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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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


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.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Dude Response Friday

Oh but only to be fair!

I told Joby he had to play and despite a little resistance, he got much more in to it when I told him to go find photos (or I would)... The looking led to the happy.

1. Scarlett Johansen

2. Natalie Portman

3. Jennifer Connelly

4. Liv Tyler

5. Kate Beckinsale

When I read him back his list he smiled, nodded and said "That is a very strong five."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Top Five

I am thrilled that the first topic for the new digs of Girl Talk Thursday is Your Top Five. It's the perfect subject for the opening of our Ladybusiness.

But first, a very special thanks to Maria for starting Girl Talk Thursday over in her awesome corner of the blogsphere, Mommy Melee, and also for including me, Tatiana, Diane and Cat in hosting the new site. "...Comment. Communicate. Karma." Maria babe, you've got some shiny happy karma. Love you!

So who's in your Top Five?

My Top Five, here in no particular order...

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey landed on my Top Five list back in 1996 when he starred as Jake Tyler Brigance in the film A Time to Kill. There is this one scene where he is talking with Sandra Bullock, I think after drinking tequila together. The lighting is dark, with rich wood tones, and the room glows with warm, candle-like lighting. Their bodies are slick with sweat from the hot, sticky humidity of a true Southern night in the middle of summer. His voice, that slow Southern drawl, is totally mesmerizing. And he's got piercing blue eyes with a square jaw line and I love that. (p.s. Hubs has a strong jaw line and awesome blue eyes. yeah, I like this sort of thing. Oh and his Top List of women could possibly contain one or two women I would lust after if I lusted after women. Sadly, none of them resemble me... hmmm.)

Rob Lowe
Dark hair. Blue eyes. Strong jaw.

There is no one scene that strikes me as the first time I remember noticing him.

He just is there, for the eye candy.

Christian Bale

Does anyone else remember the movie Empire of the Sun? I was 10 when it was released and I think I was 11 when I first saw it. I remember this because my BFF (at the time of course, what is forever to an 11 year old?) and I watched it (on VHS, gasp!) about 100 times the summer between 5th and 6th grade. We watched it to watch him. He was her teen crush and since I spent so much time with her it sort of rubbed off on me. Her room had dozens of posters of him hung up while mine had dozens of posters of Kirk Cameron. (dying inside for admitting that one) Look who grew up to still be a hotty though! I likey his smiley.

Taye Diggs

I first noticed (wink) Taye Diggs when he was Detective Brett Hopper in a show that sadly only was on one season, Day Break. He's got a wicked bright smile contrasted by his smooth dark complexion and he's got really nice eyes. He's hot but I think he's the most approachable of my Top 5. Like if I saw him on Hollywood Blvd I'd probably go up to him and say "Hey, I watch Private Practice and all but I wish they didn't cancel Day Break because that show was awesome." But there may or may not be a line of drool descending from the corner of my mouth when I talk to him.

Patrick Dempsey

Sadly, I am under the spell of McDreamy. It's the voice in the quiet scenes of the show. It's the blue, piercing eyes and the dark hair. It's the smile.