Friday, January 30, 2009

Here Is What You Can Do With Your Jury Summons

Again with the jury duty notice!!!

I did not receive my jury summons until my husband handed it to me three nights ago, so the fact that I am being called for February 9 left me clamoring to put this one to rest.

For a minute I thought it was my own fault for leaving the mail to pile up, which I blame on my pregnancy induced lack of patience for envelopes that scream out, "We WANT something from YOU". But then I realized the jury summons was once again, addressed to Orah S. (my maiden name) at **** Generic Avenue. (my parent's address). I thought they had taken care of that mistake the last time I received this annoying call for my presence, which was about a year ago. But that would be giving a Government office too much credit.

I receive a summons about every year, because I always get out of it. Frankly, I think it should be quite easy to get out of it because Orah S. no longer exists (on paper anyway). But to them I am just a number, and they need my services.

And this year, the date in question is a problem unto itself. Because on February 9, if all goes well G-d willing, I will not be in the vicinity of Chicago - or Illinois for that matter.

So like every time before, I sat down to compose my letter requesting to be excused from jury service due to the fact that it will cause me undue hardship.

And the letter may (OR MAY NOT) have gone a little something like this:

To Whom It may Concern,

My name is Orah S. (not really, but I'll get to that later), juror number (whatever THIS finger adds up to). I am writing to request that I be excused from jury service on February 9 due to the fact that it would cause me undue hardship.

First, I am a full time mother of three children, two of which are home most of the day. I have no one else to watch my children (let's ignore the fact that I could probably find someone if I had to) and if I left them home alone to attend jury duty, I would surely be arrested by someone who services this Government for child neglect and endangerment. This would cause me to actually have to attend a trial, not as a juror, but as a defendant, which obviously I have no time for and would also cause me undue hardship etc... etc... It would be a vicious cycle - you get the point.

In addition to this, I am extremely pregnant and might I add hormonal. These two factors would cause my presence in your waiting area to become irritating to you and the other prospective jurors. And do I have to further explain that I would have to leave the jury box every ten minutes to pee, which I am sure would leave the judge, prosecution and defense quite pleased. And don't get me started on how much food would be required to feed me if I were to be sequestered... Frankly speaking, if I were to serve on the jury, it would cause EVERYBODY undue hardship.

Also, when I would show up for my jury summons, you would not know if it was really me. Because all my (Government issued) identifying documentation, would claim me to be someone else. The drivers license, social security card, marriage license and nursing license that was issued to me by the same people who have just sent me my jury summons all claim me to be Orah F. living at some other Generic Avenue, so it would greatly cause me undue hardship to have to change all that back. And my husband would not like the fact that I will resort back to my maiden name and move back into my parent's home. (Although after 16 months of construction, their home is pretty sweet and I wouldn't mind moving in over there.) And this scenario could very well lead to a domestic violent situation, which would have someone getting arrested, and as I already mentioned - I do not have time to show up to court in any capacity.

So while I am very respectful of our ever so flawed judicial system and would just love to honor my civic duty...... it's just not going to work out this time.

Thanks for thinking of me, though,

Orah S. F.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

PETA Dysfunction


If you are a Peta lover - do not,

I repeat -
DO NOT read on.

However, if you are open to my cause against
Peta, I implore you to read on.

I hate
Peta! I think they are one of the most dysfunctional, backwards organizations.

I do not hate animals, I care about animals, but not at the expense of human dignity.

Personally, I do not want to see an animal suffer. But certainly we can take an animal's life in an ethical non-torturous sort of way, so that humans may benefit. Because, frankly, I believe there is a hierarchy in this Universe, that has animals following WAY BEHIND humans. And furthermore, animals just may have been placed on this earth to benefit humans.

If killing an animal while running medical tests, means the life of a human will be saved - I am all for it.

If eating the meat and drinking the milk and consuming the eggs of an animal offers nutritional benefit to a human - I am all for it.

If furs, hide and wool can be utilized to keep a human warm - this too is okay by me. (I do realize there are some furriers who do not go about fur removal in an ethical sort of way, but there are furriers that exist who do, so just be discriminating when choosing your furrier).

Taking your love for animals to a level that embarrasses, hurts, injures or demeans a human being is not okay. Make your point in a mature and productive sort of way, and you might earn yourself some new followers. But for human beings, you
Peta supporters have chosen to lack morals and values that are typically a defining trait of most human beings, and this to me, is counterproductive. Sadly, you continue to prove that in many ways, you are lower on the totem pole, than the animals you represent.

I say this, in regards to your latest attempts at attracting attention for your cause.

Because, I can expect a dog or a goat to hump a head of broccoli in public, but creating an advertisement depicting women in the most demeaning and degrading way just proves that you "ethical" loving people are seriously lacking in the ethics department yourself.

And I don't mean to be crass in my post, but unless people have seen the video online of your unfortunate advertisement that you expected to play during the Superbowl, there is no other way for people to get the gist of what I am referring to.

And kudos to the Superbowl/TV station for banning it.

I will only go so far as to describe it as, "scantily clad women getting way to friendly with a variety of vegetables".

And seriously, did you think this through?

Because, while your audience, of predominately uber heterosexual men who are feasting on chicken wings and bar-b-q ribs, may indeed notice the half naked women, I assure you, they will miss the point you are trying to make with the vegetables.

And the women who are watching, like me, would be completely turned off. And the 8, 9, and 10 year old boys who are sitting with their fathers enjoying some bonding over an all American past time, will once again be exposed to unfortunate ideas about how women wish to be treated.

You think you have a moral obligation to animals?? Where is your moral obligation to humankind??

So thanks for attempting to undo everything that parent's with some semblance of morals and values work on repeatedly. And thanks for wasting time and money that can be better utilized during these tough economic times. And thanks for wasting completely good vegetables.

I hope you do sense my sarcasm -

How far will you take it, I am just curious.

Well, I feel better now. I was so disgusted, I needed to vent and this is the perfect forum to do so. Because this is my forum.

And I am so proud that the Superbowl and the TV stations refused you the forum you were willing to pay Millions for. You couldn't think of something better to do with the money? Here is a suggestion. After you finish feeding all the hungry animals, why don't you spend some of those millions and feed some starving humans. Or next time just give them the vegetables (that I hope to G-d you threw out), because there are actually HUMAN BEINGS suffering in this world.

Like I said before, I love animals, but frankly, I love humans more.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fun Facts About Orah - II

Ooh, get ready

It's the next installment



Although, it is only fun for those who are not at the other end of my wrath.


If I see an adult putting a child into, what I consider, to be an unsafe situation - I WILL say something. And if I see children causing themselves a potentially unsafe situation, and no other adults are around, I WILL say something.

I don't know if it is just the Mother in me, or the nurse in me as well, but I feel obligated to prevent potentially tragic situations. If I do not say something, and come to find out later that a child was injured, I will feel like I am an accessory to that injury. I will also feel tremendous guilt over not opening my mouth when I had the chance.

Do not leave your child, sleeping or awake, in the car EVER.

I will excuse those who might be running up to a door to, let's say, retrieve a child or the like, so long as they do not at any time enter a home or a building, thus losing sight of the car.

I once saw a car parked at the school that Ro and Ate attend, with sleeping child in the car seat and no adult in sight. I approached the mother of this child and nicely suggested she do not leave the child in the car. She was actually welcoming of my intrusive suggestion, which is good. Her response though, left a bit to be desired.

"I know, I shouldn't, but he no longer fits in an infant seat and I did not want to risk waking him and I thought it will only take a minute to pick up my other child."

