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Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012. It’s a Wrap!

I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you all for reading and, hopefully, liking my blog.

One of the biggest things that have happened to me this year has been the start of this blog. I began in the beginning of July, and I can’t believe how much my blog has grown and changed in just half a year, and me along with it. I love and appreciate so many things about blogging. Here’s just a few…

I love the time that it gives me to think and create.

I love that I’m doing something important for myself.

I love that I can look back and remember what I was thinking when I wrote a post and how it captures a moment in time.

I love that I get to write about myself, my family, my feelings. It’s free therapy!

I love that I have a positive reason to ignore my kids. Sorry, boys, get your own crap. Mommy is ‘working’.

I love that I’d rather be sitting here by myself doing this than almost anything else.

I love that you guys read it. It makes the whole thing more worthwhile and satisfying. Yes, I’m an attention seeking whore. Read more. Tell your friends.

So happiest, healthiest New Year. I wish you all double scoops of love and laughter, with sprinkles of  ridiculous and crazy on the side.

Bring on 2013!

My Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions… For Other People

Since I’m still in the spirit of giving, with just a bit of vent thrown in, I thought I’d do a little public service and offer up my top 5 resolutions that I hope others make for the New Year. You know who you are. Just think about it…

1. Get off the phone in the gym!
Really? Do you think we all care what your plans are for tonight? Or how annoying your husband is? Seriously chick, take that phone and that high pony tail and get off the machine next to mine. I do not want to hear you. Nor do the other people who are giving you polite dirty looks that you choose to ignore. Do you realize you’re speaking in decibels higher than Kathy Lee and Hoda who are plugged directly into my ears?! You’re messing up my hour of me time, and it makes me want to mess you up.

2. Park in one spot!
Oh My God! Really, dude? You’re supposed to park in the lines, not over them! Did you flunk out of nursery school? WTF?! I want to be stereotypical and chastise all the obnoxious Porsche drivers, but honestly it’s not just them. I see you suburban mom, dragging out your kids, looking exhausted and pretending not to notice. I see you Grandma, and think you need your eyes checked. Not only can’t you park, you never seem to see me at the deli counter. You most certainly were not next!

Bad-Parking-2

3. Pull your car over when you run into someone you know in the neighborhood!
It’s really not rocket science. This is a street, not your front lawn. You cannot just stop in the middle and chat. Pull the frig over! Immediately! And no, you can’t just finish up your conversation, unless you’d like me to ram into the back of your car, which you are begging for by the way.

4. Take your doggy bags!
I’m not talking about the poop bags, although that could be number 6, I’m talking about leftover food. I know, I might be special in this regard, since I have been known to take home other people’s leftovers. (I know.. I know… but only people I know. Ya know? ;)) And I will eat leftovers till they’re green. But really people, don’t order what you can’t eat. Or, just take it home. It’s so wasteful. Don’t make me come over there and show you the Save the Children infomercial.

5. Don’t be snotty!

The snotty sleeve slide is never pretty

An actual snot-nosed sleeve slide

As in, here’s a tissue, wipe your kid’s disgusting nose! Huge EW! Do you really not see that green goop hanging there, just waiting for his sleeve  or to drip into his mouth? Ugh, I can’t even look. Tissues. They are your friend. Carry them. Use them. For the good of mankind and preschoolers everywhere, I beg of you!

There’s more, so much more, but I don’t want to piss off everyone. Ah, what the hell, let’s piss-off some of my runner-up offenders… Person at Dunkin Donuts – Don’t close the door on me as I’m walking through. If you’re holding it up to that point, why would you choose to release it right as I get there? And worker at the yogurt store, smile. I get that the general public is annoying or that maybe you haven’t had the best day, but, you’re at work, lady. There is no sneering or eye-rolling. Save that for your break.

Please, people, take these resolutions as your own. I give them with love. I’m just trying to make the world a better place. Okay, just do it. Seriously. Don’t make me use this many exclamation points again!  🙂

Five New Year’s Resolutions That I Probably Won’t Keep

It’s almost the new year! Ho Ho Holy crap. Does that mean I’m supposed to reassess and all? Do some reflection and make resolutions? I’m Jewish, I did my reflecting back during Yom Kippur. I don’t want to do it again. Wine, wine! No that isn’t a typo. I’m not bitching, if I’m going to do this, I need some wine.

Okay, now that my cup runneth over, here are 5 things I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

One – Just say no. As in, No kid, get your own milk. No, PTA mom, I will not bake 100 cupcakes and stuff envelopes for you. No, mom, I’m not getting my kid a haircut. No, dad, I don’t feel like picking up the phone. No, children, I’m not making each of you a different dinner. Yes! That felt good. I mean, No! That felt good. Also, as much as it pains me, I must include, No, self, you don’t need that second bowl of ice cream, which means you certainly don’t need the third.

