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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lack Of Parenting Is A Crime

Is it just me, or are other's confused by the lack of parenting out there?

I am not referring to the "mistakes" many of us makes as parents. G-d knows I am not perfect and I can only guess as to what my children will resent me for when they are older. But the majority of my energy goes into raising kind, compassionate, considerate and all inclusive children.

And it certainly does take energy. Especially since each kid comes hard wired with their own specific personality, and some times their "nature" has to be altered with some positive nurturing.

My oldest was born with a very kind and considerate personality. With her, we work on patience and the ability to be content with what you have.

My second child was born, how can I say this gently, a complete kvetch, as mentioned here:

Here Comes Trouble and We Call Her Ro

We had to work on her, and she is still a work in progress, but she has come a loooooooooooooong way. She was also a born "hitter". I mean that literally. It amazed me how a child who did not yet go to school - so she did not pick it up from another child and did not pick it up from So, because So never hit, knew how to swing her hand so well. It is nature at it's best. But I am a zero tolerance Mommy, so she learned quickly.

Ate, by nature is mostly a marshmallow, so sweet. But he is also a typical, curious boy who gets into a lot of trouble. He is a born spitter. You heard me correctly. He learned early, that spit can be utilized as a weapon. He starts up with his sisters, the way most boys do. He pulls their hair and sticks his feet in their face and sits on them. But if you say the word "gate" to him, he will quickly behave. His time out takes place behind a gate that I put up in the threshold of my kitchen. He sees us (he is not isolated) but he can not join his sisters in the family room, and this makes him realize he needs to change his behavior. Which he does, until his next bout of misbehavior, of course.

Interestingly, by the way, Ro and Ate have never (I have never been informed) hit or spit on any child, other than a sibling. They have never been a problem at school or in other social gatherings. I imagine they take their frustration out at home.

I personally, never hit my kids. I use time -outs and a whole lot of talking, which takes patience and energy. And trust me - I do not retain a whole lot of energy, but this is where I am willing to muster up all I have, because it is extremely important to me.

I also appreciate, and welcome other parents to call me, if my child has done something to upset their child. A friend did call me to let me know that So was excluding her daughter. I had a talk with So about this and it has not been a problem since. However, it is hard to teach your kids to behave one way, when their peers are behaving the complete opposite to them.

It is hard for me to blog about specifics, because I imagine that someone reading my blog who knows me, may figure out who it is I am referring to, but I feel the need to bring this to the surface.

I do not completely blame a six year old for her or his bad behavior, but rather the parents.

As I mentioned, I am fully aware that some children are born with less than perfect natures, and if they misbehave, here and there, it can be chalked up to age and the fact that they are still learning and growing. If they are constantly misbehaving, then one of the following may need to be assessed...

A) The child has "behavioral problems" and needs to be assessed by professionals.
B) The parents are oblivious, and no one has mentioned, to them, the ill behavior of their child.
C) The parents are oblivious, the ill behavior has been mentioned, and they choose to ignore it.
D) The parents are not only, not oblivious, but actually influence the child's behavior with their own views and behavior.

In the case of one particular girl I know, who has leadership qualities, "D" is at play here. Leadership qualities can be a positive thing, however, this child is being molded into someone who cares more about superficial things and less about feelings.

How do I know this?

I know the school has spoken to this parent on more than one occasion, so they are not oblivious.
I know other parents who have mentioned the less than appreciated behavior of this child to the parents, so they are certainly not oblivious.
I have personally heard the following come out of the mother's mouth:
"Don't wear it like that, it looks nerdy..."
This will encourage their child to judge another on how she/he is dressed.

Also, after the child complained to the mother about, another child who was NOT acting unpleasant in any way, but just getting in the way by "intruding" in a game that she and two best friends were playing, Mom said, "So don't play with that child if you don't want to."
This explains why her child continues to exclude many children and furthermore, encourages her following of about three or four kids to do the same.

She also gets physical from time to time, and the behavior has not let up one bit.

Sometimes we make mistakes, when we try to encourage our own child's capabilities, just by the way we worded something.

I did this a couple of months back with So. She was feeling bad about something that happened at school, and I tried to appease her by telling her that, sometimes kids will point out the one thing you DID NOT know because they realize how smart you really are, and feel threatened by it. To which she responded, "so I am smarter than everyone?"

I realized my mistake immediately, and corrected it. I do want my kid to have a healthy self-esteem but I do not want her to have a sense of superiority.

Raising our kids takes a lot of balance. It is not easy. We will make mistakes along the way.

But not raising our kids at all, is not just a mistake. It is a crime.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What Was Done, Now What To Do

I got two kids out of the house today. So is on a trip with my local community center and Ro is having a play date with a friend. Ate is occupying himself with a slew of his sisters' toys as they are away and unsuspecting.


What to do tomorrow, is anybody's guess. But today, I was able to UNPACK!!! This is a record for me, as it usually takes me some serious recovery time after a 3 night 4 day get away, before I can look at my luggage. But what you don't look at, you trip over, so away it went.


Hun, who has been extremely busy has just informed me that tonight he is driving to Wisconsin because he made meetings with two dairy farms tomorrow. I realize I have mentioned in previous posts that he has a food manufacturing business, but failed to men
tion that this food item is actually, CHEESE.

As soon as he told me of his
business trip plans, my wheels started turning and I thought, "is there an indoor water park hotel around this area you are traveling to"? But he heard my wheels turning and responded, "YOU ARE NOT COMING". And by "you" he meant, the kids. So that's out for tomorrow's plans. If it was summer, I would so push it - and take the kids myself to a dairy farm. I always wanted to milk a cow.


Anyway, at least this past weekend went well. My k
ids slept well (after the kids from the room across from me, making a ruckus, were finally leashed back up and wrangled back to their room) that is.


We went swimming, visited the "Jelly Belly" jelly bean facto
ry (which my biggest kid of all, loved the most due to the fact that he was in factory heaven. Well it was more like "the warehouse" part, but he liked the shelving they had to hold their pallets of jelly beans. I had to hold him back and convince him, that just because he had a hair net in his pocket from the cheese factory, he could not just put it on and sneak into the jelly bean factory unnoticed.


My kids especially liked the sample bags of jelly beans they each received at the end of the tram ride factory warehouse tou
r. The hotel we returned to, probably did not like the dents they left in the walls as they bounced off from a sugar rush.



There was also the very thoughtful, kids magic show Saturday night, that the youth group we were with organized. If my two year old was not so enthralled with the show himself, I would have just left So and Ro in the room with all the other children and parents and gone off for my own R&R, but Hun and I stayed and subjected ourselves to the humility that is a children specific magician.

And Ate sat right under the magician's nose, watching wide eyed, until as part of his act, the magician made a balloon dog, threw it on the floor right in front of Ate and stomped on it, causing the obvious balloon POP! At this point, my traumatized two year old ran over and sat on my lap. And only a moment later I was traumatized as well, when So was called up to partake in a pathetic illusion trick, and I saw this...




