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Friday, February 27, 2009

More Lovin' For Tar - jay!!!

It is no shocker that being Pregnant comes with need for specific prescriptions. Like most pregnant women, I take my pre-natal vitamins like all compliant OB patients should do. In addition to this, I specifically take prescription Iron pills, as my baby likes to suck the life out of me, one red blood cell at a time causing me some anemia. (Kids start to suck the life out of us, earlier and earlier these days.) And of course, there is "Prevacid" for the heart burn, because downing an entire bottle of Tums a day was still not cutting it.

Oh my, I am just sharing so much personal information today. No biggie, it's not like I take medication for any embarrassing ailments. Unless you consider pregnancy embarrassing, like one, anti-social, sack dress wearing friend of mine does.

Anyway, this brings me to my recent Target Pharmacy experience...

On Wednesday, I picked up a total of four prescriptions from Target. When I arrived, my bag of meds, stocked under "F." came with a note attached to it, that the technician read to me. Apparently, the company that makes my specific pre-natal vitamins has changed the formulation.

What does that mean?

They changed the ratio of one vitamin to another, blah, blah, blah... It is still a multi-vitamin.

But, I felt like I needed to know more specifically, what the new formulation is. Because I also take iron pills, I did not want to find out the "HARD" way, that I was now taking an overabundance of iron and maybe even o.d. on iron. That is just not the way I wanna go.

So they called over the pharmacist who came with a list of the changes and the original box of vitamins for reference, and she gladly went over it with me.

This was already a huge A+ for Target, in my book of pharmacy experience.

If I was still at OSCO (yeah, I am calling them out) the scenario would have been more like this...

1. They do not tell me that the formulation has been changed in the first place.

2. I call them when I realize the pill is now a different color and does in no way resemble what I have been taking thus far. And they respond by saying, oh, they probably just changed the color - it is the same company.

3. I call them back a day later with terrible stomach pains, tell them I think I am dying and ask them to find out what kind of pills they erroneously gave me. They put me on hold, and I am forced to listen to "Enya" for five minutes as I lay dying. They come back and ask me what I am waiting for. I tell them again. They tell me the pharmacist has stepped out can I call back in ten minutes. I tell them I may be dead in ten minutes and no one will ever no why. They put me back on hold for more "Enya". I accidentally get transferred to the supermarket Deli. I am transferred back as I cough up blood. They answer and still, no apologies and tell me - the new formulation has a crap load more of iron in it and I should not take iron in addition to the pre-natal vitamins. I say, too late and then drop dead. They say, can we help you with anything else, and when there is no answer, they say, alright - have a good day.

That scenario has unfolded in nightmares over and over again.

I get home with my bag of drugs and dump it on the kitchen table, because I am THAT responsible. Three hours later, I am sitting on the couch (probably blogging or Facebooking, or just.....sitting) no more than 30 feet from aforementioned table, when I hear my 2 year old Ate say,
"Ooh, whats this? Meadow sins?

Meadow sins?

Oh crap - it takes me five minutes to get my huge pregnant a#$ off the plush couch I have sunk into. I get to the table, just as he is popping a Prevacid into his mouth, with ten others now on the floor. He soon realizes, this does not taste like chewable Tylenol, and it gets stuck in the back of his throat - which I gather from the gagging and retching noises he is making. I flip him over and out pops the little pink and black pill.

And then....get ready for it.... I slapped him twice on his cute, chubby little wrist and say,
We don't EVER, EVER, EVER put medicines in our mouth.
And the poor kid cried and ran away from me to the basement for some sympathy from his two older sisters.

I think I may have mentioned this in one of my previous posts, but I do not remember. I do not hit my kids for discipline. The only times I EVER hit my kids, is when they are doing (or about to do) something that is seriously dangerous to them or someone else. If they were running in the street or playing with the stove or walking around with a knife...

However, in this situation, I felt tremendous guilt. Because I was the irresponsible mother who left Medicine (without child proof caps, no less) in an extremely attainable place. He was just being a normal curious two year old boy. (And I do not even want to imagine what could have happened if I was not there as it was happening.)

But I still felt that I had to give him the slaps on the wrist - because it would be a message for any future negligence on my part, or over-curiosity on his part - that popping pills = slaps on wrist and, Ate does not want slaps on wrist.

He came back up from the basement about ten minutes later, totally fine, showing me a toy. And I asked him,
"Why did Mommy give you a potch on your hand"?

"Because I ate the meadow sins"?!?!

"Are you allowed to eat medicine"?

"No, I isn't".

And then I gave him the biggest hug and kiss and we moved on.

However, my Target Pharmacy experience, is not over...

Today I went to get my refilled prescriptions, after finishing the last two days of the old bottle, when I noticed that the Pharmacist included a surprise.

SURPRISE!!!!

In addition to my four prescriptions, I have the original box of vitamins that the Pharmacist was showing me for reference. It has some other poor, pre-natal vitamenLESS pregnant woman's name on it, and I immediately put it in my purse to return the box to Target.

When I arrived at the Target Pharmacy counter today, displaying the box to the pharmacist I recognized, she immediately let out a sigh of relief.

"You are my life saver. Don't go anywhere, I have something for you."

I had no idea what I was waiting for. What other surprises can possibly be in store for me.

They were looking for another bag under "F.", but could not find it, and then the technician opened a drawer and handed me something and said,

"Well we prepared it for you ahead of time, hoping you would come back, but this is what we were giving you..."

Ooooooh, five dollar off coupon. And the coupon had a message that read,
"Our apologies for the delay or inconvenience...."

This pharmacy has pre-made apologies including five dollars towards a future purchase???? How friggin' awesome.

That other pharmacy - OSCO - would not give me an apology if I begged for one, and Target has them prepared in a drawer (or a bag with your name on it).

So they get the bottle of vitamins back. Pharmacist can keep her job (hopefully). I get five free dollars. Everyone is happy, happy.