Trust me, I am a Mother. I know how ANNOYING it is to schlep kids in and out of a car, especially if they are sleeping. But would you rather risk that your parked car gets hit by another car, while said, child is sleeping in it. Would you rather risk that the one minute too long you took, was the one minute your small child could no longer handle the extreme temperature you left him in. Would you like to risk the small yet possible chance that someone comes by and takes your child, or takes the car with your child in it.

I could go on with this example, but the point is made. I will only add that some parents will sooner leave their child in the car than a purse or a lap top.

So you don't want to schlep your stroller up the steps, and you think it is a better idea to leave your infant or toddler unattended in a stroller while you walk away, out of sight for five to ten minutes. Why don't you rethink that, or I will rethink it for you.

Yesterday, I saw three young girls outside my local community center when I went to pick up So from gymnastics. They were probably between the ages of 8 and 10, and seemed to be waiting at 6 PM to be picked up. They found an island in middle of the parking lot turn around that houses a flag pole. Currently it is also housing a pile, probably at least eight feet high, of snow. Which due to the weather, resembles a large ice berg. They thought it would be fun to climb the ice berg. One false move could have meant head to flag pole or head to pavement and worse. If it was head to pavement - that could include car to body since the pavement was the street and there was not much lighting there.

There was another adult across the turn around who seemed to be trying to say something to them, but her attempts were lackluster. She was too quiet and they did not notice her. I wondered if they were actually with this adult, but I did not care if she was their guardian, because her efforts were in vain.

So I walked right up to them and said,

"Girls, can you do me a favor and come down from there? That seems pretty dangerous and I am not comfortable with you being up there."

They pretty much looked at me like, they were not expecting any voice of reason during their climb, but they immediately headed down and I felt ....more comfortable.

I try not to overstep my boundary, but I feel obligated sometimes. I don't usually get involved if what I see is rather neglectful, yet not causing immediate danger.

Today I saw a mother pushing a stroller with an adorable boy who is probably no older than my Ate. She was in an outdoor mall and the temperature was not more than 20 degrees. This boy had no mittens on and his coat was unzipped and his hat did not cover his ears. He was holding his cute little hands in a fist formation, and I could just tell that his hands were cold, and probably the rest of him was too. I did not say anything, oh but I wanted to. I could assume that she was not outside at any one time with him for more than two minutes. I could assume that he kept pulling off his own mittens. Once I make these assumptions, which is probably giving her more credit than she deserves, I feel like I would be crossing a line in saying something. But if I saw the same boy standing outside for fifteen minutes shivering - I would indeed say something. Because I believe that situation would be the difference between benign neglect and true abuse.

I don't think of myself as a vigilante or a safety cop, frankly I do it out of my own selfishness. I don't want to feel the guilt or the responsibility if something happens and I could have prevented it.

I could go on and on about this topic, but it actually irritates me to think about.

The last thing I will say...

If you are a parent and someone else comes over to you (not necessarily me) and hoping they use a caring demeanor, tells you to rethink a potentially hazardous situation that you are contributing to, please don't get defensive. Just think about it for a minute. Maybe you did not take the time to think about the potential ramifications of your actions. Just take a moment and think about it. You might actually come to appreciate that parent's caring suggestion. And you and your child may be better off for it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



No - wait - that's just me.

I know, I know - this is where you expect me to play on my heartstrings and share with you my whole sob story about how I hate Tuesdays. Well this Tuesday, I decided to make it more interesting for you. Or rather, ATE has decided to make it more interesting for you.

Let me preface by saying, I got no more than an hour and 1/2 of sleep last night. And the fun began somewhere after the magical 1 AM hour when oddities tend to happen in my home as of late. So some or all of this post may not make much sense, because, I am not sure if you are aware, but lack of sleep may have a negative effect on my writing skills.

Yesterday ended pretty much as uneventful as could be. Ro was sick and home from school yesterday and a total crank. She had 100.2 fever by bedtime, so I gave her the good ol' Tylenol and she went off to sleep, mild cough, snot nose and all. Ate was off to sleep an hour later or so. He was his normal sweet, trouble making self all day. And nothing, I repeat, NOTHING was out of the ordinary for him.

I of course did not retire for the night until 12 AM, because let's face it, I am a moron. However, an hour later, the strangest combination of noises woke me up.

I heard a sink running, and Hun was not in his bed, so I assumed he was the "sink runner" in question.

I heard a dog barking so loudly, I thought it was locked outside somewhere nearby freezing to death.

And I heard a child crying.

So I decided to focus on the crying child and locate it's origin. Only, when I exited my room I realized the child was certainly crying because a dog somehow entered their room and was freaking the kid out with the barking. And then it occurred to me, in my sleepy stupor, that there was no dog, but there was a child crying AND barking. I immediately thought it was Ro, due to her current cough and sickly condition, so I turned my attention to her door. But quickly I came to recognize that the barking, crying child was actually Ate. And then I knew right away what was going on.


The nurse in me knew enough to recognize this very distinctive barking sound as Croup - an awful viral cough that can lead a child gasping for air.

I grabbed him out of his crib, ran downstairs and opened the front door of the house and just stood there, hoping the cold air would allow him to open his airway.

While this is one advised way of treating Croup symptoms, I do not think it is advisable to stand at your front door wearing not much but a t-shirt. And Ate was not liking the cold weather, thus causing him to cry more and exacerbate his need to gasp for air as he barked.

So I shut the front door and retreated to a window instead, that I opened near my now blanket wrapped two year old and yelled, "HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN".

Hun came down quickly, and I am sure whatever I said to him was hardly recognizable as resembling the English language. But I handed Ate off and told him to hold him by the window so I could call the Doctor. But I totally blanked and could not remember the number. I learned this when I woke some poor guy up at 1 in the morning. (I don't feel so bad if it was the sucka' who woke me up a few days ago.) And I could not find the number anywhere. And then I remembered the advice I give to everyone else who has a small child in crisis in middle of the night....

Don't call the Doctor, just get in the car and go to the ER.

Mom-in-law was called and came (felt like an eternity). And we were off.

We get to the hospital, and Murphy's Law will have it, that when I need to come to the ER, they have been totally slammed and it takes for freakin' ever.

Ate was so great though. He was not gasping for air anymore, due to the cold air he sucked up in the car on the way over. And he was being very compliant. However, he was now sneezing a bark and his nose began to run.

We were not in our shower curtained room for more than ten minutes when an eager, fresh faced, teenager Med. student (?) came in for preliminary checking. This short haired, I can only guess because there was no introduction, Med student looked so much like a teenager, I could not tell if it was a he or a she. So I did what anyone in my situation would do and I referred to him/her as "Doogie".

I hate Med students. When I am a patient, I make a point of announcing that I will not be receiving any Medical students. But I figured, I was there to oversee this wannabe Doctor and the Attending would be in eventually, so I did not dismiss Doogie Howser so quickly.

Doogie did not even know how to use a pulse oximeter. I could do that in my sleep Doogie. Turn on monitor in room that conveniently has a pulse oximeter cable already attached to it. Place the little clippy part with the red light over two year old's finger, and ascertain that the numbers are well above 95. Now why don't you continue on your way to the room 3 shower curtains away and make "Dementia" woman your guinea pig. Because frankly, even if she does not want you there, she will certainly have forgotten that you came five minutes later.

Oh, and I like how when I mentioned that we put Ate by the window to give him some cold air, your response was, "Yeah, cold air can EXACERBATE this kind of situation".