I don't know what freaked me out more - the illusion of my six year old levitating, or that this guy was handling her.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Now what do I do?


Monday, December 29, 2008

Not Me! Monday (Vacation Could Not End Sooner)




It is not me who could both love and loathe vacation at the same time.

I did not take up Mom-in-law on her offer to have all three kids over on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings of this past week.

I was not then a terribly annoyed and ungrateful daughter-in-law when my Mom-in-law called Wednesday night to say the following,

"I just realized tomorrow is Christmas and Hun has off and is home, so you won't need me to take the kids in the morning..."

This did not totally kill my plans to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with Hun while kids were SUPPOSED to be occupied by Savta (Grandma).

I did not have to, then, spend the whole day Thursday, packing a crap load of unnecessary items for a three day get away while neglecting three extremely bored children as Hun decided to catch up on two months worth of sleep on the sofa.

It was not me who felt it was so dire to get myself a manicure on Friday morning that I ignored every sane persons' pleas to stay off the extremely icy and treacherous roads for unnecessary driving.

I certainly am not a person who thinks that getting to the "manicurist" does not fall into the category of UNNECESSARY driving.

I did not witness six separate accidents between my house and the manicurist, ten minutes away and decide a manicure is still worth risking my life for. It is not me who thought, if I die on the icy roads on the way home, at least my nails will look superb.

I did not spend the entire weekend getaway, dumping the kids on Hun whenever I could, because I felt he had to make up for some lost time - including the day long nap on the sofa Thursday.

I do not totally rock because I took the kids to the Jelly Belly, Jelly bean factory on Sunday and they got to eat an entire bag of jelly beans in one sitting. I did not then have to apologize to the hotel for the dents my kids left in the walls as they bounced off of them from a sugar rush.

It was not my biggest kid of all who loved the trip to the factory the most, because as a factory owner himself, he was in factory heaven.

I am not going to call Mom-in-law right now to see which days this week she would like to spend with her Grandchildren.

I certainly am not counting the days until the kids return to school as well as the number of gray hairs I am developing over their time off.

What are you not up too during vacation?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Return Of The Bag Lady

The good times never end when it comes to gift giving.

My Mom is notorious for her gift giving via "grab bag" She wraps these gifts in newspaper of course, throws it all in a reused shopping bag from one of her recent department store ventures, and lets the kids go crazy.

(By the way, my mom does not recycle. She does not use newspaper and old shopping bags because she is earth friendly. But she does save trees by spending less dollars.)

My Mom has been doing this so often, that the Grand kids have been coining her "The
Bag Lady".

First you need to know about my Mom's cedar closet. She has a lovely walk in closet in her basement, made of cedar, where she stores clothing among other things. And by other things, I mean a collection of gifts - games, toys, chachkes... anything she was able to purchase at a bargain price to store away in aforementioned closet for any upcoming, gift giving event.

Recently, due to the construction in her house, this closet has been unloaded and reloaded, bringing many forgotten toys to my Mother's attention. And by forgotten, I mean, call e-bay, we either have collectibles or the 70's and 80's just threw up some toys.

Well last night's Chanukah party at Savta's (Grandma) house, was the perfect opportunity for my mom
to glorify newspaper and unload some junk lovely collectibles from the cedar closet.

One of the kids pulled out a small package containing two baby bottles. You know those bottles that look like they contain milk and juice in it. And when you turn them upside down to simulate feeding a baby, the juice and milk disappear to simulate being suc
ked up by baby. Only these two bottles seemed a bit dried out, leaving behind some disturbing looking orange and white residue. But bottles they are, nonetheless.

Some other items that seemed harmless -

- A paddle ball that will either strangle Ate or severely whack him in the eye at som
e point.

- Some clay that may or may not be dried out and may or may not be toxic. It's a wait and s
ee on that, I guess.

- Some erasers in the shape of fruit, encased in packaging that claims, "It can fit on top of pencil". Only there is n
o hole in the eraser for said pencil to fit into. I guess you need to poke one yourself.

And my favorite...

- The broken robot.

That would be funny enough, but then I noticed more when I began to study the packaging.





The first thing I noticed, in the upper left corner, "Filled with Chicklets gum". Do they even sell chicklets gum anymore. And where is this gum. I don't see any gum, do you? And why would my Mom by a robot with chicklets gum. I don't think chicklets fall into the category of "kosher".


And then I saw some other oddities -


The whole left side of the back of the packaging is covered with scotch tape. And furthermore, hard to see in the picture, but I assure you, it's there is the date of packaging - 1981.

1981???

Seriously? I was six when my mom purchased this chicklet filled robot, the same age that So is now. And my older brother, D. he was 10 in 1981.

So my theory - D. stole the chicklets and tried to cover his tracks by taping the packaging back up. Well his cover is blown now........... 27 friggin' years later. All that's left is an empty, one armed, head fell off two times, robot.......thing. The thing is so beaten up and used, probably couldn't even sell it on e-bay.

My Mom may as well be "The Bag Lady" , because real newspaper wearing "bag ladies" are pretty much carrying around the same crap in their reused shopping bags.

Still, I never want this Mamma loving, tradition to end.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

When Gift Giving Goes All Wrong And It's All Right

Who knew that gift giving could be so complicated?

For the past two days, So has been the only one of my three kids inquiring about whether or not she would be receiving a "REAL" present this Chanukah. When she says "REAL" she is referring to the tradition in our family that has each of the kids receiving one main present from Mommy and Aba (Dad), on any given night, while the other eight nights has them receiving ...odds and ends. These "odds and ends" would be chocolate coins, plastic dreidels filled with jellybeans, freshly laundered pajamas....stocking stuffers, if you will.

The "REAL" gift can show up on any random night, but I always give all three of the kids their main gift on the same night, together. This is where things got complicated. It seems Ro's gift, the one I purchased this past summer during Target's Super Toy Sale, went missing. I had it in a room in the basement, and it is no where to be found.

Whenever So questioned her impending gift (so annoying) I had to explain that she would not receive it until I located Ro's gift. She went on and on, even after receiving new polly pockets just last week as a "you were so brave to go through surgery, and now I have to get your two younger siblings stupid gifts as well so they won't be jealous" ....gift. But I just couldn't find the damn present and I needed to give out the gifts last night, because we are going away for the duration of Chanukah.

I thought maybe my Mother mistook the gift as some of her crap that she has been storing in my house and thus took it over to her house as she was moving stuff back. But she looked in her house, to no avail. And then she offered up a different gift in the meantime, suggesting that the original gift, a V-tech learning system, will hopefully show up in time for Ro's birthday in February.

"How about, Dunk The Ducks?"

Huh, what is that?

It is apparently some carnival game that makes noise and you need to dunk the ducks.