I love Target!!!

And I will love 'em even more when they become a 24 hour Pharmacy, which I am sure will happen when the economy improves and they take over an entire 3 miles of land and change their name to "Target City".

But right now, I just love 'em.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Doom, Gloom, But No Monsters Please

I should have known it was going to rain today. My morning began it's unnecessary gloom and doom at 5 am.

Ate decided to wake up at 5 am, which does not happen often. Of course I kicked Hun out of bed (his stupid Blackberry alarm was about to go off anyway). Ate asked right away,
"wanna go in Mommy's bed"

This is easier said than done, because between Mommy and her belly, there is just not a lot of "Ate" room available.

I thought he may have woken because of his chronic...eh....poop issue - the issue of being "anal retentive" etc.... But when he got into my bed he was asking me if the monsters are still in the basement.
(Remind me to thank his sisters for that one.)

I assured him that there were no monsters in the basement or anywhere else and he best be falling back asleep if he knew what was good for him.

After over an hour of hearing him singing "row row row your boat" and being subjected to his conversation about "helicotters" and "agilators", he finally realized that he left his small airplane (his current choice of bedtime toy) in his crib, and asked for it. I took this as an opportunity, and negotiated. He could have his airplane, only in his crib. He agreed to these terms.

However, I soon realized that this would have me stuffing myself under his crib again to locate the airplane, in the darkness of early morn, in a place where his bedtime toys tend to go to die. I tried my damnedest to reach for this small airplane across the width of the crib, but I needed a miracle.

And, Hallelujah, my hand stretched enough to avoid becoming nothing less than an encased sausage, and I got that plane. And at 6:10 - Ate was back in his bed. Of course, I now had only 50 more short minutes to get some shut eye. This ended up being about 35, when I could hear So jumping around downstairs. And when I hauled my exhausted self out of bed at 7 am, Ate was still awake and crying for that friggin' airplane again. At least this time it was more easily attainable on the outside of the crib. I handed it to him and hoped he would get a good hour and a half of sleep because he has school at 9 am.

Now on to So... She has carpool coming at around 8 am. I went through my morning routine with her and Ro and at 7:55, she was getting her stuff on to wait at the door. Carpool driver today is my neighbor, so she picks So up first. At 7:56, So lays it on me...

"My teacher said, we should bring a PURIM* book or story to school if we want, so I want to bring the one I just took out of the library..."

(*Purim is an upcoming holiday full of joy and delight. It is chock full of sweets and treats and kids dress up in costume)

Here are the problems I had at this moment...

1. I am not a morning person and I have limited patience in the morning.

2. I just had a whole talk with So yesterday about responsibility and not waiting until the last moment to inform Mommy about needing wanting things for school, when she waited until the last minute to tell me she needed 100 of something to celebrate the 100th day of school, and then cried when I gave her 100 cheerios (because I did not have 100 lollipops or dollar bills in the house - imagine that).

3. I am sooo not a morning person and I have waning patience in the morning.

4. The library book she wanted to take TO school, actually just came home FROM the school library, but the child in question is So. The same girl who is on her fourth pair of mittens this season. She also has "MISPLACED" library books in the past, which I was asked to reimburse the library for. And in addition, has lost her wallet that contains her Chicago Public Library Card. If I send the book to her classroom, I can no longer expect to see it.

5. Did I mention that I am just chock full of patience in the morning because I loooooooooove mornings?

I decided that I needed to stick my ground to teach her some valuable lessons. She needs to inform Mommy earlier, if something requires preparation. And she needs to know the difference between items she can afford to take chances with and items that are not hers to take risk of loss with. And about a moment after I said, "no - you can go to school without a book today and we can find one from our house for a different day" carpool had arrived, and So erupted.

She sat on the entrance bench, tears flowing, adamantly refusing to go out the door to her carpool. My focus was solely on getting So out the door without giving in to her demands, and not on the poor carpool driver who was waiting patiently to move on with the ride. (It was not so difficult to ignore my lovely carpool friend, because I had gone through this with her daughter pretty much every single one of my carpool days for the last two years.)

I could have taken the easy way out and just handed her the book, but I had a lesson to teach, and she was going to learn it.

It felt like an eternity, but it was probably not more than two minutes. I had to break out the leverage "If you do not go to school, you will miss your friends' birthday, pool party..." I watched her walk down the front stoop, still crying, my poor So.

As soon as I closed the door, the guilt set in, and the second guessing hit me like , like, like, that damn Blackberry alarm every morning.

Was I being too hard on her?

Was this at all about my exhausted, moody, pregnant - morning induced lack of patience?

Was I really teaching her any valuable lessons?

Was I more abrupt because it was bad timing, due to carpool lady giving me the stink eye?

It is so hard to know when we should let things go and when we should "pick the fight". I do want to teach my children life's lessons. These are the lessons that will ultimately have her being respectful of other people's time and frankly, other people's belongings. She is only six, but then again, if I do not start young - I will be growing some monsters. (And I already told Ate there are no monsters in this house.)

I think the reason it is so hard to know if we are making the right decisions when it comes to discipline and teaching life's lessons, is because there is rarely any instant gratification. It can take months, sometimes years until we realize that all our hard work that many times comes with immeasurable guilt has actually proven successful, when we see our children behaving in ways that make us proud.

My guilt did not last long. I received a text message from my friend who drove carpool, that So stopped crying just after she got into the car.

I do not have all the answers, but I do know this...

THERE ARE NO MONSTERS HERE!!!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

They Are All Scammers!!!

I think I actually miss the days when people would call you on the phone and come to your door, and actually, honestly and straight forward, tell you that they had something to sell you. Once you knew what the hell it was they wanted, you would say,
"not interested", and hang up or shut the door respectively.

Now that the (totally and completely obsolete) "DO NOT CALL LIST" has been created, everyone who calls is looking for loopholes and practically speaking in tongue so as to foncuse the few brain cells you have left, really mess with you so that you don't know what the hell they are after.