To be in complete ying/yang balance, number two is – Just say Yes. As in, Yes, I’d like a massage. Yes, I’d like another scoop. (Oh wait, conflict with number one here. I know! I’ll just fit that extra scoop in my first bowl. Problem solved.) Yes, I am going out with the girls tonight. And yes, husband, you are going to love me up. Yes, Yes and more yes please.

Three – Eat some Shutthefuckupcakes… I stole this from Momaical. She recommended giving them out to a number of ‘challenging’ people around the holidays, but I’m going to eat them myself; because frankly, sometimes I just don’t know when to STFU. I tell myself, don’t do it. Hold it in, but off I go. My tongue has a mind of its own. There are also times, when I just want my brain to STFU, so I might try them for that as well. Let me know if you need the recipe.

STFUcakes wouldn’t be the same (or as necessary) without…wine! Resolution number 4 – Drink more. Yes, I need to just sit back, relax, unwind and enjoy a glass of wine. Or two. I’m doing it right now, and I’m thinking, Yeth! This is the beth post I wrotein thoooooooo looooong! I love dis one. I love you too. I’m feeling all teary. I need a moment.

Number five – Do more things for other people. It almost seems impossible because all I do is things for other people, like schlepping, laundry and errands, volunteering at the schools, cooking and catering; but I’m taking about things I don’t resent, uh, I mean, things that aren’t in my normal day to day. Like, bringing a cup of coffee to the Verizon man outside, or buying flowers for the checkout girl, or visiting an older person in the neighborhood. It’s not really for them, it’s for me. Every time, I remember to do that kind of stuff, it makes me happier than the person I’ve done it for. Especially when I bring someone those STFUcakes, and they really could use them. Nothing like helping out those in need.

That’s my list, and I’m sticking to it. Well, hopefully. I’m taking it one day at a time. They’re resolutions, not promises. No pressure here.

Happy almost New Year Everyone! May it be full of sweetness and love.

Drink up. It's a resolution!

Drink up. It’s a resolution! 🙂

I don’t want to cry. I can’t stop crying.

I didn’t cry this morning watching the bus pull away with my children. I began to well up, but I didn’t cry. I sucked it in and didn’t let myself. I kept it together, like I know I should and feel I have to, because falling to pieces every time you catch a glimpse of the news, or a school bus, or your children, is not healthy or helping.

I want to move on.

I want to hide it away in the back of my head behind so much banal mental clutter, like picking up milk or sewing a button on my husband’s coat, that I can barely find it.

I want to write about the class pictures that I just got in the mail. My 10 year old’s is amusingly bad in an almost clichéd way. I grimaced when I saw it and immediately filled out the form for a retake. When he came home a few days later, and I asked him how it went, he just shrugged. “Oh, I forgot to do it.” I looked in his back pack. Of course, there was the form crumpled on the bottom of his bag. He didn’t care, but some day, I thought with a laugh, he’d somehow blame me for his too long hair and braces, or I could use it for blackmail.

My seven year-old son’s class picture is gorgeous. His huge, green eyes are wide with hope and eagerness. He looks full of discovery and innocence and a touch of elfin mischief. He looks so young, so fresh, just growing out of baby and into boy. He looks perfect.

I want to go back to simple stuff. Normal stuff.

But that seems not only unthinkable, but callous and horrible. How can I move on, when there are people who will never move on, who will never have comfort? For them, life will never be simple or normal again. There are no retakes. Their class pictures are the last ones they’ll ever have. All of those children are forever captured at that moment of sweetness, youth and possibility.

This afternoon, the bus pulled up and my kids came bounding out.

I want to move on because I can.

I want to cry all the time, because they can’t.

Life is beautiful… if you stay in your bubble

For years, a decade maybe, my father has been hawking us to purchase a generator. He’s not a well man, emotionally, physically, financially; but the one thing he does have is a healthy dose of paranoia. I’ve been on the receiving end of countless battery packs, fire extinguishers, flares, safety kits, survival books (Want to know what to if a bear attacks?), walkie-talkies, flash lights, crank radios and all sort of protective paraphernalia. A few years ago, when moving him from one apartment to another, I found gas masks, a shotgun* and an actual oxygen machine. He had no idea how to use any it, but he just had to have it.