This game sounds
A. Annoying
B. Boring
C. Like it lacks substance
D. All of the above

I will go with "D" on this one, and yet I will take my mother up on her offer because I am sick and tired of So's incessant kvetching. Thank G-d they left her vocal chords intact when she had her tonsils removed.

But the gift showed up too late last night, so I promised them they would all get the gifts this morning. Which I guess is so apropos on the morning of December 25th. Only we lack the Christmas tree. We do have lovely Christmas pajamas though.

And this morning, Ate received his 45 piece emergency vehicle set, at which point he immediately took the fire truck, ambulance and police car, and left the room leaving the other 42 miniature pieces scattered on the floor, causing my bare feet many strange indentations. But Ate was happy.

So received a piano, keyboard with many buttons to create a multitude of sound effects that will at some point push me to the brink of insanity. But I promised her last year, when Ate happened to be leaning over her previous keyboard, coincidentally as puke rained forth from his mouth, that I would get her a new one. Although I don't think it was the vomit that broke the piano, but rather the water that I had to pour over the damn thing to clean it out.

I began to worry when the piano would not work after I placed 4 brand new AA batteries inside. First the smoke detector, now my piano, I have no luck with brand new batteries. But I guess the piano just needed time to warm up. After all, it had been sitting in the back of my van for over a week. And So was happy.

And now it was Ro's turn. We gave her the lovely "Dunk The Duck" gift, which in retrospect I maybe should have looked at before hand, and her response...

"Iiiiiiii dooooooooon't liiiiiiiike thiiiiiiis."

Ohh look I said, it will be so fun. Let's see how we can dunk the ducks. And then I looked at it.

They should call this thing "Shoot The Ducks" because that is exactly what you need to do. And I am now looking at the toy gun that I swore would never make it into my house. Here it is....IN MY HOUSE!!!

So what gets a kid very interested in a toy that two seconds prior, they hated?

When Mommy says, "You know, I don't really like guns, maybe we should get you a different present some other day."

Me and my big mouth...

Now she wants the toy. So we put 4 AA batteries in the duck part. Of all the stinkin' batteries that work on the first shot...dang it. And then we put 2 AAA batteries in the gun so it can make a very pleasant shooting sound effect. Damn - those batteries work also. But then we realize the duck part only semi-works.

It is literally like the carnival game, complete with annoying carnival music and voice of "Booth Man" yelling, "Step right up" and "Good shot". The only part that doesn't work, the whole point of the game, is the belt the ducks are on that is supposed to move them around as you shoot and dunk them when you make the target.

So I explained to Ro that the game was broken, and we would have to get her a different one.

And she kindly reminded me, that the gun still works.

And off she went, shooting her pistol, complete with sounds of shots fired. And Ro was happy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

EXCITEMENT! EXCITEMENT!

Today has just been Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!!!

And there is no sarcastic tone to be derived here.

First off, after one year and four months of hosting my parents in my home while their house was under construction, THEY ARE MOVING OUT!!!

The movers, who were supposed to be here yesterday, but delayed due to crappy weather, have arrived today. Albeit, they arrived with two OPEN pick up trucks as sleet rains down,(guess Dad should have done his research when he ordered the cheapo movers). But, they are here nonetheless. I almost don't care that they are bringing black slush into my house and spreading the black slush, movin' out cheer all over my light colored carpet. This is the best Chanukah present EVER!!!

And another great present, will be the carpet cleaners my parents will send here in the spring.

But, I am sure I will blog more about this tomorrow, because some more excitement to report today -

My Mom-in-law, aka Savta, took the kids to her house for the entire morning. Everyone needs a Savta every so often.

Furthermore -

My husband, who I have barely seen the last two months and have not seen at all this past week, called with the news.

He passed!!!

Passed what, you ask?

For two months, Hun has been preparing for an audit. Not as in the IRS, but an audit that one food manufacturing company does to another when they are purchasing food product from that company to utilize as ingredients in their own company. It is a myriad of checks, to make sure that you are following regulations that assure them your product is safe, blah, blah, blah.

Fore those of you who work in the Health Care business and know what OSHA is, it is sort of like that. So much preparation is needed, that I have pretty much been a single parent for two months, give or take.

Last night Hun did not get home until after 10:00 PM and he was already gone by 5:00 AM. I did not hear him leave, but I looked over and my husband had been replaced by one six year old who is milking her tonsillectomy recovery for all it's worth. That was the last night So, I am locking my door tonight.

So Hun just called that the audit went well, and he should be able to leave work by 3:00. This is GREAT, because - get ready for more excitement

My dad is taking us all out to eat tonight. Yay, I don't have to cook.

And I used this as leverage to get all my kids to nap, so besides the annoying movers, my house is quiet. I am gettin' on my treadmill and taking a nice looooooooong shower.

Exciting right?

I KNOW!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Optimistic, Sporty Tuesday

I should start out every Tuesday on a more positive note. So let me acknowledge all my new blog friends. I love watching my little tracking device ascend from over 163 hits yesterday.

Also, thank you to the friend and daughter, friend of So, who came over to personally deliver a homemade picture card made by friend of So. That was mighty nice and thoughtful.

Now that I have been somewhat posi
tive and productive.

I HATE TUESDAYS!!!

I went to sleep 8:20 last night, feeling sick and expecting a migraine. I would have gone to sleep earlier, but Hun did not make it home until 7:45 and we still had to light the Chanukah candles and get the girls to sleep...

And yet I still woke up tired and migrainy (that is not a word, but who cares). And, it's carpool day for me, because So's school still has this
one last day before vacation. And what sucks, besides the "favorable" weather, I have to get up and get dressed and go out to do carpool, even though So is not going to school and my other two started vacay already. And at 7:20, they are all still asleep (forget one day's worth of oil burning for eight, my kids are all still asleep, that is a MIRACLE). So I should be vertical too. Dang it.

So I drag me and my migraine out of bed and find that only 3 out of five kids will be in carpool today, which makes things a little easier
(only 2 stops). And then I am kind of disappointed, because I don't even need to make use of my new seat belt extenders. YAY!!! I got seat belt extenders.

Of course, while taking my carpool, I distracted myself with my radio, as I usually do. Only this time, I was listening to a lot of talk about the Bears win last night.
GO BEARS!!!

And I began to think about how I a
m one of those rare breeds of chick, who fall into the sports loving category. I have always been a sports fan, playing and watching. Now a days there is probably a little more watching, a little less playing on my part.

I am also die hard Chicago. So Cubs and Bears, a little Blackhawks and Bulls (although every time I watch the sad and pathetic Bulls, I just want to relive the 90's). And even though I am a Cubs fan, I wear a White Sox hat. But, that is because White Sox colors go better with my clothes. I guess there is still some "girly girl" in me yet.

The odd thing is, I find that most girls who are into sports, are married to guys who are extreme sports fanatics as well, and my Hun just does not fall into that category of guys. He is one of five boys and not one of them is a true sports fan. Go figure. I am not complaining though. Because when I wanna watch some other television program when a sports game is on, there is no one I have to fight with over the remote. Yay, that!