Are you really a charity?
Are you really a non-profit organization?
Do I owe you money?
Have we met? Because you are speaking to me like you are my best friend.

Even the mail you get has you foncused...
Envelopes shout out,
"DO NOT DISCARD - CHECK ENCLOSED"
Please do not cash that thing, the fine print has you signing up for a five years worth of ham and lobster delivered to your door.

"URGENT - YOU ARE OVERPAYING YOUR PROPERTY TAXES"
Oh look, "Smarmy, Smarmy, Richman and Associates" think they can accomplish a miracle and get my property taxes reduced for me. I only have to pay them $50,000 to do so.

"WARNING - YOUR PHONE BILL IS PAST DUE AND YOU ARE AT RISK FOR LOSS OF SERVICE"
Really? Okay maybe you should not disregard this one. Although, if you lose your phone service, it will solve the next problem.

Incessant, annoying phone calls.
And how does this happen, I thought I was on the "Do not call list".
Apparently I am mistaken. I must have signed up for the "Feel free to call me anytime, but I am especially available when I have to get my kids ready and out the door to school as well as supper and bed time" list.

They have loopholes my friend. And when they leave a recording that says,
"If you feel you have received this call in error, or would like to be removed from this calling list, please call 1-800-bite me and follow the instructions".

Do not fall for this one!!!

Have you done this, and then realized that you are now removed from one list, but 10 more have creeped up on you? You are not hallucinating. Because in order to be removed from a list, they prompt you to offer the phone number you wish to be removed, you are now actually giving them permission to have that number and sell it to the highest bidder of every other annoying telemarketing company.

I have had conversations with service representatives like this,

"Hello, welcome to {We thought we could get you to pay for worthless sh#% you do not need} company - how can I help you?"

"Yes, I would like to be removed from your calling list, because I already have all the worthless sh#% I need."

"Sure, I just need the phone number you want removed."

"Well you already have it, because you call it every day, five times a day."

"Yes, but that is automated, so I need you to reference it for me."

"You just called me, so why don't you reference it for me."

"Umm, no I really need it, if you want to be removed."

(This is where I call them on their game)

"Well I know, that by actually giving you my phone number, blah blah blah..."

(loooooooooong pause) "Ummm, let me look at my computer. Is your number 1234567?"

"Oh, I see you do have it... remove me please, and you do not have my permission to sell my phone number..."

Since the greatest invention ever, caller ID, I mostly do not answer the phone. Majority of the time, they do not leave a message, they just call you ad nausea. Sometimes I do catch a message playing and it just encourages that state of foncusion I spoke about earlier.

"Hi, Orah. Hey how are you? Seems like we keep missing each other. This is uhh, Dick Hertz from HSBC bank. Yeah, Mike told me to call you, I don't know if you got his letter in the mail? He sent you some pre-approval to help out with the interest. So I am just calling again, cuz I may have missed your return call. I will be here all day today, and when you call, we can go over the details. I am looking forward to talking to you about this great opportunity for you and the family. In fact, let me leave my cell number, I would hate to miss your call again..."

DO I KNOW YOU???

They leave messages now, like you have already been conducting business with them and they know you on an extremely personal level. I feel like I may have Bar-b-q'd with Dick Hertz last summer. But then I realize, no, nope - just another "lower your interest offer'
or
"refinance your mortgage"
or
"get out of debt"
or
"SELL YOUR SOUL TO THE DEVIL"

But now they are coming to the door and foncusing the hell out of me.

On Friday, my doorbell rang. My husband was due home any minute from work, but when he is not home, I do not open the door for complete strangers. But I looked through the window, and in my pre-Sabbath preparations stupor, I thought I was seeing a delivery guy who needed me to sign for a package, so I opened the door.

Then I realized, his lovely "Company Logo" embroidered hat and jacket were not representative of any delivery service I had known.
He was from the "U.S. Energy Savings Corp."

So while he was flipping through a huge clip board full of laminated papers and hardly making eye contact with me and talking in a professional macho voice, he went on with his official shpiel...

"Hi, I am Frank. This is my area to cover for the Gas company. Pretty much I ascertain that you are not overpaying for your Gas from "People's Gas" which is the local gas provider of this area. I just need to see a recent Gas bill from "People's Gas" and I can determine if their rate is indeed appropriate..."

"So, who are you then..."

"Well, pretty much, "People's Gas supplies the gas to you, but we own the gas, and all I need is a recent gas bill..."

"Can I see that badge around your neck?"

(Now losing his professional tone and sounding more like an insecure a-hole)
"Heh, heh, this is not such a great picture of me."

Uhh not the point, I was not trying to ascertain whether you are photographically worthy of my latest "male model" business venture.

What I did "ASCERTAIN" is that. I have no idea what U.S. Energy Savings Corp. is. Even if it is a real company, I do not know that you really work for them. Anyone can buy the hat and jacket and have it embroidered and anyone can make a laminated I.D. badge. And I "asCERTAIN"ly will not be handing you my recent Gas Bill full of information that you are not privy to.

So I asked him to come back in an hour. I did not do this because I really wanted him to come back in an hour, but after he said, "alright", I wanted to see if he actually would.

He did not.

Even though his wording the whole time was very specifically thought out, to foncuse me into thinking that he was doing good work, making sure "People's Gas" was not overcharging it's customers. And that he was ONLY there to make sure from our bill, that we were in fact deserving of a lower rate, he failed to mention the following.

U.S. Energy Corp. is just another business trying to sell a service. They want you to sign a five year contract with a locked in gas rate. This locked in gas rate, might be beneficial, IF and only IF, the local gas company raises their rates. And if the local gas company should lower their rates, you will certainly be screwed, because you sold your soul to the devil and locked yourself into a different (higher) rate for at least five years.

WTF????

Could you have not just said all that, Frank?

I so hope that none of my neighbors actually handed over their personal gas bills to you. But I can only be responsible for myself.