We now had to wait 3 more hours until the Attending would show up. And while Ate was extremely awake and playful, Mom and Pop were struggling to keep their eyes open. Even though my playful son could be completely mistaken for a well trained SEAL at this point, due to the bark and the clapping every time the sink would magically turn on (as Hun's foot hit the pedal), he was still a bit sick and we had to wait for the Attending to give us some sort of reprieve.

She showed up, all preggers and sweet. And Ate was totally flirting with her. In fact, she asked him, as she had her stethoscope on his chest,

"Are you making eyes at me"?

At which point my "playa" for a son deliberately began to bat his eyelashes at her.

He was pretty cute and charming for a sickie.

So her diagnosis - CROUP. Shocking!!!

She ordered for him a dose of oral steroids to lambaste the inflammation in his airway. We left happily. We returned home by 5:30 at which point Hun went to prepare a humidifier for Ate's room and I gave Ate a doughnut for supper , breakfast , snack and he returned to bed, where he currently is as I write this.

But no sleep for Mommy. I had to get So ready at 7 am for her carpool, which was, you guessed it, me. And of course that did not go off without a hitch. But I will save that story for tomorrow. And I still can not go to sleep because my other sickie, Ro is home and hangin', crabbily (is that a word) with her Mommy.

I always like to look at the bright side. Because Ro and Ate are home today, at least I do not have 3 out of the 4 trips to their school that I usually have. So I will be here - all day, trying to catch some Zzzzzzz on my couch as Ro continues to drive me mad.

But better to be driven mad at home than to madly drive to the hospital.

Okay, that was cheesy, but remember I am on NO sleep.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not Me! Monday (Oscar Worthy week)

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not encourage my husband to take a vacation away from his adoring family this week so he could recharge and rejuvenate and I could spend quality time bonding with the children.


This is so not - not how this week went down.

Hun did not leave on a business trip whereby I was not held hostage against my will by three highly demanding children forced to think of one great aspect to Hun's departure.

It did not then occur to me that supper making this week would be a breeze. Because I certainly would never take advantage of the fact that Hun's absence means noodles and hot dogs are nutritious enough for three aforementioned, highly demanding children who would not eat anything else anyway.

I did not stay up until ungodly hours each night this week chatting with a friend on Face Book. And if I did, it certainly was not to avoid the tragic events that were bound to occur when I would shut the lights and retreat to my husband-less bed room, even if I may or may not have had an arsenal of make shift weaponry next to my bed.

I was not super excited when the wheel snapped off at the metal of my six year old MaClaren stroller, as I attempted to roll the tiny wheels over what can only be described as large ice bergs on Saturday. I would never be so gleeful as I contemplated what to do with my two year old who was leaning ever so awkwardly in his broken, one less wheel, stroller, because it means I can finally justify purchasing the "All Terrain Vehicle" of strollers that would be better suited for these brutal Chicago winters.

Hun did not immediately become agreeable to the idea of this upcoming mega purchase when he had to wrap Ate in his snuggle bag and carry him home eight blocks. I am not a huge fan of the right time and the right place...

The right time and the right place did not also benefit my plan to have a girl's night out, Saturday night when I reminded Hun that he was away all week and the kids really, really, really missed him, and I missed my sanity.

When my friend called to let me know when she would pick me up, Hun did not grab the phone to let S. know that I had decided I really missed my adorable husband who was away all week and decided to stay home and hang with him. I did not have to wrestle the phone away to remedy this situation and confirm that I was indeed joining the ladies.

This is so NOT another shout out to the friend with the cast iron skillet that comes complete with self-dispensing Crisco, seriously I live and learn.

I will not also shout out to the friend with the lemon colored PT cruiser (that does not still have my legs which attached themselves to the dashboard).

As well as the woman who apparently has a "Botanist" for a husband


certainly not the friend who pleaded to see an Oscar worthy movie that included such memorable scenes as

"fun with armpit shaving"

"how to beat up yo Mama"

"how to make eyeglasses from the '70's look fashionable"

"and why peeing in a cup may actually be the defining moment that wins you an Oscar".

Way to go Anne Hathaway!!! I want my 10 bucks back.

This was not at all an incredibly dramatic, suspenseful, comedic, thrilling week.

I think my week could so not win an Oscar.

How not Oscar Worthy was your week?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Too Tired, Too Freaked!

I was totally spent this week. Hun was away on a business trip, pretty much the whole week. I hate when he leaves on business, what wife doesn't? But I especially feel vulnerable when I am pregnant and he is not around.

I did not want to mention this as the week progressed, lest there be one (or 40) weirdos who read my blog, who might take the little information I have released about myself, figure out where I live, break in, tie me up, and rob me ----------- OR WORSE!!!

On top of this, a little "event" that occurred Tuesday night, freaked me out even more, causing me to acquire little sleep for the duration of the week.

Just after having a private conversation on face book with a friend, about feeling vulnerable when my husband is away and what I might use as a weapon, I crept up to bed at about 12:00 AM.

I placed my phone right next to me in bed, in case I needed to make a quick call to 911 of course. And I mentally went over my emergency escape.

Run, get three kids out of bed quietly, bring them back to my room, carry them all out onto the garage roof, lower them down - barefoot onto deck covered in four feet of snow, run barefoot with three kids to neighbor and all under 2 minutes and 16 seconds. I have no idea why this became the time of relevance, but it is.

And with that, I drifted off to sleep...

Until I was startled awake by my ringing telephone at exactly 1:32 AM. I lifted it to check the caller I.D. and of course, it was listed as Private Caller. This phone call also came to my second line, which is bizarre. My first line is the phone number that is listed in any phone book - so that is the only number that is public. Phone calls typically only go to my second line, if someone calls while the first line is busy, which was not the case this particular hour of the night. So someone dialed my second number directly.

The only "Private Caller" that I generally get calling our home, is my Father-In-Law, and he does not typically call at 1:30 in the morning. But I worried maybe it is him and something is wrong. So I answered and said, "Hello", but I thought I was too late, because there was no response. However, then I heard something in the background that sounded like a TV, so I said, "Hello" again - but no response. I waited a couple of seconds and then I heard, click - hang up.

This one call already freaked me out, but when the same exact thing happened at 1:35, 1:38 and then even weirder - my first line rang at 1:41 followed by the same scenario - I was imagining all sorts of tragic scenarios and "freaking out" would be putting it mildly.

So I did what any woman in this situation would do, I called my Mommy. She actually was awake - probably finding a whole bunch of things wrong with her newly remodeled house. Anyway, she convinced me not to worry. She said, probably someone calls you and keeps realizing it is the wrong number, but they are confused...

They are confused???

No, I am confused. I am so confused, that I am foncused.

And shortly after I hung up with my Mom, who was not at all helpful but I figured if they found our bodies the next day (G-d forbid) she would at least be able to help direct the police to a series of odd calls - another call came just before 2 in the morning. Aaaah, but this time it returned back to my second line, with a name listed.

"Derrick Morris" I could put your phone number on here and have all my devoted blog readers call you, beginning at 1:30 in the morning and hang up. Let's see how you like it.

So, after going through the late night/early morning phone ringing, hello - no response and hang up scenario for a fifth time, I made me a little cally cally to Derrick Morris.

At which point, the person who answered did not sound like a "Derrick". She did sound like a totally intoxicated or drugged up woman. And I heard that same flippin TV in the background, so I was certain this was my new nemesis.

She answered,

I said,
"Hello - I think you just called me five times (you evil bitch).

She said,

I said,
"You keep calling my number and hanging up (flippin wench).

She said,
"Who dat?"

I said,

She said,
"Whaaaaaa, oh sorry."