I would say Hun is more into....Business. One can probably find him on his laptop or CRACKberry Blackberry, conducting.....Business. Altho
ugh, he has come to realize the importance of being on top of the latest sports hoopla, as it relates to business associates and "water cooler" talk, so he gets his info from me.

I wish I could say, if Hun had a specific love affair with any football team, that it was in some warm location, like Miami, or Tampa...(like a friend of mine, who used that to her advantage ;-) However, Hun would probably choose the Green Bay packers just to screw with his
Chicago wife.

Hun's factory used to be located in Green Bay, and frankly, that is all that exists out there - factories, bars and Packers. Hun has not one, but two Packers sweatshirts, not even Jersey's, just sweatshirts. Why? Because, when he got cold at his factory in Green Bay, that is ALL he could find to purchase. I think, at this point, it is sacrilegious, and he needs to retire those sweatshirts. If I was dieing of hypothermia and had nothing else, I still would not put those things on.

But, Hun does appreciate my love for some Chic
ago sports. He took me to a Cubs game for our Anniversary this last September, when the Cubs were doing great. The operative word there - "were". To my dear Chicago sports teams. It is not okay to take it so close to the end, and then just CRAP out. That goes to for you too Bears. You need to actually WIN the Superbowl.

And I will leave this post, hoping that the Bears can pull it off this year. (That's positive thinking) But just a reminder: With baseball season just 4 months away, you will be just a distant memory if you don't and I will be enjoying some much needed warmer weather.

Something like this:


Ooh, I look so warm.....and so tan!

Here's to my Chicago sports teams!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me! Monday - Hell Of A Week




It's not me who had a hell of a week.

If there is someone who can not remember a thing that happened before Thursday, that person is certainly not me.

I was not a nervous wreck all week over So's recent tonsil surgery.

This anxiety of mine did not take the joy out of realizing new Ate"isms".

Some of my two year old's genius comments -

...telling the 50 something year old janitor at our local community center, after he unlocked the door and opened the light of the virus infested gently disinfected "baby gym" for us, "Thank you YOUNG MAN".

...referring to a really, really old bag of brown sugar as, "DEAD" because it was so hard he could not leave an indentation when he poked at it.

...telling his two sisters who were showering that he could "see their penis" and immediately offering them a lesson in what one actually looks like.

It is not my two year old son who needs lessons in biology and humility.

It is not me who actually had the presence of mind to think ahead enough to stock up on Wednesday, of all things crappy yummy and post tonsillectomy edible, such as, pudding, jello, whip cream, ice cream, and popsicles, in preparation of So's return home from surgery on Thursday.

It is not the SAME me who then had to run out after six hours of an emotionally draining Thursday morning to my local supermarket because I may or may not have had the presence of mind to actually get LIQUID Tylenol for So when I stocked up on all the aforementioned crap the day before.

Of course, Murphy's Law would not have me wandering around a supermarket, a few days before holidays, the day before a weekend, and a few hours before an impending, treacherous, ice and snow storm, because I kept thinking of more items I should maybe purchase besides the Tylenol. I was not then forced to choose a check out lane that stretched the "least" up the food aisles, taking a chance on how many people ahead of me would have problems with debit cards and scanning failures.

It did not finally occur to me after two months of the most annoying chirping sounds, that I might want to consider changing the batteries in five smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

This epiphany of mine was not in preparation of the current holiday that has us lighting a multitude of flimsy candles every night for eight nights straight.

That actually would be the only reason if some (parental type) people living in my house did not leave the toaster oven turned all the way up on broil instead of toast causing flames to shoot out of two pieces of bread.

By the way, why does one little candle cause my smoke detectors to emit the nastiest shrieking sound, but smoke billowing through my kitchen does not register for over five minutes. This is not at all disconcerting.

And why, as I write this is the smoke detector right outside my bedroom, of course, still chirping after a second attempt at installing a brand new battery.

It is not the insanity inducing, sounds of failing smoke detectors, -20 degree windchills, snow and my oldest child's raw and slowly healing throat that has me throwing my hands up in the air and offering up ice cream for breakfast, jello for lunch and popsicles for dinner to everyone.


Well, no one says it has to be a "Hell of a Week" for everybody.

What kind of week was it for all of you?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Brave, Brave So!

My daughter is such a trooper. And trust me, I am not saying this only because she is MY daughter. Because, believe you, me, if this was Ro who had to have her tonsils removed, it would have been a whole other ballgame.

So, since birth, has always been pretty
brave and in general, a non-kvetcher. In fact, I never would have known she had chronically enlarged tonsils, if I did not discover it on my own, because the feeling of golf-balls in back of the throat was the only feeling she ever really knew. So it was probably never an "abnormal" sensation for her.


WARNING: ONE GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW (MAY BE DISTURBING)




Did you catch it? The Tonsils on either side of her uvula, blocking any view of the back of her throat. And this picture does not even capture them at their worse. According to the lovely, amazing Doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. M. (not, absolutely not, Dr. G.) those babies and the corresponding adenoids he removed were in fact, HUGE. He said I would notice a difference right away in her breathing. He was right. She was so quiet, it was eerie. I found myself placing my hand on her chest a few times just to make sure she was breathing.

I lack an "after" picture to spare my baby of the required opening of the mouth, jam camera in there... But here are some moments at the hospital.




This is pre-op, after So received her "giggle juice" (I would have liked some "giggle juice" as well, but the nurses weren't having it). This special "juice" is also known as "Versed" a lovely drug that not only relaxes you, but induces interesting amnesia. I once, as a nursing student, attended a Colonoscopy. The patient received Versed and was awake, but extremely relaxed and forgetful. He was laying on the table with a very large cable with camera inching its way up his butt through his colon, displaying beautiful images on a screen in front of him, and yet, he kept asking when the procedure was going to begin. GREAT drug.

Back to So, she was not nervous at all, unlike Mom and Dad of course. The worst part for us, was when they wheeled her away to the operating room. Waiting is a b*!#@.




This was just a moment after she arrived into recovery. She came in on her bed and then we wrapped her up in some freshly toasted blankets and I just held her swaddled across my chest. It totally brought me back to the day she was born, when I held my first born child, swaddled across my chest for the very first time. Only now there is a bit more than 9 pounds, six ounces of her.





And of course, once she came out of her grogginess, she asked for THE ice cream. She had some, Sierra Mist, vanilla ice cream and orange and grape popsicles, which I thought I would for sure see again in another form, in the car on the way home. I am proud to say, NO PUKE! I left the hospital with 5 emesis basins and made Hun sit in back of the car with her, in case. But, she conked out, and no puke. YAY!!

I am so happy this whole thing is behind us. But, in regard to the fact that we HAD to go through this, it was an excellent experience. And anyone who needs a pediatric ENT in the Chicagoland area, I would HIGHLY recommend Dr. M. He is listed as the top Doctor in his field in the very respected "Chicago" magazine annual top Doctors issue.