Telemarketers and door salesman used to only be annoying. But now they are annoying and nothing less than Scam Artists.

Is there such thing as, "Do not attempt to go to the door of Orah F." list?

Like it would help anyway, they would probably stand on the public sidewalk in front of the house and pelt the door with rocks - LOOPHOLES!!!

(By the way, I am not dyslexic. "FONCUSED" is just my thing - to emphasize how confusing something is.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Claim To Fame?

On Saturday night I had the pleasure of going to an engagement party for a guy I consider a "brother from another mother". He is the same age as my younger brother, about 30 and he grew up friends with my brother S., spending a lot of time in my home. I did not like him much then, he was an obnoxious little twit, and I did not need ANOTHER obnoxious young brother. But as was expected, he grew out of his youthful indiscretions and I like him a lot more now.

I found myself, at D.'s engagement party, introducing myself to his relatives initially as Orah F. (my married name), and quickly recognized the blank stares. So I immediately followed it up with the ol'
"Orah S. (maiden name), I am S.'s sister".

And there it was - the expected "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh".

And I realized, even now at the ripe young age of 29 (+), after building a life for myself and grasping onto my own identity, my claim to fame still has to revolve around one of my six siblings.

When you grow up one of seven kids, whose births span the 50's, 60's and the 70's you can forget ever staking claim to your own identity. And if you are a girl and have changed your last name upon marriage, some of your own relatives who have not seen you in years will not know who you are if you do not pull out the maiden name.

I have been the daughter of "That" lovely business man, and the sister of "The" Midwife. I have also been the SISTER OF...,
the valedictorian,
the really funny brother who gets the lead roles in every play,
the brother who is a starter on the High School basketball team,
the brother who is head counselor of that camp in Wisconsin,
the sister who is getting her Doctorate in Psychology,
The brother with the 12 kids...

I can go on and on and on.

I think it took until Senior year in High School, for me to just be known as.... me.

I was the girl who started a high school newspaper,
I ran canteen,
I was captain of color war,
I was the girl who ditched class and got away with it and could be found sleeping on a stinky, decrepit used couch in the lounge.

I was a senior and I was cool.

And then after High School,
I joined organizations.
I had my own lead roles in plays.
I became a nurse, myself.

I met new people and made new friends and most of them think I am an only child and have no clue who any one of my siblings is.

Seriously, most people who know me now, are shocked to find out I ACTUALLY have siblings.

And when I tell them, that not only do I have six siblings, but my oldest sister is 50 years old...... I love the look on their faces.

And the cherry on top, when my older sister from New Jersey called me up and asked,
"Did you go to camp in New York with a girl named R.I."?

"Yes, yes I did".

"Well, she is my neighbor, and as soon as I told her my name, she said,
"Oh, are you Orah's sister......"

I felt like I had finally made it. I was no longer just "so and so's sister". The tables had turned. My older sister was being referred to as "Orah's sister". Her name was only recognized, in reference to mine. I was now HER claim to fame.

The concept of "identity" can be such a complex matter, and can be dissected in so many different ways. On one hand, we all can lay claim to our own individual identity, as it only relates to ourselves.
I am female
I am an American
I am a nurse
I am a brunette
I am spiritual.

On the other hand, we can be identified by what or who it is we relate to.
I am a sister
I am a daughter
I am a Mother
I am a wife
I am a friend.

I do not know how this post has suddenly become a philosophical study, but the point is, whether or not I am identified in relation to a sibling or I am identified by the garbage one can find in the can in back of my house, it does not change who I am as an individual.

Each person who knows me, may interpret my identity differently, but the bottom line is
I am Orah.






Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not Me Monday - Chock Full Of Shenanigans

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog full of my stupid shenanigans was originally created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what shenanigans she and everyone else have not been getting into this week.



I can not believe another week full of NOTHING has passed, yet again.

It was not me who spent the entire week doing hard labor that had nothing to do with delivering a baby. I did not spend the entire week, decluttering, organizing and cleaning my house to the point that I threw out my neck and the whole upper right side of my back. It is not me who now smells like "icy/hot" and should take stock in "thermacare heating pads".

It was soooo not me who stupidly tried to uncork a new bottle of wine, Wednesday with a corkscrew that still had an old cork buried inside it. This did not then cause the cork on the fresh bottle of wine to break up into tiny little pieces and fall into the wine bottle. I did not brilliantly try to salvage the wine by pouring it through a strainer into a decanter. I was not prematurely proud of myself for my quick thinking when I realized that most of the broken cork pieces were smaller than the strainer holes and went right into the decanter. It was not me who would not give up and decided to restrain the wine through cheese cloth material into another wine decanter. This did so not work like heaven , and I was certainly not grateful at this point that I received about 500 wine decanters as wedding gifts.

I did not have to deal with the fallout after I sent So and Ro to a friend for a play date, Saturday, late afternoon, where they spent two hours eating popsicles and drinking caffeinated soda just before bedtime.
It was not So who put dents in the floor because she could not stop jumping from the sugar and caffeine overdose. I did not have to remove each of them from the other's room a total of 7 times after they were put to bed, because they were so wired and could not remain still in their respective beds.

It certainly was not me who got my big, fat, pregnant a*#, stuck under Ate's crib while I was trying to retrieve a toy that he was hording. I did not have to use moves that are only appropriate if you are a seal to maneuver my way out from under the crib.

Speaking of big, fat pregnant a*#, I did not go to an engagement party Saturday night and leave disappointed (and hungry) because there was not enough good food at the party. That would be pathetic of me, and I am certainly not that food obsessed and pathetic.

What kind of shenanigans were you NOT up to this week?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Am I Up To? Oh, Just "Relaxin"

HOLY CRAP! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY PELVIC BONES???

I have recently embarked on my Spring/Passover/Nesting decluttering and cleaning. I have started a little early this year for a few reasons...