The phone calls stopped, but I was still convinced that her equally drugged up boyfriend - Derrick was outside my house, casing, waiting for his girlfriend to call him with the 'ol,
"Yeah, she's alone and totally frightened, good time to make your move" routine.

So needless to say, I did not sleep that night, nor the next night. Every sound I heard, I was certain belonged to a heroine addict named Derrick looking for things to rob so he could sell it off to make money to purchase his next fix.

Unless your name is "Derrick Shepherd" and you are a handsome, fictitious Neurosurgeon, I do not want any Derricks outside my house, waiting for the sixth phone call from his loony girl back home, to finally throw me off my rocker, so he could make his move.

Sheesh, did this leave me tired. And I am happy to report, that Hun has indeed returned. So this weekend, will be all about the SLEEP!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sheer Pride

I am not going to call this post "Wordless Wednesday Thursday, for two obvious reasons.
A) It is not Wednesday
B) This post is already way too wordy to be considered wordless.

However, I can refer to it as "Too D
amn Tired Thursday".

This sentiment can really be applied to most days of my week. But I just might have an upcoming post to explain why I am exceptionally tired this week.

In the meantime:

I have mentioned that while my parents recently returned to their freshly remodeled home after co-habitating with our family for 16 months, they miss the kids. (So I have heard )

Although they may have erroneously left out how excruciating it has been not seeing me on a daily basis.

If they are going out of their way to men
tion repeatedly how much they miss these 3 adorable Grandchildren, who am I to argue. That is why I was a very considerate daughter and sent Hun with the kids to their house this past Sunday, and Hun sent me some pictures that captured the sheer pride and joy - only Grandparents can have.

I am sure this was just an exceptional sounding concerto. They also broke out the guitar you see in the background.

I suppose, because Bobbie (Grandma) has yet to reinstate children's' toys into the home, she grabbed the first play item she could find. Either that or So's hair has met with a hacksaw.

Well, the excursion to Bobbie and Zeidy's house worked out so well, (and not just for them and the kids ;) I just might make a habit of it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Official Transcripts Between The Bush Twins And The Obama Girls

While most of America is currently enamored with the fact that we finally have our 44th President, I will just throw this out there -

The Bushes finally know what too many Americans know, what it feels like to officially be evicted from your house.

With that said, I move on.

It has been mentioned that the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, have sat down with the incoming
"first children" Malia and Sasha to offer them some advice and words of wisdom. Although this conversation has yet to be made public, my faithful blog followers are in luck. Because I am THE only person, who has become privy to this recent transcript and I share it with you now.

But, due to lack of patience, I will not include any quotations and each Bush girl will be assigned a different color - so try to keep up.

(Jenna is red
Barbara is blue
And that is about as patriotic as this post will get)

You girls are going to go through a lot of changes and this will not be an easy transition for you.

Yeah, and you have to go through this transition completely in the public eye.

And everything you do or say will be tremendously scrutinized by the media.

If you down one beer or stumble upon one joint, they will notice.

Yeah, and then they will say you are just like your Daddy, and not in a good way.

Right, two Bushes could not fall far enough away from the tree, if you know what I mean.

And just wait until you have to go through puberty in the public eye.

Yeah, just wait - I mean look what happened to Chelsea Clinton.

Oh, yeah. Chelsea Clinton - poor thing.

And don't even think you will ever be able to go pee without the Secret Service hot on your tail.

And try holding down a boyfriend when three tough guys with earpieces are trading info on every move he makes.

Yeah, that will not make your Mamma proud.

Although Daddy will be too busy to notice.

Right? HA HA HA HA HA - too busy - HA HA HA, maybe if Dick Cheney is your father...

HA HA HA HA! Anyway, fashion is a must, they will pick apart everything you wear.

And don't get fat - or they will say "Jenna Bush, ha, more like Jenny Craig".

And you better keep your grades up because you know you have to go to Yale or Harvard even if you really wanted to go back packing across Europe.

And don't hang out with the Olson twins.

Oh for sure, in fact, don't hang out with any twins.

And know that all the white house staff is there 24/7 at your beckon call, and the kitchen staff will make you whatever you want.

But don't get fat.

Can't say it enough, definitely don't get fat.

And even though your Daddy speaks proper English and can pronounce "nuclear", don't think they won't make fun of his ears.

...or his name.

And just because Daddy made history by becoming the first black man to become President, don't think you will ever become President.

Oh definitely, no woman will become President, because you can never win.

Right, you will either be too emotional

...or not emotional enough.

You might become pregnant while serving as President

...or worse, your fifteen year old daughter might become pregnant while you are serving as President.

And she would never get an abortion.

Absolutely not, no fifteen year old daughter would, or has ever gotten an abortion while her father, I mean mother was serving as President.

And if you wanted to become President, no one will take your proposed Economic Stimulus Package seriously anyway.

Right, proposing that you should get designer eyeglasses and Manolo Blahnik shoes, because then every girl and woman in America will go out and get the same, thus circulating tremendous money back into the economy, is not an Economic Stimulus Package that will go over very well.

Anyway, just stick together and don't get into any trouble and you'll be fine.

Absolutely, especially in the first four years, because daddy needs to get re-elected.

Pshhh, yeah, don't dare screw that up.

And carve your names somewhere on the desk in the Oval Office.

Ha Ha, yeah, don't forget to leave your mark - this is history making.

If you have any questions, you can call anytime.

Well except Monday - Friday.

And not on Saturday or Sunday between the hours of 5 Am and 10:30 PM.

Great, good luck with everything girls.

The next part in the transcript is a little unclear, but it seems Malia turns to Sasha and says,

"Those two B$*&@es are craaaaaaaaaaaazeeeeeeeeee!"

At which point cute little Sasha responds,

"Malia Ann Obama, mind your tongue."

And Malia answers,

"Ummm, er, I mean those two Bushes, those two Bushes are craaaaaaaaaazeeeeeeeeeee. Now let's go play hide and seek in the Lincoln bedroom."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some Days Do Not Go As Planned And Some Days Do Not Go As Expected

Monday did not go as planned, and Tuesday has not been going as expected. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

I was hoping to keep the surprising energy ball rolling after Sunday's "nesting" productivity - and spend Monday doing much of the same. But So kindly reminded me that Monday was "Open House" in her school and she would really like me to come by and see what she does best. How can I say no. I don't want to be one of those Mothers who CAN come but chooses not to because it's inconvenient. Although I did not know how I would go about it, because her school broke the visiting hours down into 9:15 - 10:15 for morning Hebrew classes and then 12:45 - 1:45 for afternoon secular studies.

On top of this, Ro woke up rubbing her left eye, and felt slightly warm, so now I thought I might have to throw a Doctor's visit in the mix. But the nurse in me who refuses to run to the Doctor for every sniffle, decided, since she just had a cold - her eye problem is probably just viral and I have drops in the house anyway, left over from the last pink eye event. So in less than a minute, Mamma gave her a diagnosis and a cure, and thank G-d my cleaning lady/babysitter was in the house, because Ro stayed home.

After a quick cup of home brewed java some instant coffee concoction in a mug, I was on my way to So's school for the morning visit, with a plan as to how I could spend my time, without returning home, before the afternoon visit.

I was made aware when I arrived that So's class was in the gym having their rollerskating P.E. class and I was welcome to attend. So I spent the first part watching my six year old, wearing her Ariel the mermaid helmet and knee pads, trying to stay vertical on roller blades. Although, she was probably distracted by me when I arrived, and I am pretty sure I had a mild heart attack every time she fell on the hard floor. Someone needs to make butt pads. When she was done with gym class, I walked her to her home room and watched as the teacher conducted a Hebrew lesson.