So did wonderfully, and she is being "rewarded" with plenty of jello with whip cream, ice cream, popsicles, pudding, chicken noodle soup and Tylenol. And apparently, so are her two younger siblings (except for the Tylenol, of course).

I love you my dear So. Feel better soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SO TONSIL UPDATE

Today is surgery day.

I am spending my time at So's side while she is in the hospital undergoing her tonsillectomy.

Keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Hopefully, with G-d's help, all will go smoothly and she will recover well.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Discoveries

I have recently made a few "discoveries" and what do you know? It makes for really great mundane blogging material.

1. I just became aware of the fact that my, almost five year old Ro and my two year old Ate officially have the same shoe size and Ro weighs only two pounds more than Ate.

2. Ugly, damaging, water stains on one's family room ceiling does not go away just by ignoring it.

3. Garage doors begin to work again after two weeks of not working when your husband finally takes a look at it.

4. Snow is not my friend. (Okay, this one is not such a RECENT discovery, but it leads into number 5.)

5. When your six year old disobeys you, it just may be a really good thing that she did.
I will elaborate on this one.

Yesterday, Tuesday (aka, the most putrid day of the week for me, due to the carpool and six treks in and out of the house with various kids that have to be bundled, unbundled and bundled and...), started out cold, but snowless.

I took So's carpool, which actually went pretty well and then returned home for Ro and Ate. After a three week search, I finally had some great, "Kamik" boots to try on Ate, but he was not having it. This meant I would have to carry him over icy spots, which I have all the energy in the world for. I finally got them to school and after Ate refused to allow me to remove all his winter attire (which took me a good twenty minutes to get on him in the first place) I just walked him into his room, and left the undressing task to his teacher.

On my way out, the snow was already beginning to fall and "they" (my local weather experts) estimated it would fall all day and night bringing 3-5 inches.

I had to return to the little kids school to pick up Ate at 12:00, while Ro would remain until 2:00, for her tumbling class. Ate was already exhausted and very nap ready at 12:00, but I had to keep him awake so he could escort me at 2:00 to pick up Ro. And at 1:30, I began the rebundling of a very overtired Ate, who kept removing every item I was getting on him. However, I convinced him to get his new boots on by telling him he could only come with me to get Ro if he wore the boots. This was a total lie, of course, because I HAD to take him, since no one so generously offered to watch him in my house.

Anyway, when I arrived home with Ate and Ro after 2:00 and got them in to nap, the snow was quite prominent and this is when I made the decision to have So skip her gymnastics class. Usually, on Tuesdays, instead of coming home on her regular bus which usually drops her off shortly after 4:30, she goes home with friend E. on a different bus, and E.'s mom takes them to gymnastics, and I pick them up at 5:45. But yesterday, I could not imagine how I would find the energy to drive in a significant snowfall, yet again, and so I called So's school and had them get the message to her that she needed to come home on her regular bus.

At 4:00, I had a message playing on my phone, that So's bus would be 25-30 minutes late. I expected this, because of the snow. I thought, poor So, she won't get home from school until 5:00 now. But at about 4:30, I received a call from a friend. It was E.'s mom.

"Guess who I have? So is here with E., what do you want me to do?"

"What, that child (yes we refer to our children in third person when we are none too happy) why is she there?"

"I asked her, and So said that the teacher DID give her the message that she should go home on her regular bus, but So DECIDED the teacher is wrong."

Well since she is there already, she may as well go to gymnastics. I just can't believe I have to go out now at 5:45 and get her.

Well my very lovely friend, E.'s mom, who was planning on attending the gymnastics class yesterday to watch E. since it was the last class of this session, offered to go 8 blocks out of her way in the snow storm to bring So home. That is a very kind friend. (Thanks again A.)

The "punchline" of this story - drum roll please..........

So's regular bus, the one I called up the school to tell her to get her little tushy on so she could come straight home, did not arrive until 6:15 pm. This was a whole hour and 45 minutes later than usual. In fact, E.'s mom, passed the bus AFTER she dropped off So at my house when gymnastics was done.

And I still had to discipline So for disobeying me. But I could not be too hard on her, because ultimately, her disobedience gave her another gymnastics class, and kept her from the ill circumstances that some other kids had to fare yesterday.

So I guess I discovered irony as well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Unfortunate, Too Self-Sacrificing, Encouraging Excessive Greediness From An Ungrateful Boy, Tree

story by shel silverstein
music by henry mancini & composed by francis lai
"The Giving Tree" By Shel Silverstein


I love Shel Silverstein, but I hate the misconception that people have had for years about this book. I have only recently been reminded of my disdain for the unnecessary controversy surrounding this book when a friend of mine said,

"I loooooooooove "The Giving Tree" and I think it has such a wonderful moral to teach children..." I wanted to strangle her.

But this story actually begins when I was in ninth grade. Allow me to elaborate.

I was not a very productive student. Yes, I am saying it now - I was not studious and I was not (in general) a straight "A" student. However, my lack of superior grades were not related at all to my level of intelligence. On the contrary, my mother could never understand why I was not bringing home A's and B's (in most subjects), because she recognized that I was extremely bright and capable, and always told me so. But, I just did not care enough to work for it. There was no motivation on my part, UNLESS, I had a teacher who made it interesting for me, or it was a subject I was interested in. I was never out to prove anything, (I was secure in my intelligence) and I had no plans to attend an Ivy League University, so may as well have fun in school.

In spite of my disinterest in most subjects, especially Hebrew subjects, I somehow managed to make it into Honors English. I am a "Liberal Arts" girl. Science and art would be my forte`. So Math, English Literature, English Composition, and Science were the subjects that brought my grade average up, and gave me the A's. But it was English Composition that I loved the most. Since 6th grade, teachers always made a point of specifically recognizing my writing, and this recognition would propel me further in this subject.

Throughout school my grammar, spelling (without the use of the non-existent spell check), vocabulary and composition were impeccable. (I can't say the same now, as I am a bit rusty with the writing. In fact, I can't even remember when punctuation comes before the quotation marks and when it comes after.) So when it came to my writing, I became one of those students who would cry "foul" when I didn't get an A. Which actually never happened, until "The Giving Tree" became the topic of this one specific writing assignment.

Mrs. E., our ninth grade teacher walked in one day with a green covered book under her arm. She took her place in the front of the class and said,
"I have a book I want to read to you. It is my favorite book. I love the lesson this book teaches us and I want you to pay close attention."

And with that, she proceeded to read the book.

Now I was already familiar with Shel Silverstein's writings. I had two of his poetry books in my collection - "Where The Sidewalk Ends" and "A Light In The Attic", although I had yet to encounter "The Giving Tree". I knew Shel S. to be a cynical and satirical writer, often trying to get a message across by writing it in the opposite, more profane sort of way. In fact, Shel S. did not start out as a children's writer, he didn't even think he could write for children. He did write for Playboy, definitely not child friendly. He also wrote a book called "Shelby's ABZ Book" geared for adults. It was a mock-children's book capturing his renowned cynicism by giving awful advice to readers. Such as, "Mommy loves the baby, more than she loves you".

