we got extra use out of the costume.

    Do I know I look ridiculous in this picture now? Yup. Am I mortified? Yup. But my mom MADE that Pink Panther costume and that's wicked cool even if I'm not for showing you those photos.

    Later in life, my husband (boyfriend at the time) decided to dress up as Neo and Trinity from the Matrix for a Halloween party at our friend's house. We spent a lot of time shopping for just the right black clothing to wear. And yes, I did drop $200 on a black leather coat because I really wanted a black leather coat. Yes, hubs did buy a black trench coat. (We still own them and still wear them... 8 years later.) We bought a ton of water guns and spray painted them black and strapped them all over our bodies and inside his coat, etc. It was awesome and totally fun. We did laugh though getting out of my car and heading in to the party. The guns looked REAL and we were glad no cops were around canvasing for trouble. That would have been fun.



    Special bonus! That Halloween party was also graced by the fabulous and adorable George and Maria!



    After the Neo and Trinity get up we dressed up as Harry Potter and Hermione (no photos of that one, which is just fine with me) the next year and after that, hung up our creative minds and haven't dressed up since. Now my fun is dressing up my kiddos!

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    Merciless Ocean

    Last night we took our children to the beach to walk, as we often do to relax and kill some of their energy, and we asked my parents to join us. When we got to the beach there was a firetruck, rescue vehicles, and news trucks. Overhead we could see a helicopter flying along the shoreline. My heart sunk. I knew. We all knew. They were searching for someone, a 17 year old young man who reportedly went missing in the rough water. The choppy, frothy, swirling dark water.

     


    It was windy last night. More so than we expected. Grey clouds were lightly painted over a fading blue sky. They hung overcast, beautiful and dark at the same time.

    An older woman sat on the beach, rocking back and forth, crying softly "why?" Her eyes were swollen. I wanted to talk to her but, what would I say? Was she that young man's mother? Others lingered around her, some on cell phones, others staring at the water, others talking to rescue personnel.

     


    Everything felt like it was in slow motion.

    The ocean showed no mercy last night.

    My heart broke and I had to put it aside and walk. For the kids we had to walk.

    Past the trucks. Past the people. I battled anxiety as I answered my almost 4 years old's questions: "Why are there rescue trucks here?" "Is someone in trouble?" "How come we can't go in the water?" "What is the helicopter doing?" "What are those big bikes?" (ATVs) "What is that boat doing out there?" (The Coast Guard search boat)

    How do you explain to an almost 4 year old that the ocean is awesome. And heartless. And even if you are a strong man you can still get in trouble - so fast - without warning - and disappear? I have to teach these lessons to my children. I don't want to teach these lessons to my children.

    Despite the air of sorrow we did enjoy being outside, barefoot, disconnected from the interweb we weave. It's nice to do that occasionally. To look out on to something so big, so powerful, so unpredictable, yet teeming with life, a playground for discovery, a wealth of wonder. My life is small in comparison. My problems are minor. My life is rich and I have much to be thankful for.