Then, with tremendous pride, that I am sure I would have even if I was not at "Open House", I left to a nearby shopping center. I actually went to Macy's to return a pair of defective boots, but since I was there already.....

So I went to the maternity section to see what was on sale. I was only looking for some light weight t-shirts, long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve and anything else that might be useful if the weather happens to warm up during this pregnancy - or.... if I just might be going some where delightfully warm in two weeks. I got exactly what I needed could use for 10.00 each - although it added up to 100 % more than what I was originally planning to spend that day.

And because I only had coffee that morning, I needed to find food fast. So I went to a nearby eatery and ordered myself a little something which I knew I would eat, pathetically, parked in my car on the side of So's school, waiting 40 minutes for the afternoon visit to begin. This "Open House" thing turned out to be quite costly.

From 12:45 until 1:15 I helped So make a chain out of construction paper, each ring containing another word that fell into the category of the "long A sound". Great, So can rollerblade and read and write Hebrew and deliver a kicking "long A chain" and I have had enough.

But this day didn't end just like that. Ro was cranky and would not take her usual nap. Hun did not come home until 10:00 because he was busy preparing for an upcoming business trip and Ate had no choice but to put aside his "anal retentiveness" and lay a load that caused the most noxious fumes to remain stagnant in my home until I woke this morning.

Oh - and let me not forget the COLLISION between So and Ro. When I was putting them to sleep, So ran upstairs and in the dark, attempted to enter Ro's room instead of her own, just as Ro was walking back out of her room. I could not see a thing, but the sounds that came from the two of them was deafening. When I opened the light in their "Jack and Jill bathroom" I was able to better assess the damage. Ro had a swollen eyebrow, complete with a black and blue mark in the shape of a tooth bite. And So had a bloody front, upper tooth.

Tooth to eyebrow could not be pleasant. I knew that calming So down would be an easier task, and I started with her.

"So, I can not believe the tooth fairy read your letter and responded."

"Wha aaaa t?"

"You wrote to the
tooth fairy (Imagination!) and asked her for a loose tooth, and I think Ro's eyebrow just loosened it for you."


"It just might be wiggling, So."

And with that, So yelled across the "Jack and Jill" bathroom towards Ro's room,


And this thank you pretty much did the job of calming Ro down, for me.

After a surprising, energy zapping Monday, I was expecting my typical life sucking Tuesday. But getting two phone calls from two co-carpoolers that their kids were not coming today, already made my day. In fact, when I dropped So and the one other child off at school, for the first time ever, I did not have to exit my car to move over booster seats and fold chairs down to get smaller children out of the back. I just opened my power door, and So and E. exited on their own.

But as I write this, the day is young and I still have 3 more trips to make to my local community center for various pick ups. But, I am grateful that I was able to conserve some much needed energy this morning. It will hopefully make the rest of my day just breeze right by.

Right!, Who am I kidding.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not Me! Monday (Frozen Brain)

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not have a problem this past week accepting the fact that the weather had dropped to 20 below zero. This did not manifest itself by my stubbornness and refusal to wear gloves resulting in cracked skin on my knuckles. I would never be that deliberately stupid - I do not contribute non-deliberate stupidity to a frozen brain on top of the already pregnant brain.

This frozen, pregnant brain did not also cause me to forget to re-register Ate for an extended hour of school on Thursdays for the second half of the school year. I was not made aware of this only after I left Ate at school with a lunch on Thursday until 1:00, even though he was not on the list of registered kids.

When I went to fill out the registration form in the office on Friday, I was not invited by the head of the department to help myself to some hot water and hot chocolate mix. And if I was, I certainly did not take her up on this offer to remedy my frozen brain, knowing full well I was about to walk out into a swarm of other mother's who would undoubtedly want to know where I got the fresh hot chocolate from. When I was asked repeatedly by the other parents where I got the unidentifiable hot chocolate from, I would never have considered telling them that they all need to get the new "Cho CAR olate hot chocolate maker" that hooks up to the car outlet and brews as you go. (That is not - not such a great idea - I think it already exists)

I did not take my parent's repeated announcements to third party people - including my in-laws, that they miss the kids, so seriously that I used it to my advantage and sent Hun with the kids Sunday to their brand spankin' new house for a "visit". I did not use this to my advantage by totally nesting and organizing and scrubbing all morning. This did not tire me out so completely that I took a shower and a nap, that I did not wake up from until close to 5:30 p.m.

I did not just send Hun out to get some coffee ice cream because all my cravings have come from subliminal messages lately, and my friend had been talking about coffee ice cream on face book all week. Even though it was a tropical almost 30 degrees out today, I did not subject myself to a form of frozen brain - AKA "brain Freeze" yet again due to the ice cream suck fest I certainly did not enjoy immensely.

What did you not get done this week due to "frozen brain"?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tribute To Sullenberger

This post is devoted to the heroism of a pilot named Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III. He is the pilot who landed Us Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River, without causing one fatality. I think I know how hard he had to work to land that plane safely, and I will tell you why shortly.

First, I share some facts for those of you who are unaware of what exactly occurred yesterday.

Three minutes after flight 1549 took off from Laguardia Airport in NY, only 3200 feet in the air, flying west to Charlotte NC it put in a distress call, explaining it had two bird hits, and asked to return to LGA. LGA gave the plane the ok to return. Before the pilot attempted to turn the plane around, he noticed another runway up ahead and asked what it was. He was informed that it was Teteboro airport (across the Hudson River). He told LGA he wanted to land there. LGA got him the ok to land at Teteboro and then LGA lost all communication with him. It came to be known later, in those moments the pilot realized he would not make it to Teteboro and he decided to bring down the plane in the Hudson River. He prepared the passengers for a hard landing and he LANDED (not crashed), LANDED the plane into the Hudson. In under two minutes, after landing, the forward doors were opened and all passengers and crew made it out to safety.

Some of you who saw the news or read about it are wondering why I bother to document the entire story. Because, you will need to read this over and over again to realize, all the things that played a roll in this plane landing safely without fatality, and you still might take it for granted.

If you believe in G-d, I will throw out the obvious, G-D HAD A HAND IN THIS. But the pilot was his messenger, and the choices this pilot made and the work he put in, made the difference between 155 passengers and a city of people (especially a city of falling airplanes fearing people) coming out alive and uninjured or dead.

In 2003, when my first born baby was just six months old, my parents very generously offered to take us to Israel for the Passover Holiday. Israel's El Al airline is the most popular method of transportation, for Jews traveling to Israel, and that is the airline my parents and my family were set to take. At the time there was a direct flight from Chicago to Israel. But the way it worked was, El Al chartered an airplane to take all the Chicago passengers (many of whom were people I know from my community) to NY to transfer to the very large El Al plane which would carry about 400 passengers to Israel.

Our flight to Israel was set to go just a few weeks after the space shuttle carrying Illan Ramon, an Israeli astronaut, did not make it back. This story was fresh in our minds. But we had traveled to Israel many times before and we were not taking a rocket ship. So we did not expect any problems.

As soon as we were embarking the chartered plane at O'hare, I felt uneasy.

The first thing that made me uneasy - seeing the words "PAN AM" written all over the plane. If you are asking, what is Pan Am, then that should explain my uneasiness. Pan Am USED to be an airline. It is most famous for being the airline that blew up over Lockerbie Scotland. At some point Pan Am went out of business, and obviously - sold their fleet of airplanes to private charter companies. So this plane was OLD.