One of my favorite poems of his was "Little Abigail And The Beautiful Pony" It was from the poetry collections "A Light In The Attic". It was about a girl who saw a pony and wanted it so badly, she tried to manipulate her parents. She kept saying, "I want that pony, I have to have the pony..." Her parents tried to appease her with other things, such as ice cream. But then she said, "If I don't get that pony, I will just die."

And do you know what happened at the end of this CHILDREN'S poem? Her parents did not get her the pony and she DID die. My favorite part comes, though, at the bottom of the page where Shel writes, "If your parents don't get you what you want, this is a good story to share with them". The point - you need to learn from his backwards humor that this child was a selfish, self- absorbed child and the parent's were in fact right to stick their ground, even though she died.

And "The Giving Tree", not much different.

After Mrs. E. finished reading the book, she so "brilliantly" shared her feelings to a class of 27 girls.
"The tree is so "selfless" and so "giving" and so "sharing". We can learn from the tree how to be so "selfless" and so "giving" and so "sharing". Oh, and the little boy, gave the tree his friendship... blah, blah blah... Now your assignment is to go home and write what YOU think this story teaches us."

REALLY? Now what do you think 26 out of 27 girls in this class who have not been taught that they have a mind of their own and should maybe consider expressing their OWN opinions (if they have any left after the teacher just brainwashed them and influenced them with her own superfluous opinions) are going to write in this assignment? And who is this 27th girl? It's me, the, thinks outside the box, non-conformist...

So I write - how we do in fact learn great lessons from the tree and the boy. But as usual, Shel's satirical writing is usually meant to teach us the opposite of what we may immediately see.

So the boy ONLY comes back to the tree offering friendship, when he wants something. His friendship is certainly not unconditional, which makes him greedy and selfish. And the tree is not self-less, but rather, self-sacrificing. Which in my opinion is not okay for two reasons.
1. It tells the boy that his behavior is okay, which by far, it is not.
2. It is not okay to be self-sacrificing to the point that you become used up and there is nothing left of you.
In addition to this, the tree can not find contentment alone, or happiness within himself, but is dependent on the "friendship" of a greedy boy. This means to me, that the tree lacks self-worth.

In fact this whole story reminds me of the abused wife or girlfriend. The guy already seeks out a woman who lacks self-worth because this makes her vulnerable, and makes it easy for him to feel more powerful as he controls her. She doesn't want him to leave her, even though he is abusive because then she will be alone, and her lack of self-worth prevents her from believing she deserves or could achieve anything better than this treatment. And the abuser only shows kindness or "friendship" when he wants something from the abused. And he uses her up until there is nothing left of her.

We could apply the lessons in this book to all our lives in some way or another.
For instance:
It is not healthy to be a parent that is so self-sacrificing, that we become a used up rag. It teaches our children to lack respect and have a constant sense of entitlement, when we never say "no" to them. And we as parents, mothers, can allow ourselves to do FOR ourselves. And we can find contentment in what we can do for ourselves (in addition to the contentment we feel knowing we can do for those who are dependent on us).

But, one need not be a parent, to relate to this story in some way.

I was literally the only one out of 27 students who expressed a very different opinion on this story by Shel Silverstein. And even though there was not one grammar mistake, not one spelling faux pas, it was the first (and last) time I ever received a "C" on a writing assignment. And I will never forget the lesson I learned from that grade. There are those, who can not look outside themselves, Mrs. E. was one of them. She never really wanted OUR opinions to begin with. She just wanted us to validate her own thwarted ideas. But I am not that "self-sacrificing".

For those of you who never read the book, I implore you, click the link above and let me know what you think. I welcome disagreeing opinions as well. So don't be shy.


Not Me! Monday - It's All About The Food!



This entire last week of mine, did not entirely revolve around food.

I did not have a Doctor's appointment in the beginning of the week and literally cover my eyes when I stood on the scale. Why would I need to do that when I would not have been able to see the number read out anyway, since it is located at my feet and I can no longer see my feet.

I did not respond with a very surprised, "REALLY?" when the Doctor came in and said my weight gain is good and right on track.

I am not conducting a study to prove that "eating for two" only refers to these two things growing on my chest, and in ADDITION to those, I am growing a baby. So I must be eating for four?

I did not stop after my Dr's appointment, once again, to a closely located restaurant so I could stuff my face. While waiting for my food, I was not transfixed on an odd accident that took place right across the street, causing one car to hit a pole, and another car carrying a u-haul to plow into two parked cars in a Walgreens parking lot. It was not after I drove away with my FOOD, careful to avoid the fire trucks, police cars and ambulance that I was reminded I am a nurse, and maybe should have gone to see if I could have helped. I did not forget this vital piece of information because the power of food is overwhelming.

While I still crave for more comments on my blog, I would never take for granted that somehow, this week my Facebook statuses stati???? invited between 25 and 41 comments. These Facebook stati???? were absolutely, not at all about tater tots and Oreos, among other food items.

I have not been buying out my local supermarket of all things sweet and all things salty just so I can keep a stockpile in my house of all possible craving relieving food items in case a winter storm shows up stranding us in our home.

I have not become so clich`e, that I have been eating five dill pickles in one sitting and half a jar of olives. My mouth has not JUST begun to salivate, that is so gross.

I did not just wolf down a hamburger and fries in under ten minutes, and if I did, I certainly did not make that little bit of information, my Facebook status tonight, because I can not possibly be that pathetic.

I do not feel a little better now that my husband has shared with me some vital information from the book "A Child Is Born" (which he re-reads every time I am pregnant to remind himself that Mommy has a reason for being a moody, food hording wench). He did not take the time to read and let me know that at this point in pregnancy, a baby is doubling itself in size in about one weeks time.

Really, how do I explain every other week I was stuffing my face?

I do not feel like sleeping with a bag of mesquite crunchers under my pillow and installing a freezer in my bedroom so I do not lose any valuable ice cream time.

I am not going to be kicking myself in a few months when I have gained 40 lbs and realize I am NOT, however, DELIVERING a 40 pound baby. Seriously, can the baby not take the other 32 pounds with it on the way out.

It is NOT ME, who is lovin' me some food.

What are you not doing, not loving and not eating right now?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Imagination!

My kids have always been pretty animated kids. You never know what to expect from them. Of course, like many mothers, I think they are the funniest human beings on the face of the earth. And they are constantly entertaining me, probably not consciously on their part. But, they not only make me laugh, they sometimes make me cry.

What makes me laugh?






This little boy who amuses himself and me by spontaneously wrapping freshly laundered t-shirts, undershirts, and briefs around his head. He looks like he is about to trek through the desert.