1. It will only get harder as I get closer to the finale of this pregnancy (G-d willing)

2. My house is in dire straits more this year, than any other year due to the changes that were made to allow for my Parent's to have room for all their crap while they were living with me for 16 months.

3. I just can't seem to find anything else to do with my time... (sarcastic tone implied).

I am fortunate to have a generous sized finished basement in my home, and as the children got older, they would play down there with toys more than upstairs in our den. However, I do keep some toys upstairs - mostly toys that serve the "under age two" crowd. Over the past year - upstairs toys have ended up downstairs and downstairs toys have ended up upstairs and therefore created a mess in my den as well as disorganization in the basement. So these became the first two areas to receive my productive engagement.

I recently purchased some lovely storage units for the basement as well as colorful bins and organized the hell out of the area - making this a much more welcoming environment for So and Ro especially. I think it worked, because I have not seen them for the past two days.

In the meantime, my adorable two year old, continues to bring basement toys upstairs because he likes to play close to Mommy. So I decided today I would tackle my den, and create an environment that would be more conducive to the playful life of a two year old.

It was very helpful that Hun decided to work from home the first part of the day, today. Because I had him not only take Ro and Ate to school, but pick them up at 1 PM as well.

I digress to tell you that when the husband of a pregnant woman shows up to this school, especially if he NEVER EVER is the one to chauffeur the kids (which is the case for Hun), this causes him to receive a plethora of inquiries about his wife's whereabouts and if she indeed gave birth. Ha Ha, the look on Hun's face when he came home was priceless,
"I showed up and immediately freaked out half of the other mothers there".

Anyway, because he did drop off and pick up, I was able to remain in my pajamas and work "comfortably" uninterrupted from 9 am to 1 pm. I was on the floor making piles and sorting and created one bag of garbage and another bag of toys that need to be returned to the basement. I found hair accessories and art supplies, as well as a bottle of shampoo. I have no idea, why there was a bottle of shampoo amongst the toys, but that is how pathetic it has become.

All this time, I must have been creating some brand, spankin', new Yoga moves. I may have even demonstrated some contortionist moves at some point, because when I got off from the floor, it felt like two people had a hold on my pelvic bones and were pulling in two opposite directions. Although the idea of "labor" is already sounding sweet to me, it is just not time for that - but dear Lord could I use an epidural about now. And this is just the tip of the ice berg. I still have the whole rest of the house to tackle by April something - when every Jewish woman's favorite holiday, "Passover" comes a knockin' on the door.

This hormone "relaxin" - the one pregnant women have causing all sorts of odd changes in the body - including muscle relaxation in the pelvic area - not so pleasant (certainly not relaxing) after a hard morning's work.

So, while I try to go about the rest of the day, walking around, tending to other responsibilities, like I just got off a horse - I will at least be able to say I have accomplished something significant.

But my kids are not allowed to go near, touch or actually play with any toys for the next two months ...

Agh! I need to go "relaxin" in the tub.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just Picture It In Your Mind!!!

I have to stop posting pictures. Because it takes for freakin' ever. That, and at some point it becomes as equally annoying as when people used to pull out the slide show of their latest, lame vacation on any unsuspecting friends who stopped by for a visit. So I apologize to all my unsuspecting visitors.

Yesterday there were a couple of things that occurred, that had my attention. And now they will therefore, officially make it into my blog.

Ate had a substitute teacher's aid yesterday. She is one he has had on previous occasions. She is a lovely lady, but one who may not be as diligent about keeping the children's personal items in order.

As I stood by the door to the classroom, Ate was specifically asking me for apple juice. While snack time during the day does usually include apple juice, I also send him every day with a sippy cup full of juice (typically sharpied with his name). He has never asked me for apple juice at pick-up before, because he most certainly has had enough liquid intake over the day. But just as I was wondering why today was different, the substitute was walking from the hallway back to the room with Ate's sippy cup that seemed to have just been refilled. I thought she was on her way to give it to Ate, but she walked right past me and called out to another child,
"M. I have your juice..."

Right then, I figured that Ate was thirsty, because he never got his cup all day - probably M. had been drinking Ate's juice. So I called out to the Sub. and explained that this was indeed Ate's cup (even though his name had apparently rubbed off) and asked if Ate had any juice that day. She looked bewildered and then pretty much confirmed that M. had been drinking from his cup all day.

Well these things happen. And since Ate was still begging for some juice, I had to hand the cup right over to him, without washing it even though some other 2 year old had been sucking on it all day. And I so hope Ate does not come down with one of the myriads of viruses that have been going around all this season. But if he does, I am already pre-vindicated. Because my son has some "anal retentive" tendencies and needs help in the pooping department, I spike his juice every day with some Miralax. (Miralax is a powder of natural "medicine" like fiber that causes poop to soften and make it's "appearance" easier.) So watch out Mommy of M. - you may have some surprises in M.'s diaper.

Speaking of diaper... here is another occurrence from yesterday that only reiterates the substitute's lack of diligence over the children's personal items....

When So was born (my first baby) I made the decision to first try the cheapest diapers and work my way up if they were not satisfying the baby's my needs. One trial and error included "Luvs". I realized that I have no love for "Luvs" and ended my search at "Pampers Cruisers", which I still buy today, with coupons, of course.

Ate still has enough "Pampers Cruisers" in his cubby at school, so I do not need to replenish his supply. The teachers change Ate shortly before he is picked up, so when he comes home - I just throw him gently and lovingly place him in his crib for a nap.

When Ate woke up yesterday, he was soaked. Frankly, I do not think my son has woken up soaked..... EVER, for sure not since infancy. So I went to change everything and there it was - "LUVS". And not only was he wearing a diaper from some other child's supply, it was two sizes too small (probably M.'s because she is a tiny little thing). So if M. is wearing Ate's "Pampers Cruisers" and two sizes too big for her, after drinking juice laced with diarrhea inducing "Miralax", her Mommy is going to have soooooome clean up job.