Second, there were seat pockets hanging by one thread. There were screws internally that looked loose. There was trim peeling away. It was not reassuring. But I figured, all planes need to go through maintenance, so it is probably okay.

As I mentioned, there were many people on the plane from my community. One family in particular, and my family go way back. The patriarch of this family, D.A. was rolling a huge, hard covered golf club case onto the plane. Only there were no golf clubs in the case. In the case was something that is most sacred to observant Jews and needs to be treated with tremendous respect. It was the Torah (old testament scroll). It was being taken to Israel to be donated to a synagogue there. When I saw it, I felt a little better, and I was ready for the trip.

Our plane was a two engine plane. It was compartmentalized into two. I gather the first five rows were the equivalent of first class in modern airplanes. But aside from it's location, there was nothing different about the first five rows with the rest of the plane. My parents happened to be sitting in the third row of the first section of the plane on the left side. I could see my Mother reading her newspaper in the aisle seat. I was sitting in the second row of the second section, so there was one row ahead of me and bulkhead. I was on the right side of the plane in the aisle. Hun was in the window seat to my right holding So in his lap.

Diagonally across from me, on the left side of the plane, right up against the bulkhead were two female flight attendants sitting in chairs that actually faced the back of the plane. I could see them well, they were practically sitting across from me, facing me. Further back on the left side of the plane, near the left engine, was that family we know well.

We took off, and one does not realize how high the plane can get in a matter of seconds. Because in probably less than a minute after take - off was when IT happened.

There were five loud bangs from the left side of the plane, but this did not register as anything significant in the first few seconds. I never heard such loud noises, on any plane I took, but I thought it was the wheels being drawn back up into the plane. I figured that older planes made loud noises when wheels were closing up. But just as I finished that thought, I smelled it. It was the unmistakable smell of smoke. And as this registered for me, the matriarch of that family sitting next to the left engine started yelling for her husband who was only a row behind her DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, DEEEEEEEEE... And at the same moment, the plane dropped, and then the wing dipped, and I had my eyes on the flight attendants.

The one closest to the window, removed her five point shoulder harness and stood up very calmly telling D's wife and everyone else to stay seated and remain calm. In the meantime, it was obvious - the feeling of falling and dipping - because your stomach feels like it keeps rising in your abdominal cavity, and you have to hold onto the arm rests of your chair because your seat belt is not enough to keep your backside on the seat as the plane takes another dip.

The flight attendant looked out the window and then lifted a phone receiver right behind her. She and the other flight attendant were so close to me and yet, I could not make out what they said on the phone or to each other. She hung up the phone and calmly said to the passengers (there was no overhead speaker system), "Everyone stay in your seats with seat belts on, the pilot is turning around and we are making an emergency landing back at O'hare." And that was all she said, the next few moments were silent.

My mom, literally, was still reading her newspaper. I was leaning forward and looking to my right at my precious six month old So sitting on Hun's lap. With every dip and drop, I just prayed that we land safely. It is true that one's life flashes before their eyes when they are in that sort of moment. Only it was not my life flashing before my eyes. It was So's future that I saw. I looked at her and saw her in school, and as a teenager, and at her wedding.... I suppose, this is what I saw because this is what I wanted so badly at that moment - for my daughter to have a future.

I do not know how much time passed, but I never felt so relieved to feel those little (slightly more aggressive) hops as the plane touched down. We stopped in middle of the runway and were met by eight fire trucks and two ambulances and some other emergency vehicles. (I learned then that airports have their own fire department/paramedics on site.) I do not know what they were expecting, but I thank the Good Lord that no emergency vehicles were utilized in the end. We sat on the runway for a while, until they could figure out what to do with us. They decided we would not be continuing on this aircraft (big surprise) and they got us to a gate where we disembarked.

We never found out the cause (although there was speculation it was a bird) but our two engine plane lost an engine. Another thing I learned that day, two engine planes can not fly with only one engine.

When we disembarked, the pilot stood at the cockpit with the crew, as they usually do to bid us farewell.... he was drenched in sweat. I learned later, how hard a pilot needs to work, to keep a plane steady for landing while compensating for the loss of an engine. I also learned later that this happens more often than airplane passengers realize.

Some of this information was reconfirmed only last year. I was attending the youth group weekend I attend every year. They had a speaker - a young man from my community who I knew. He was one of the few survivors of a flight that was out of Denver that crashed in Sioux City Iowa. I had remembered this plane crash, I remembered seeing the plane become a ball of fire as it tried to make a landing, but I never really knew what happened exactly.

He told of how his plane started out with three engines, and then one went down. But the pilot assured them that the plane can still be flown with two working engines, which is true, so they continued on. But then a second engine failed, and now they were left with one. And, as I mentioned earlier, a plane can not fly with one engine. So they tried to make an emergency landing at Sioux City airport. In his words - the plane was dipping but was pretty steady. Even though they could feel the plane was working hard to stay steady, at the very last moment, the wing dipped too much and hit the runway, causing the plane to break up and catch on fire. Many died, some had terrible injuries, including this survivor who spoke.

At that moment, I realized, years after my own lost engine experience, just how lucky we were. My plane was trying to make a landing and it was dipping, the left wing, then the right wing. The difference between my airplane and Sioux City's came in just a small moment. Because our plane did it's dipping, but the pilot was able to keep it straight when it was close to the runway, so the wing did not hit the runway, thus preventing any catastrophic impact. But in the last moment, his plane dipped, and that made a whole different scenario.

Pilot Sullenberger must have had a million things going through his head in a matter of moments, but any change in any one condition could have resulted in a different outcome.

Our plane was able to turn around, he did not.

He was flying over a heavily populated metropolitan city at the height of rush hour and had very few options that would prevent him from including fatalities from the ground.

He chose the Hudson, and prepared his passengers and landed the plane as if the Hudson was a runway.

And he kept his plane from dipping, or diving, so there was no impact, because if there was, his plane would have certainly broken up into a fireball.

All his crew and passengers got out safe within two minutes.

I know how hard he had to work to get that plane down safely. So I write this as a tribute to him. Here is to
Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III. The pilot that I would gladly fly with anytime. And I do not take for granted, that G-d was the Higher Being pulling the strings of that airplane.

"MOM" Language


At least this is what Hun tells me. He spoke to her last night on the phone and she actually said,

"I miss the kids"

For those of you who have not been paying attention - my parents, were up until two weeks ago, living in our house while their house was under construction. For sixteen months, they were surrounded by three adorable and pride inducing Grandchildren.

For the past two weeks, the closest thing I heard to "I miss the kids" was the frequently asked question, "do the kids ask about us?"

This is because, my parents don't really come out and say it like it is, when it comes to expressing emotions and feelings.

Growing up, if my Mom said,

"Come here, let me pinch your

we knew, that loosely translated, she meant "I love you".

Now a days, if she says, "(sigh) you are too old for me to pinch your

we know, that loosely translated, she means "I love you".

So for her to come out and actually say "I miss the kids", is a HUGE deal. She lives only about eight blocks away, but due to the cold and scheduling conflicts and the fact that she is spending her time replacing everything back into her home, we have not really seen each other for some time.

Of course, when I would stop by with Ate the summer before they moved in to our home, unannounced, while the older two were in camp, she would always say,

"I didn't invite you, why are you intruding into my life?"

Which loosely translated means,

"I love you".

Over the years I got used to "MOM" language, but I am happy to see she is finally speaking plain English.