Seriously, those "Sand Troopers" out of "Star Wars".


And what brings me joy?



All the beautiful pictures So can make on the first piece of material she finds. Sometimes it's a paper plate, an old envelope, a leaf... This day, a paper towel becomes adorned with her image of a "Tooth Fairy".


And what makes me cry?



When my six year old is so sad that everyone around her is loosing teeth and she is not, that she resorts to writing a letter to the tooth fairy on the back of that paper towel.

Some six year old kids are writing to Santa Clause this time of year, my beautiful So just wants one thing and one thing only - to loose some teeth. And who else can help with that, if not the tooth fairy?

Unless I punch her in the mouth, as one of my well intentioned friends suggested, there is nothing I can do but reassure her that her days of loosing teeth will come. I have tried to appease her in every way I could possibly imagine, but nothing I say seems to help.

Anyone have any suggestions, as to how I can lessen her sadness until her day comes?

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Am Freeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sara, this one is just for you







This,
I HATE, and I say it, because I am not afraid of any libel suit. Bring it on!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Target_logo.svg


This, I LOVE!!!!!
It is not like I have all the time in the world on a Friday, to blog. But I needed a place to vent.

I am officially Osco free. I don't know why I left my last two prescriptions there in the first place.

I called in two prescriptions this morning, and the "ready" time given to me was 12:00 pm. I was there after 12:30 and told them my name, thinking the prescriptions would be on the rack, all ready to be picked up. Why do I give them that much credit? This one lady looks it up on the computer, and without saying a word, no
"I am sorry, it is not ready, let me get it now."

She just walks off.

And I see her opening boxes and counting out pills, etc...

So she walks back over to me, still without the pills because she has pawned it off on some other 21 year old pharmacist, and what doe she say to me?

"I am sorry, they are being finished up, please excuse our sorry, pathetic customer service and we apologize profusely."

Uhhhh, no, in my wildest dreams, they would actually say that. What she really said,
"Please move down and he will bring your prescription when it's ready."

So I still kept my mouth shut at this point. And he brought the prescription over and the first lady rang me up, and then I said,
"Now I would like you to transfer the rest of these two prescriptions over to Target."

"That is not how we usually do it."

"Well that is how you WILL do it, just like the other five times I had to tell you to transfer prescriptions because you didn't bother to call me and let me know they weren't in stock before I drove down here."

"Well usually you have to have the Target pharmacy call us to get the prescription..."

"Oh, I need to have the lovely Target people go out of the way to make a phone call, to you, to get a prescription that you screwed up, I don't think so. I have watched you make the call before, and I am sure you can do it again."

"Okay, we will call and transfer the prescription..."

I stand there for a minute while this person called a pharmacist is about to move on to something else (at this point, no other customer has arrived) and I say,

"I don't think you understand, I would like you to make the phone call to the other store, while I am here, so I know it is done."

(Do you think I have enough faith in you to go home and just expect this transfer to come to fruition)

So of course she pawns the phone call off onto that other, 21 year old pharmacist.

I did watch him try to call, and the Target pharmacist had stepped out for a minute and would have to call him back. So he walks over to me and says,
"They are going to call back, so (motioning me over to the wall) if you'd kindly wait a few minutes"

C'mon, you and I both know that the word "few" can not be guaranteed, so I say
"Why don't I go now and, you call me at home to let me know it was taken care of."

"Oh, you want, we should CALL you?"

"YEUUUUUUUUUUH"

I realize, I have been asking for A LOT, but that would be a good idea.

Oh, and as I was leaving, Sara, I saw your BIL, which totally made me think of you and your fancy for Target. You should really tell him to use Target.

I give it less than two years and Jewel/Osco, will be Jewel/CVS, or Target will just take over the entire Strip Mall.

And by the way, if you give yourself a 3 hour window to fill a prescription( that ultimately took you four minutes to get together), and it is not filled in well over three hours, that is a problem. So the next time I call your automated refill hot line (which is hopefully never) I expect to hear prompts like this"

"Welcome to 24 hour Osco at Jewel. We are a crappy pharmacy who can not fill a prescription in a timely manner. If you would still like to fill a prescription with us, please press 1.
If you would like to cut our hearts out with a dagger and feed it to your dog, please press 2."

I feel better now.






If You See Me Coming With Bags, Don't Stand Behind Me

It is true what they say, Shopping trips do make for great blogging material.

One of the reasons I posted pics of my centerpieces yesterday, was specifically to precede what I would blog about today. The joy of making returns.

I first ran to "Target" to utilize five minutes I had before I needed to pick up Ro and Ate who were about 8 blocks away. This went pretty smoothly. I returned all 12 of the salad sized plates I used for the reception's cocktail table centerpieces. While some might say this is unethical, since they were actually used (albeit, not for food), I say it is more ethical to return money to a non-profit organization. What I mean by that, is to put money back on my credit card because the non-profit organization has not reimbursed me yet. And I DID wipe the plates down first. Anyway, I would like to consider my purchase of the plates in the first place, as a RENTAL. I got what I needed and "Target" had some of my money in the bank making them a little interest. So we all win!!!

Then I was off to "Michaels" - the craftiest craft store ever. I think I have been there a total of 8 - 10 times since September. I had to actually place all my returns in a cart before I entered the store. I returned, 5 bags of acrylic chips, 8 unopened bags of leaves and pine cones, 3 unopened bags of organza, 9 rolls of ribbon, 8 bags of river pebbles, 4 bags of round gold floating candles and 7 garden bowls (which may or may not have been used???).

(oh, before I continue, another shout out to someone who does not want shout outs, because I saw you at "Michaels" on Thursday a few lanes over, but too far to say hello. And if you happened to see me on the way out and I was not looking your way, it was not because I am rude, but quite distracted by what I will continue to blog.)

So, after waiting my turn behind two people making purchases, it was finally my turn to unload. Not like you do with a bartender, but I unloaded my cart full of crap onto an unsuspecting 19 year old, who probably worked there for only 4 weeks.

After she rang everything up, and only after, was when I realized, I should probably mention that the first receipt I had which contained the bags of pine cones and 7 garden bowls included tax, however, all the receipts after that were purchases made with a tax exempt letter and therefore, should not be returned with tax. (So I return used items, but I don't steal money - yay, I am ethical after all).

I don't think the lady waiting behind me and the 8 others behind her were impressed with my very ethical qualities when they heard the poor registrar say this -
"Oh, I think we are going to have to do this all over again"

To which, irate, impatient customer behind me responded,
"Oh mother f#%$^!"

The lovely, inept registrar began the process over and I had trust that she knew what she was doing, which may have been premature on my part. Back to irate customer -
"I think you should have the next registrar over there take me next because I have been waiting so long."

In her defense, it was taking a long time and probably my registrar could have responded in such a way to appease her, or responded altogether. But we have all been there. I have the good fortune of always picking the lines where price checks are done and credit cards don't go through and someone runs out after 86 items have already been scanned to go get five more items which are located in the farthest part of the store. Today, it sucks to be you.