I don’t mind most of the stuff. I mean, who can argue band aids or batteries. I am just overly sensitive, and at the same time, desensitized to his obsessive paranoia. Hurricanes are coming. Terrorist attacks are coming. Okay. I believe as my grandmother did, “What will be, will be.” We were displaced for 10 days during Sandy.  I’ll admit, I eyed the house across the street with the humming generator, but we were all fine – a little cold and inconvenienced, but fine. Actually, I thought the whole thing was a good bonding experience.

My father chides me for my complacency. For the bubble I choose to inflate around myself and my family. In his mind, devastation is right around the corner. This week he was right. Devastation. So close, I feel it tighten my chest, and start to swell into a mass of overwhelming emotion every time I give the thought a second to grow.

So I’ve made a conscious effort to not watch the news or read the papers. I don’t know if this is wrong, but when a headline passes my eye or, like this morning, when I caught a snippet on the radio while driving to the gym, I just lose it. I can’t even think about it. I really can’t.

There are now big, gaping holes in my bubble, and it threatens to collapse and suffocate me. I have always been keenly aware of the fragility of life. There are already so many things to worry about when we put our children and ourselves out into the world. This is just too much, because really, there is no protection from random acts of insanity. There are measures, there are steps, there is protocol. It all helps, and provides some sense of safety. Really though, we are all so vulnerable and exposed, and that is beyond frightening. All I can do is frantically patch the holes with hope and denial, hug my family tight, and pray that I never hear a pop.

A generator can’t offer my family any real protection, so I just don’t have the energy to care.

bubbles

*After a huge battle with my father, the shotgun, along with a bunch of other stuff, was properly disposed of, but that’s another story.

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A Lost Child, a Crazy Mom and a Shot in the Heart*

Our appointment for flu shots at the Pediatrician had gone exactly as expected. I wound up restraining my howling two year-old, while grasping hands with my screaming five year-old and practically having to sit on my hysterical, flailing 7 year-old. As they each made breaks for the door, I just had to laugh at the hilarity of it all. I mean, this is what I do in a day – sit on my children as they beg for mercy.

Once the shot had successfully been administered and my middle son, Michael, finished his after-shock screams of indignation, I appeased their wounded egos and arms with a promised trip to the candy store. Amazing – the children who just moments ago, lay sprawled in misery, now jumped up and down with glee. “I guess you guys are feeling better now?” I joked.

“It didn’t even hurt.” Tyler, my oldest postured.

“Yeah. Didn’t hurt.” Julius, my youngest chorused, quickly forgetting that snot still dripped from his nose.

Michael had his arms crossed and still wasn’t talking.

“You guys are so brave.” They all looked up at me thrilled. Even Michael cracked a small smile. Honestly? Did they not remember the screaming hysteria? The horrified nurse? The arm wrestling? Is that all it took with boys? A thinly veiled compliment? A stroke of the ego? The answer was smiling up at me, times three.

We left the pediatrician’s office, but before we headed out for the sweet reward, I stopped at the office of another doctor located across the hall. I opened his office door and popped my head in to ask the receptionist a quick question while my boys ran up and down the short corridor. The conversation lasted maybe one minute. This was it, “Hi there. I needed a flu shot and was considering a new primary care doctor. Do you take United Health Care and are you accepting new patients? Great. I’ll call for an appointment.”

I popped my head back out and saw my two older children racing back and forth. The narrow, short hallway strip was about 25 feet long, end to end, with about three offices on each side and book-ended by a set of heavy double doors. In the front, the doors led to the street, and the back, to the parking lot. I looked left, then right. I quickly walked to the further end of the hallway, then to the other.

Small gurgles of panic began bubbling in my chest. “Uh, guys! Where’s Julius?” They looked at each other and shrugged. My heart thumped a little faster. Now I ran from one corner of the hall to the other. “Julius?” I called out, opening each of the few office doors, looking around, noting only baffled looking receptionists and people sitting and waiting. I ran back up and down the hallway helplessly.

“Julius?” I called, my voice rising an octave. “Jullius!” I could hear Michael and Tyler giggling in some distant world. I was on the verge of freaking out, but refused to give in to it. One of the receptionists from my pediatrician’s office came out and immediately noted my distress. I looked from one set of double doors to the other. “Stay here!” I ordered the boys and bolted for the front door.

The doors were heavy. Really heavy.  I was right there. They were right behind me. How? I hit the street and looked around. Nothing but a busy street. A really freaking busy street. Time slowed. I sharply felt the cool air sting my cheeks. I was biting my top lip, looking left to right, completely lost. Oh my God! Oh my God! Is this the moment? Is this where I lose my two year-old and never see him again? Is this really happening? Nothing around but cars and street. I was there, but it was like being paralyzed in the matrix. I raced from one end of the street to the other calling his name. I didn’t know what to do.