Also, at the facility where Ate attends school, another school nearby rents out the gym for their own use. I do not care for the guy who oversees the kids from the school. He is always yelling and he can not keep the grade school kids in line - figuratively and literally. I have a hard time picking Ro up from the other half of the gym after her tumble tots class, because about 40 eight year olds are blocking the way.

So yesterday I watched him walking down the hallway, not keeping the kids in line, as usual - when he turned around to yell at one of the boys,
"Xavier, CUT THAT OUT! I don't want to have to write up an accident report."

Yeah, that is why Xavier should cut out his wild and potentially harmful behavior - so that you don't have more paper work to do. Great message to Xavier.

And finally, I share a moment that gave me pride and joy, aka. Nachas.

Ate found one of So's many worksheets laying around. On this particular worksheet were coins, some colored brown and some colored yellow. Ate held the paper in front of me and said,
"See Mommy, see, this ones is chocolate and this ones is vanilla".
(in reference to the brown and yellow, of course.)

I replied,
"Very good Ate, and how many chocolate coins are there"?

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6".

"Very good Ate, and how many vanilla coins are there"?

"1, 2, 3, 4".

And I was slightly surprised that he worked out my little sorting and counting question so well - he is only 2. So I gave a final response,

"Very good Ate, good job".

To which he responded, (as if to continue my response)

"You are so smart".

He has a working brain........apparently in a BIG head. We are going to have to work on modesty and humility.

So while I just shared, what were probably some lame stories and ocurences, at least I spared you more pictures.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Day At Parrot Jungle Jungle Island



When we were soaking in the warmth of the Miami sun, we were pretty much at the pool and beach all day every day, but I knew that there needed to be one day set aside to do some other extracurricular activity.


We could have gone on any number of excursions. We could have gone to "Monkey Jungle" - I like monkeys. Or we could have toured the Miami Zoo. There was an "Animal Safari" close by. We could have also visited the "Miami Seaquarium" and paid an astronomical amount of money to swim with the dolphins. Except Hun and I already swam with dolphins in Eilat, Israel in the coral reef before we had kids. And the price for that was so moderate, we actually paid extra to have the whole experience filmed underwater as we swam all scuba geared up. Only no one will EVER see that footage, because Orah in a wet suit is ALL SORTS OF WRONG!!!

But I am done digressing. I knew right away that the one place we would go is "Parrot Jungle". Because, although I have been to Miami, probably 6 or 7 times in my childhood, for some reason, out of seven kids in my family, I am the only one who has never been to "Parrot Jungle". I think I was the kid who always got lost in the shuffle.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, "Parrot Jungle" is a zoo like park that has many different species of parrots and other birds, and the majority of these birds are just sitting on perches along the pathways. I mean, anyone can pretty much grab one. But no one does. They also have shows and opportunity to get up close and personal with the birds, including feeding them.


However, it has come to my attention, that this "birdie" zoo has actually changed it's name to "Jungle Island". This may have to do with all the other animals they currently display and "show".

Such as...


This rare breed of tiger.

We saw him at a show along with some other ferocious beasts and we were only separated by a four foot fence. Hmmmmm? And even more "hmmmmmmm", was the fact that the first five rows of the outdoor seating area had written, in very bright red paint, the words
"NO CHILDREN MAY SIT HERE"

I think they gave him Benadryl, though - so all was okay.

We also saw...


...him!!!
They call him "Croccosaurus" - I wonder why? I do not even think this picture can capture how enormous this thing was.

We saw Crocossaurus, just after we had a private Q&A session with some "Parrot Jungle "Jungle Island" representatives over this little dude.


I would have liked to capture on film, the moment this thing whipped its tail and became free from any responsible care taker, but I was too busy running for my life. But subsequently, I learned that when an Alligator is acting up, if you just flip it over, it falls right asleep - like a hypnotic state of sleep. I kinda wish I could just flip onto my back and be out for the count.

We also went to the "classic" bird show, where amongst other tricks, birds can do this...

Yep, that is a Cockatoo riding a bike.

And we ended up at the lorikeet cage at just the right time to get in a cage with a slew of pooping birds and feed them or don't feed them - doesn't matter, they WILL land on you anyway. This of course led to the poop on Hun that was posted yesterday.


We would have stayed in the Lorikeet cage longer, only Ro and Ate were not having Hitchcock's latest debut of "F. Family Meets The Birds".

But Ro and Ate were absolutely adorable as usual, away from the birds...


We also saw other species at this "zoo", including some bizarre fish, amphibians and reptiles in the "Everglades" area and some small monkeys as well as Orangutans. But i will spare you all the pictures.

We were there from 12:00 until closing at 5 PM and the park was EMPTY, which made it oh so much more enjoyable. We had an amazing time.



But my favorite part was actually when we got back to the hotel. Because I realized what a great time the kids had when they could not stop talking about everything they saw and did. And then to top it off, So sat down and drew this...


I am actually happy I decided to make this a "Family" vacation rather than just a getaway for Hun and myself.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday - Vacation May Induce Moodiness


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog full of embarrassing testimony was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not testified to this week.




I did not have an amazing week with my family in Miami.

When we were at Parrot Jungle, I did not totally laugh hysterically when Hun kept getting pooped on in the Lorikeet cage because he decided the best place to stand was right under a rope where 12 lorikeets were perched.


I am not a total witch if I am getting screwed out of money. I did not spend time bitching talking sensibly to managers trying to retrieve five dollars at Parrot Jungle that a broken vending machine stole from us, as well as seven dollars we were overcharged in the parking garage near our hotel. I am not the Queen of scoring back my hard earned money.

I did not get a chuckle every time Ate asked to go back to the Ocean to wash off the "SNOW". He would never be that understandably clueless.
This is not my absolutely favorite picture of him covered in snow sand.