And my registrar continued to rescan my returns, when the crazy lady behind me started on me -

"Maybe you should let me go ahead of you because I have been waiting so long."

"I am sorry, I realize this is cutting into your scrapbooking hour, but I am a customer too, and I waited just like you to make my returns, and s!*# happens, but do you really think I will let you with your 20 items ahead of me? And then what about the 9 people in line behind you? I think you need help, but it will not come from me. It's called a {manager}, or anger management class."

I probably did not say it in so many words, but I DID say it.

I actually don't know what happened with her, because I no longer looked behind me. But when my registrar was done, something was not kosher, and I knew the final numbers were off, and not to my advantage. But I am not a total a- hole, so I did not stand in line to figure out what was wrong, rather, I left to my car.

I pulled out my new phone with the touch screen calculator and realized they were off by about $40.00. So I went back in, waited my turn behind two people, and told the flighty 19 year old that something was not correct and maybe she should call a manager, please. (That is how you ask for help, irate customer behind me)

She figured it out, and I did indeed get about another $40.00 back.

I would have loved to hop over to "Bed Bath and Beyond" to return the 35 gold chargers, but I think "BB&B" thanks the guy who threw out the boxes they came in.

The question is, should I go back to "Michaels" and return the other 28 garden bowls that were used for the dinner centerpieces? What do you think?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

EXTRA, EXTRA : Because I Needed To Put The Pictures Somewhere







I stole these pics from a photographer (sorry Yudi). But if you live in Chi town, look up "Rine Photography" they do great work.

So the first pic is of Hun and myself (which I am sure he will be very happy to know that I put up here). Just keep in mind, I currently retain extra fluid, on account of the pregnancy. Who am I kidding, I have been eating like a fox in a hen house.

The second pic (as good as it'll get) is the centerpiece that was made for 12 cocktail tables during the reception. It was a Target purchased, brownish square salad sized plate with gold leafing throughout one corner. On top of the gold leafing area was a transparent glass candle dish from the dollar store. In the dish was one round gold candle. And on the other corner of the plate, next to the glass dish was my own homemade swag. I cut a window curtain into 12 equal pieces. The curtain was a sheer brownish color with embroidered leafing of bronze and light green colors - also a Target special. I turned it into a bowish type shape and centered gold beads and white clay flowers with green leafs and a gold framed pearl in the center. All of this sat on a gold crushed table cloth.

In the final picture, is the dinner centerpieces. A gold charger had dried, shellacked leaves and pine cones and or gourds of some sort spread around a glass garden bowl. The bowl was filled with clear acrylic chips which contained 4 small led lights hidden inside for a bluish glow. In the chips sat a battery operated water fall that had a place for two tea lights. Also 3 votive candles surrounded this whole centerpiece. One I placed in a sheer, gold organza bag. One I hot glued sheer bronze and gold ribbon around. And the other one came with a white on glass design.

We also thought of putting candy in a tall martini glass to offset the lower centerpiece. We placed this on a bronze L'Amour table cloth with a gold lame (pronounced luh - may, not as in they were lame or boring) runner down the middle and gold L'Amour napkins (which I noticed actually showed up in different shades).

It was fun, but it is soooooo over. Until next year, anyway.


A Pickle Of A Story

HOLY MOTHER OF BLOG HITS!!!

I was in shock this morning when I realized that my little tracker device leaped from 863 to 939 yesterday. If my math is correct, that means I received 76 hits yesterday. This was 76 page loads. And might I add, even after 76 page loads, there was only one comment (thank you Shosh).

However, I took a little looksy at some information, and realized I had a visitor from New York who took time out of their, I can only assume, very busy schedule, to read about 30 of my posts. No, I do not know who you are my very welcomed, new, New York friend. So I wonder - do I know you? Are you family? Are you a friend? Are you a complete stranger? It's so mysterious. I love it. Are you willing to come forward and introduce yourself, or will you remain a distant mystery? Or will you not even be reading this particular post because something in one of my previous posts inadvertently offended you and now you will never return?

And now I digress...

This morning, my six year old So, with the explosive imagination and too much creative energy for her own good decided to write a quick one page story in the midst of her pancake nibbles. And I share it with you, exactly as she wrote it, with no spelling corrections and no punctuation.

"The Picol"

Ones upond the time Ther was a picol named picols
he had picol friends
one day well Picol was walking He herd his Picol friends wer trapde B Hot dog fase We half too do sumthing
ase they said it it work
they wer out
yey chird picol

So what do you think? A future writer?
I love it!!!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Confession

I don't know why it is, that I can't limit my visits to my local supermarket to only once a week. And when my yo crunch yogurt supply is disappearing because my kids go through it like water, and I have no fresh bread in the house, this becomes an emergent situation. Because lacking these two staples in my house, means I have nothing to send to school with my kids for their lunch. And on top of this, today I sent So to school with no plastic spoon for her yogurt. She'll figure it out.

While taking my usual zombie walk around the store today, because once again I left my list at home, I noticed something unusual. It could be, this "occurrence" has happened years previous, but I only noticed it today. I heard a Chanukkah song playing over the loud speaker.

Now this is not terribly surprising in the particular supermarket I frequent, as it is located in a very Jewish populated neighborhood. However, in the past, I have not really experienced anything other than random music and Christmas music playing over loud speakers this time of year.

And then I thought about what I was hearing :

Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah
Come light the menorah
Let's have a party
We'll all dance the hora
Gather round the table, we'll have a treat
Shiny tops to play with, latkes to eat

And while we are playing
The candles are burning low
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago...


And I thought to myself, self- I really rather be listening to Christmas carols.


I am not sure if I am supposed to be "ashamed" of these thoughts, because baby Jesus and Santa Clause are not really part of my fundamental upbringing. But the bottom line is, my Christian brethren have come up with WAY better songs.


And I know I am not the only one of my fellow Jews who feels this way, but I am admitting here today...

Christmas music is beautiful.

In over 2000 years since the Macabbe revolt and the miracle of one days worth of oil burning for eight days, we have not come up with a decent Chanukkah song.

We have plenty of songs about lights and dreidels, latkas and horas and not one of them is good. Not one of these songs makes me want to sing along or actually dance a Hora. But I can probably be found singing or humming songs and tunes the likes of,

"Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening..."

"Oh Holy Night..."

"I saw Mommy kissing Santa Clause..."

"I'm Dreaming Of a White Christmas..." (although this one sometimes finds me replacing the word "Christmas" with the word "Chanukkah")

"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer..."


And oh so many to choose from.


Someone HAS to come up with some better Chanukah songs. Where is the love for the Macabees?

So "fess" up my Jewish compadres, I am not the only one who feels this way. And if my blog has any lovely Christian followers, tell me, are there any Chanukkah songs that you like? I am curious to know.