Because I think that, "I miss the kids," loosely translated means,

"I miss the kids".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Warning: Yearning For Summer May Result In A Summer Of Uninvited Events

(I first want to thank Heidi for her advice regarding my book search. I have not seen anything at the Library. It has just dawned on me that you might be right and, sadly, a book like this does not exist, although I don't want to believe it. There is definitely a need for a book like the one I am looking for.)

As the snow drops on Chicago, yet again (and these suckers are big, like cotton balls) it makes me yearn for summer. All I can do is think about the joy that brightness and sun on my face and flower breezes across my skin and consistent time outside, bring me.

But then I think about the Summer of '94, and I remember - not all summers go as planned, and sometimes summer just downright sucks.

The summer of '94 started off like most summers. I finished a semester of school and would be transferring to a different college in the fall, so I was not taking summer classes. I was working part time as a "manager on duty" at a local eating establishment. And I was a camp counselor for a few hours each morning, but mostly I had a lot of time on my hands. I probably had a few dates thrown in here and there, but obviously, nothing too exciting, so I was mostly hanging with my other single friends.

But Summer of '94 offered me some uninvited events, causing my time off to become pretty crappy.

After the first few, heavenly weeks of summer, I started feeling sick. My diagnosis - strep throat. Who gets strep throat in the summer? Well I do apparently, but no biggie. I will get my antibiotics and all will be well. Not so much...

The Doctor prescribed the really obvious penicillin, which I am not allergic, nor sensitive to in any way. However, my Mother, who is very frugal and salvages medicine from the dark ages, decided to take a looksie in her medicine cabinet walk-in-closet and see what she could find. She came out with Erythromicin - another antibiotic.

"Here, this will probably work just the same."

"I am not taking that, it probably expired five years ago."

"No - no, no, it is still good. It doesn't expire for two more months."

"Well, I have no idea if that drug is an equal replacement for Penicillin, I am not taking it without the professional go ahead." (- the future nurse in me.)

So my Mom called the completely inept Pediatrician I was still seeing at the age of 19 and without offering any information on side effects , she gave me the go ahead to take the Erythromicin.

So I had taken it for about three days without any problems. The pain in my throat was subsiding, but a knock me out, just kill me now pain was developing in my abdomen. And then..... the vomiting....

My mom was out of the house one summer day, I was home alone, Dad was out of town, and when I had nothing left to vomit I would just wretch and wretch and wretch. I felt like I had gone a few rounds in the boxing ring and I was pummeled directly in my umbilicus over and over again.

My mom came home and found me curled up in a fetal position right under the kitchen sink, until I lifted myself up to wretch again.

"What's going on? What are you feeling? Should I call the Doctor?"

"Uhhhhhhh ohhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhhh - I think ...dieing..."

My mom got me to the hospital where I was diagnosed with acute vomiting and dehydration - GENIUS!!! The culprit - Erythromicin.

Erythromicin may cause severe abdominal pain and discomfort as well as nausea and vomiting. Who knew???

I might have known this if the friggin' Doctor offered up this information. I was given IV for dehydration with a dose of Compazine thrown in to curb the nausea and vomiting. (Apparently Compazine is also used for anxiety and schizophrenia - which makes sense since profuse pain and vomiting induced in me panic and insanity.)

It took another week until I was fully recovered from this episode. So between the strep and the Erythrofrigginmycin - two weeks of my summer were already shot and summer wasn't done with me.

I had a few good weeks and then I shot out of bed one night with terrible stabbing pains in my right lower quadrant. I was convinced I had appendicitis. This time, Mom was out of town and Dad had no choice but to be my savior.

Off we were, to the hospital again, at 2:00 in the morning. Thank the Good Lord, my appendix was fine, but I had some sort of bacterial infection and was prescribed antibiotics once again. No Erythromicin please!!! I was fine a few days later and this event proved to be the quickest of my summer misfortunes.

But only about a week later - I was OUT for the duration of the summer.

I attended a friend's wedding, which was probably cursed from the get-go, as they are divorced today. During one of the dance sessions, taking place on a crowded dance floor, some other chick felt compelled to wrap her foot around my ankle pulling my foot out from under me. My right shoe went flying and I was down for the count. Immediately as I tried to stand up, I knew something was terribly wrong.

I had sprained my ankle on many occasions before, but this was different. The fact that in under two minutes, my foot was bright purple and had swelled to double it's size, also clued me in on a problem.

My friends helped me hop all the way through the hotel to the car, got me home and brought me up into my house. I sat on one kitchen chair with my extremely noticeable purple balloon for a foot propped up on another chair. With my Mom still out of town, I called out to my Dad who was in the basement.


After a few shout outs, he finally emerged. He took one look at my friends, and one look at me and said,

"Ohhhh nooo, ohhh no, uhuh, I am not taking you to the hospital... again."

And with that, he retreated to the basement.

I would like to say, my friends were in shock by my father's approach, but they knew him by now. It was as if I already filled my quota for hospital visits during a two month period, and my Eastern European father wasn't having anymore.

It was late, everyone was tired and my Dad was unable to be convinced of my need to visit the ER, which I gathered from his suggestion, "Just go to sleep with some ice and you'll feel better in the morning."

Try to complain about agony to a Holocaust survivor, go ahead - I dare you.

My lovely friends told me that if I needed, they would drive me to the hospital in the morning. Needless to say, writhing in pain, I did not sleep that night.

The x-ray confirmed, I had two broken metatarsals (the bones that connect the toes to the feet). I was casted and sent on my way with a lovely pair of brand new crutches.

This took me out until two weeks into the school year. Although I did teach myself to drive with my left foot, which is harder than one might think, because I refused to be completely tied down. I also ended the summer by hitching a ride with some friends to Milwaukee to see Billy Joel/Elton John in concert, even though I had to walk a mile from our parking spot to the stadium and climb the four thousand steps to my seat all on crutches. Some things are just soooooooo worth it.

So while I do in fact yearn for Summer, I am hoping this one will only be good to me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Don't Diss The Chairs!!!

There is something I love about Chicago in the winter. Besides for the love I have for the incessant snow falls, plunges in temperature and black ice that one needs to learn to spot, before they can know to avoid it....... (yes I lie - I love none of that). But I do love the Chicago people.

Because Chicagoans -


If you are from Chicago, you may already have some semblance of what it is I refer to. But for those non-Chicagoans, let me explain.

When there is significant snow fall in Chicago, causing one to utilize all snow removing tools, such as:

shovel A) - cheaper plastic version with the ergonomic handle,



shovel B) - the metal shovel, that for some reason can not be made with an ergonomic handle, because shovel A cracked in half after seven minutes of use,


dust pan - because of it's resemblance to shovel B which has now lost it's long handle,

your three unsuspecting kids...

all to get your car out of a heap of snow, so you can actually live your mundane life, there will be chairs involved.

After the car has successfully made it out of the heap of snow, one will place the chairs across the now empty parking spot. Some choose to place a chair at either end of the parking spot and lay a broom across the chairs, or better yet, lay the broken handle from shovel B across the chairs.

Some use folding chairs, some use lawn chairs, and I kid you not, I saw a sofa once. Although that might have been out there for disposal.

I have seen official orange construction cones used, as well as huge buckets placed upside down. I once saw a child's slide in the street at the curb, also bright orange. These people are making a statement - don't take the spot and make excuses that you could not see the illuminating orange against the mountain of white snow.

I have seen many different constructions at curbside, and they all send the same message,

"I worked my damn ass off to get my car out of this spot, and don't think for a second you can park your car here. If you take this spot, I will show you where you can shove park your car."

But in all my years in Chicago, I have never seen or heard of someone who disrespected the chairs. It is just one of those things that seem to go without saying. Well....the chairs....and orange cones.... speak for themselves, I guess.