I am not somehow a magnet for celebrity encounters in random places at random times. It was so not me who spotted Wilmer Valderama (Fez from "That 70's Show) while my family was strolling down Lincoln Road in Southbeach. If I did, I certainly did not interrupt his dinner at "Sushi Samba" and yell out, "Hey Wilmer, can I get a picture with you?" I did not see him again two nights later at the exact same spot and then have my family double time it past him, lest he recognize me and think I am a total stalker.


Upon the return plane ride home, I did not vomit a little in my mouth, when I watched a nauseating scene unfold in front of me between a PREverted (so perverted, he is perverted before he is perverted, thus a PREvert) crew member and a passenger. As I was waiting behind the crew member and a cute petite woman in a very short dress, I did not watch as she kept asking him when the light goes on in the lavatory. He did not try to explain that it will go on when she slides the locking lever as he got physically closer and closer to her. I did not then watch him lean into the lavatory, practically salivating, and then hear him ask, "want me to come in with you", just as she figured out how to close the door.


I also did not have to become "MAMMA BEAR" on the plane, when an obnoxious fifty year old man sitting in front of me, turned around with mucho anger and "shush'd" my two year old who had been singing falsetto for no more than five seconds. I did not give him an evil look when he turned around and removed his ear buds, and said, "He is screaming."
It was not me who (ready to take him down) said, "actually he is singing".
In the "NO HE DIN'T" category - he did not then tell me, "WELL CAN YOU KEEP HIM QUIET?" I did not then laugh to myself at the absurdity of the question about whether I had the power to keep a two year old who is deep into his "anal" stage of development according to Freud (in more ways than one) and is expressing the normal psychological developmental stages of "independence" and "autonomy" quiet. (I so did not minor in Psychology.)

I did not then say, "wait, let me ask him.... Ate, would you like to be quiet."


Ate certainly did not look up at me and as expected, reply,
"Noooooooope".


This, obviously, childless man did not finally get the point and turn around and leave us alone. Ate did not fall asleep five minutes later as I expected he would for the duration of the flight.


It is not me who is way too comfortable with confrontation especially when I am a moody pregnant lady.


I did not unnecessarily give some poor guy an unsuspecting response when he tried to make conversation as I was leaving the Starbucks counter at the airport, with my Frap.


After he rubbed his beer gut and said, "I can understand..." in obvious reference to my noticeable belly size, I did not respond by saying,
"No, I don't think that MEN can."


I was so not obviously tired at this point. I have not been sleeping almost all weekend because apparently vacation can be tiring. Also this weekend, it was not me who saw three Marine force 1 helicopters bringing President Obama into Chicago as I walked to MIL house Friday night for dinner. This will in no way be as close as I ever get to meeting Obama, unless I bump into him in Southbeach one day.


How did your week NOT go down?


Friday, February 13, 2009

Back To Reality!!!



And all my other national and international blog followers.



Reality is not too bad... Being welcomed back to Chicago after about a week in Miami by 33 degrees at 10:00 at night can not be taken for granted, especially when I think of the other snowy, icy, below zero alternatives. Unless of course it is the chronic "on fire" sensation I feel due to the sunburn on my back that has me delusionally thinking 33 degrees is not bad.


We had an amazing family vacation. And as I suspected, Hun came back saying, "I would do that again", which has me declaring, "VICTORY" in response to a man who never used to have the word "vacation" existent in his repertoire.

I have so much to say about our vacation, but I will call this post -


THINGS I SAW ON THE BEACH...


THIS LOVELY MAN!!! Okay, so Hun is on his "crackberry", but at least he is on his "crackberry" on the beach with his pants rolled up. I can't be too demanding.



This ADORABLE little man.


This beauty modeling her wind blown hair look.


This sweet pea with her trendy sunglasses.



They were in Heaven.



And some other things I saw on the beach...

This thing, (and all it's brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles....)



These lovely ladies. And honestly, I admire that they are adamant about their modest attire in 80 degree weather on the beach. There is a reason you will not see any pictures of me on the beach - it would be highly inappropriate. And I looked like a beached whale.


This woman, who I should NOT make fun of because she obviously has some curvature of the spine. But I couldn't help laughing, because she kept walking back and forth and she looked like she was terribly constipated and was looking for a place to do her biness.



This dude just casually strolling down the beach with a snake around his neck. Yes, you read that correctly, although hard to see, he has A FRIGGIN' LIVE SNAKE DANGLING AROUND HIS NECK!!! The only reason I noticed him, because he just casually strolled right through a crowd of teenage girls who began shrieking and running like.....well......like teenage girls. He falls into the WTH???? category. Frankly, I think he and constipated woman might make a great couple.



I have a gazillion pictures and more tales from our Miami trip, but I would be smart to spread it out over a few posts. So until next time y'all...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not Me! Monday - Joy And Sunshine

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog full of joy and sunshine was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing in the sun this week.




This past week was not at all about preparing to take a trip to Miami, where I have not been since I am 14 years old and my husband has never been.

Even though Hun and I had the option to go away without the kids for a vacay, I am not an absolutely rocking Mom because I decided (certainly not stupidly) to make this an all inclusive family vacation.

I did not have an abundance of crap to take care of before we could leave on this vacation, which I had to get done while Hun was away on business yet again and my lovely babysitter/housekeeper decided this was a good week to visit her mom in Ecuador.

No one would have found me praying all week that my kids get over their bizarre illnesses before our departure and do not pick up any new ones.

I did not have to have everything completely packed and loaded in my car by Friday sundown, because we are not allowed to travel and prepare for travel over the Sabbath which does not end until about 6 pm Saturday night, when our flight was scheduled for 8:10 pm.

I was not so amazingly organized that everything went so smoothly, including the fact that my anal retentive son finally pooped a half hour before we were to leave to the airport, causing me the most calm I have ever experienced traveling with children.

When my brother, who so generously drove us to the airport handed me a dollar to give to charity upon our safe arrival (because we believe if you are on your way to deliver a good deed, nothing bad will happen to you), I certainly did not hear him say,
"Here, this is so you don't go down into the Hudson."