A woman across the street, adjacent from me, called out. “Are you looking for a little boy?”    
“Yes!” I shrieked. “YES!” It didn’t sound like my voice.

“I saw him walk that way.” She pointed toward the other corner.

What?? My brain screamed. You saw a two year-old walking alone down a street and you walked in the other direction??? But I had no time or any right to point fingers. I raced to the corner, stopped and looked up and down. Nothing. “Julius…” My voice was broken. I could barely call his name. As I was about to race down that block, the receptionist from my pediatrician came through the double doors with Julius in her arms.

“Oh my God!” I broke down in a million pieces as she handed me my baby, clutching him to me in a suffocating embrace. My hands were shaking. My body was shaking.  I sat down on the cement street rocking and crying into his curls.

“He was out back, playing in the parking lot. He’s fine.” She said, with just a hint of judgment that I didn’t begrudge her. I collected myself and my other boys from the office.

Finally, I had them all secured in the car, but I couldn’t move.
“Uh mom,” Tyler giggled, “you need to drive.”

“To the candy store!” Michael shouted happily.

“Yay!” Julius chimed.

It was nothing to them. Five minutes of their mother running crazy.

But I was stuck, my hands gripping the wheel tightly. When I think about what could’ve happened… I couldn’t even. I took a deep breath to calm myself. They may have taken a needle today, but I had a dose of reality. And no amount of candy could fix it.

*This was three years ago, going for flu shots again recently brought me back to my own shot in the heart. Yep. Still hurts.

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You’ll Always be My Baby

Today is Julius’ birthday. He is five. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Sorry, I had a moment there, but how is it possible that my youngest is five today? How is possible that my oldest is 10? And then there’s that 7 year-old in the middle. How did this all happen? Well, of course, I know how, but it was just a breath ago, that they were all little monkeys, hanging round my neck. Small bundles of baby mush snuggled in my arms. Big open mouth kisses on the cheek. Spit up everywhere. Cheerios everywhere. Words that were ‘almost’ words, that only I could understand.

And now my baby is five. Next year, we, uh, I mean he, starts Kindergarten. I can’t even pretend he’s a baby any more. Okay, I can and I do, but there’s no denying that my junk-food stealing, boobie-snatching rascal is growing up.

Growing up. Sigh. I just got him, and that was no easy feat. No one could ever accuse me of being a fertility goddess. I needed some help with Tyler. I needed more help with Michael. Julius, it seemed, would take a village.

So today, I want to thank that village for helping to bring my happiness to life…

  1. My mother, for just saying “Okay, if that’s what you want to do. I’ll be there to help,” when I told her my intentions to drag my other two children to a fertility doctor with me, for almost daily monitoring and shots.
  2. The other patients at the clinic, most of whom didn’t have one baby, let alone two, and had to sit there in the waiting room with me and my children.
  3. I guess I have to thank the fertility doctor, because I got my baby and that’s all that matters, but honestly, he was kind of an ass. The staff, on the other hand, was stellar.
  4. My faboo friend Heidi who came over and took the drugs from my shaky hands and expertly mixed them, and for leaving her night out at 11pm, to come and give me the big shot, the one my husband was so afraid to give me that he considered asking our contractor, who happened to be there at the time.
  5. My squeamish husband, who at first, had some reservations about having a third child – he was afraid it might be a girl! – but ultimately supported and stood by me through it all. Once convinced, he was all in. With baby Julius, as he is with our older boys, there couldn’t be a better dad. Okay, he could do better with bedtime, but besides that.
  6. My boys, not even two and four at the time, I schlepped them around, and they didn’t seem to mind if I was a hormonal, cranky mess. Probably wasn’t so different from my normal cranky, sleep-deprived mess.

After the shots, the drugs, the pregnancy, and a delivery, in which, I literally thought I might die, there is finally Julius. Ah Julius. Wild. Gorgeous. Funny. Mischievous. Loving. So big, such a baby. Now, here’s where I want to be poignant. I want to write words that capture the essence of my beautiful boy, but I’m staring at the screen, thinking of my little Tasmanian devil with tears streaming. I wanted him so bad. I felt the need in every aching bone in my body. So I thank my friends, family, random strangers, lady luck and both divine and scientific intervention for the gift that is him. He is wonder and magic. His happy face fills a room with energy, love and sparkling life. He completes our family. I could never capture his beauty. I can barely catch him to take a bath.

Two days old. Can he be any cuter?

Happy birthday my baby love, may you live happy and healthy till 110 and never leave me. Poo Poo Poo.

(Okay, I was kidding about that last part. You can leave when you’re 100, just like your brothers 😉 )

Always mommy's baby

Oh yeah.