And I don't know what goes on in other snowy states, but I did live in NJ for a while, and believe you, me - you can build a fortress after you shovel out your car. But, if someone knows there is an empty, snowless parking spot under that fortress, they WILL burn it down so they can park their own car there.

And then they will flip you the bird and walk away.

Chicagoans, true Chicagoans who grew up here, know the winter routine. It comes, some years worse then others, we deal with it, we kvetch a little, we go about our lives, and we always, ALWAYS - respect the chairs.

If I have to be anywhere snowy this time of year, there is no other, snowy place I would rather be.

I love Chicago!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Me! Monday - So Done With Winter

It is not me who has major Vitamin D deficiency and wants to purchase UV ray spewing sun lamps to place all over my house. I did not then decide the cost of such lamps would be better utilized as a trip to somewhere mighty warm. I am certainly not one who knows how to make a trip to a warmer climate, completely seem like it was Hun's idea, and then praise him for his brilliance.

I am not Kicking A for figuring out how to get away to paradise with a family of five, which involves, air fare, rental car, hotel on the beach (+daily parking rate at hotel) money for some eating out and trips to local attractions for five days under 1500.00$. I do not think I would make an awesome travel agent.

I did not have to sit in a Dr's office, waiting room on Tuesday (my favorite day of the week) for over an hour and 1/2 just so the Dr. could tell me in less than two minutes that So's tonsils are absolutely gone and her throat is healed. Seriously, I could not have So open mouth, peek inside, I can actually see the back of your throat and great - there is no puss leaking out, myself...

It is not me who selfishly misses my Mom, who returned to her newly renovated house after living with me for 16 months, only because I have an aversion to raw meat and chicken and she is not around to cook it anymore. I would never be that selfish and ungrateful, and also miss her because she is not around to hang with Ate so I can run out without him. That would be exceptionally selfish and I am just not so.

I did not laugh hysterically watching Hun try to find tire tracks in middle of the street so he could push drag Ate in his stroller behind him while we walked to my In Laws on Saturday (Sabbath) for lunch in a snowstorm dropping ten inches. I would never find joy in someone elses suffering, especially since that person would not hear my uncontrollable laughter anyway because he had earmuffs, hat and hood tuning out all sound.

I did not subject myself to various noxious odors from the heads of school kids on Sunday because, yet again I volunteered to do lice checks. This check did not include at least one child who must have slept through the night with her hair slathered in glue and many others who obviously soaked their heads in a vat of oil just before showing up. I was not surprisingly grateful to the little boy who vomited in the lice check room just shy of 12:00 when lice check was OFFICIALLY over and yet 40 people walked in at 11:59. I did not immediately think, "this stench is a cue for pregnant lady to leave and too bad for the late comers who are now subjected to puke fumes while they wait for lice check".

I am not sooooooooooo done with this winter!!!

How are y'all not dealing with Winter?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"FUN" Facts About Orah

Even though, out of my past 7 posts, only one received comments, I have decided not to focus on the comment factor, because posting has become "documentation" for myself. However, yesterday, when I asked if anyone had any book references - that was not a rhetorical question. So I will only assume, that not one of the people who read my post, has any book advice to give. And I will continue to search for an age appropriate book myself...

I will let you know how that turns out.

I thought today (and maybe every so often) I would share "fun facts about Orah" so you can get to know me better. So here is today's fun fact about Orah.

(Disclaimer: Not every fact about Orah will actually be "Fun".)


Actually, it is not so much the finger, as it is the finger nail. It is my left hand, index finger. I will not post a picture, but I can only attempt to describe it. The nail grows to only a certain point, never making it to over the top of my fingertip. Then it cracks, really low down and breaks off , making it seem as if there is hardly a finger nail at all, until it grows back and repeats this process all over again. It is also overlapped on the left side by some extra skin.

I have never been to a manicurist who did not comment on this one finger - it is THAT noticeable. Anyone else who notices the awkward looking finger nail and is bold enough to ask, becomes privy to a story that explains the origin of this alien looking finger nail.

Yes, there is a story. And this story does not include a bout with fungus or any accident inducing injury to the nail in my lifetime.

When I was young, I never noticed the difference between this one finger nail and all the rest. The difference was always there, I just never paid attention. There was also something else that involved a custom my mother keeps, that I never noticed or paid attention to, until one weekend when I was nine.

Every Friday night, to bring in the Sabbath, a married woman lights candles. Every woman starts off lighting at least two candles, but many women have the custom to add a candle for each child who comes into the family. My mother follows this custom.

By the time I was nine, our family was complete with my younger brother who is four years younger than me, as well as the five siblings who are older than me. This makes a family of seven. If you do your math correctly, two candles to start + seven more candles = nine candles that should be lit every Friday night.

But this one Friday night, out of the blue, I looked over, and it finally hit me - my Mom lights TEN candles. She has always been lighting ten candles.

So I asked, "Mom, why do you light ten candles, if you have seven kids"?

And as if she was prepared for this day, and this question to come, she filled me in on some pertinent information that thus far, I had no clue about.


Yes, my Mother had an eighth child, and it so happened, this child came into this world, just two years before me. And sadly, she exited this world, only two years after I was born.

She was born in 1973, and it was clear, she was not a healthy child. She was born with Down Syndrome, and my parents named her Ruchama (loosely translated - means "mercy").

Like many Down Syndrome children, she also came into this world with heart defects and corresponding health issues. In 1973, it was not customary to perform cardiac surgery on a child with Down Syndrome. You just let it all "be".

My parents made the extremely difficult decision, to have their baby live with a special woman who took sick children into her home and cared for them (very well) until their expected demise.

I am sure this was a heart breaking decision for my parents, and although I am not sure I could make the same decision (today everything is different) I can not judge them. They were obviously thinking of the other five children they had, and how this might affect the family, etc...

My mother has since spoken about this woman many times, praising her for how much she loved the children as if they were her own and how well she cared for them. My parents did visit their Ruchama from time to time, to hold her and cuddle her and physically love her. But when they were away from her, they continued to love her.

So what does all this have to do with my deformed finger nail?

My Mother went on to tell me, that Friday night, that after Ruchama was born "I needed to know I could still have a healthy child". (These were her EXACT words - not mine.) "So, when I realized I was pregnant, I bartered with G-d. I asked from G-d, if anything should go wrong with this baby, let it be nothing more than a finger nail..."

My Mom continued, "when you were born, I looked you over from head to toe in earnest, and I saw it right away - your nail on your left index finger was covered by extra skin. It looked so tiny, but you were completely healthy."

And furthermore, I suppose to lighten the mood at this point my Mom said, "and while looking at your finger nail, I thought, dummy - why didn't I say toe nail..."

We continued some conversation over this topic, and I realized something bizarre. You know those stories about either twins separated from birth or a child who had a twin lost in utero and they grow up always feeling like something is missing... like there has been a hole they can not explain all their life.
That is how I had been feeling up until this moment... and so many unanswered questions were answered for me. (But I will save this for another post.)

One more thing:

I was just shy of two years old when my Mother received the bitter call from Ruchama's care taker, that she had passed at the age of four.

My sister, ten years older than me, so she was 12 at the time, tells me - she distinctly remembers that my mother hung up the phone and just at that moment I was playing on the floor in front of her. She had tears in her eyes and the first thing she did was scoop me up, and hug me so close, and did not let me go for some time. To her, I was her miracle baby.

So, if you ever meet me, and you want to see a sign that just may represent my very existence, ask to see my most precious finger nail - and I will know EXACTLY which one you are referring to.