The lady sitting in the window seat of my row on the airplane, definitely did not ask me,
"Has anyone ever told you, you look like Carnie Wilson?"
I mean, I may have a big belly right now (due to growing fetus), but I have never needed barriatric surgery...

I was not intently eavesdropping on the conversation going on behind me by four burly guys dressed in what I can only describe as zoot suits complete with gold watch chains, because I was certain they were either Mafia or Colombian drug lords, and I thought it would be entertaining conversation. I did not then have to force Hun to eavesdrop as well because Hun understands fluent Spanish.

I am certain, I could not have heard my lovely , laptop obsessed husband ask me,
"Do you think the people who went down in the Hudson got their laptops off with them?"

Seriously, he did not just ask me that... This question did not make me think how therapeutic it would be if I could sneak his laptop out of the hotel and throw it into the Atlantic Ocean. I would never do that, I would never even consider it.

Sunday did not, at all, seem to go on forever, and yet I did not enjoy every waking sun filled moment of it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Where have I been, Where am I going???

I have not been slacking, only busy.....




PACKING!!!


And if all has gone well,

my kids, my Hun and I are on a plane right now


to a destination



hopefully



WARM!!!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ro Birthday girl!



"I never knew I could love another child the way I loved my first, but then you came into my life."


It is not often that I am TOO busy to blog about something, but yesterday was time dedicated to Ro. As is this post.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RO!!!
(Thanks to Heidi for wishing her an early and even earlier birthday!)

I can not believe you are five years old already. You have grown, oh how you have grown. And not just physically
. You have come a long way baby...

For those of you who have not been with this blog of mine since it's inception, some of my first few posts were dedicated to describing my children. Ro, took two posts and I am not sure I covered everything. Please take the time to learn a little about Ro - here
and here .

Out of my three kids, Ro was by far the most demanding and most challenging. And in many ways, she still is. She communicates the least, verbally, out of the three kids. She picks and chooses her words very cautiously. She is both sweet and sour. If she is tired, upset or needs to poop - beware her wrath. And she is also the most maternal. She is the most excited about the impending birth of a sibling. She is also extremely aware of her surroundings. She will shut lights that are left on. She will throw out a piece of paper that everyone else has been stepping over. She always puts her plates and cutlery in the sink after a meal. She has the capability to be a huge kvetch, one minute and cuddle and deliver the sweetest kisses, the next minute. I still learn more and more about her, each and every day.

Welcome to my world - Ro!
I am pretty sure I had a salon in my birth canal and Ro had an appointment on the way out. She is my only baby thus far, born with hair and it was spiky and frosted blond at the tips.



I am pretty sure this is the ONLY shot I have of you asleep, because you NEVER slept.



You remind me of a mouse in this shot.



Just like you are a chameleon, so are your eyes. You are the only one so far born with colored eyes. Sometimes they are as blue as the sky. Sometimes they are as grey as a dolphin. They have been green like the leaves on a tree. But when you smile, it doesn't matter what color they are - THEY SHINE!

Ro was so excited about her birthday, and was talking about it all day Tuesday. When I woke up Wednesday morning, Ro was already awake and dressed. She picked out her outfit (with the help of So). I bought this size 5 shirt only two months ago. It was so big on her, her shoulders would keep becoming exposed, so I put the t-shirt (pictured) under it. When I came downstairs Wednesday morning, Ro said,
"Look Mommy, I am five today and now I fit into the shirt."

I think she actually is right - it looks like it fits her better.

We had a birthday at school, complete with Princess plates and tiara. There are five candles in her doughnut and she passed out bracelets to the girls and dinosaur figures to the boys.

I am thankful for this blog o' mine, for I have a place to document this milestone.

Because Ro will only turn FIVE once.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Still A Sully Fan!!!

Today's post can probably fall into the "Fun Facts About Orah" category, but that is not the focus today, and frankly, who cares about Orah.

I AM A NEWS JUNKIE!

I will read, listen to and watch anything news related. And it makes no difference to me if the news in question is just a passing story, or a completely intellectually stimulating Pulitzer Prize worthy piece.

I will read the newspaper and other periodicals. I will locate news stories online. And I will watch CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, local news stations, Dateline, Primetime, 60 minutes, 20/20 and Nightline.

Oh, and of course "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report". (They make news so fashionable.)

I can not get enough, and this is why, ladies and gentlemen, I am known to be full of useless information. I have been compared to "Cliff Claven" the know it all mailman on "Cheers". (If you are not familiar - doesn't matter.)

I am like a cap on your Snapple bottle. I am like the little boy in "Jerry Maguire". I am just full of mostly non-essential news material.

Today, I got a huge chuckle while listening to the news on the radio as I drove my carpool. (Yes I mentioned carpool, but I am being positive on a Tuesday for a change.)

I already posted my tribute to
Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger
and I expressed how I do not believe for one second, that it is JUST a coincidence that, THAT man was the one to help bring the plane down safely. And the most recent news I have heard about him just reiterates this sentiment.

Apparently, after Sully so bravely landed an airplane full of people, safely into the Hudson and made sure all the passengers and crew were off the airplane pretty much completely intact, he failed to retrieve his library book that was sitting in the cargo hold. That is obviously not surprising.

It seems, since the unfortunate circumstances that became Sully's moment of heroism, Sully also did not want to forget his responsibilities to the California library that allowed him to checkout the book.

He called them and asked them if they would be so kind as to waive the late fees on the book. They not only told him that all fees and charges for the lost book would be overlooked, but that the library would also like to take it upon themselves to dedicate the replacement book in his honor and name.

And the subject of the book that Sully had checked out and left behind on the sinking plane - "Professional Ethics".

Some of you may have heard this circulating story today, but just in case you did not, I HAD to share it here.

I for one, am a HUGE, Sully fan.