Thursday, December 31, 2009







Thursday, December 24, 2009





I myself, am going with the family on a little getaway.

TTYL Y'all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

If Inflection Wasn't The Right Word, It Is Now

I went to the mall today just to get some information at the Verizon store about when I am eligible for a new phone so I can buy that sweeeeeeeet looking "Droid".

Before I entered the building, I stopped short to adjust the strap on my purse over my shoulder and at that exact moment, a chunk of ice fell from the overhang and landed right in front of my toes.

This makes one go,

If I had not stopped in that exact split second to adjust my strap, surely that ice would have hit me in the head. That may not have been such a pleasant experience, I gather.

Yet, I continued on without more thought and went to find the Verizon store. I spent some time there wishing it was February (my earliest date of upgrade eligibility) while I mulled over that
sweeeeeeeeeeet "Droid", that I don't TRULY need. Unless you take into account that the world is moving into IMMEDIATE wireless communication and so little human interaction, that without data plans at your side you would be lost pretty much anywhere, including your own house.

I stopped for a few minutes at one other store and then left the building the same way I entered. I was in the building for no more than 20 minutes. When I left, there was now yellow "caution" taped tied up all over the forward facing entrance of the mall, causing me to take a side door.

I think it hit me (no pun intended) more when I left the building, than it did when the ice actually dropped at my foot. This was obviously serious enough for the mall to take action and keep patrons safe. I mean, on the way in, it did not even occur to me to visit the mall office and report the falling ice, but thank G-d someone had more forethought than I.

When I got into my car, I just sat there for a moment. I thought about my husband's recent car accident, and just missing a hit on the noggin by falling ice and the fact that I am a seemingly healthy, breathing, walking human being who probably could not tell you where all my time has been going these past weeks, because to some degree, I like most people am living my life on "AUTO PILOT".

I feel like (and I will only speak for myself now) this technologically advancing world keeps me in this uncomfortable state of disconnection. My car gets me from point A to point B without much thought. My computer gets merchandise to my door without any direct human interaction required. I run with my
Zune blasting readily available music and before I know it, I have run nine miles. I can compare and dissect different car features, prices, specifications and options BEFORE ever getting to the showroom. And when adjusting my purse strap is the only thing that prevents falling ice from impaling me, I walk right over the mess and head into a mall to look at a phone I barely need.

I used to be a person who prided myself on my clear and concise focus of everything around me. I was always an extremely insightful, introspective person and would never let an event like a serious car accident involving a beloved family member, just pass by without any personal
inflection (I know that is not the correct usage of the word, but it makes more sense than reflection). And yet, lately, I feel like I have no time to inflect or reflect or do any kind of flection, because I just move on to the next thing in life - supper, laundry, dishes, this child's needs and that child's needs and all the STUFF - the STUFF that just clutters your life and your world .... literally and figuratively.

Am I alone in this? Am I the only one who feels I need SOMETHING to connect me back to this world in which I live? And sometimes, I think - those near misses, like car accidents and falling ice, those ARE the things that are supposed to open my eyes and reconnect me to this life I am living and my purpose in it. But I miss the calling, because it's a vicious cycle. This overstimulating world keeps me too busy to focus on my purpose, and then some crazy overstimulating event occurs to TRY to get me to focus on my purpose, but I can't because I have to get to my son's school to pick him up and on and on and on...

Now I am just rambling on like a crazy woman.

Now I get those, gurus and "whole health" Doctors that emphasize the importance of taking time, even just 15 minutes to go into a private space and "meditate" or "breath" and truly focus on your "breathing" and "meditation". How I miss even 15 minutes of available time. Who has 15 minutes? I am lucky if I can shut the bathroom door and count to more than 120 before someone is banging on it.

So if I would not have gone to the mall and spent 20 minutes at the Verizon store looking at a phone I hardly need, well then, I would have had 20 minutes to meditate and breathe. But then, if I did not go to the Verizon store to look at a phone I really, really want, I would not have had my eye opening encounter with falling ice. And frankly, this whole post is a testament to my current
inflection, so all is good then. I guess I have reconnected after all.

And what have I learned???


Watch out for falling ice, that's for sure.


Life is short, make the most out of it and focus on what is TRULY important.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Not About The Camry (But It Sort Of Is)

pre-post message:

Anonymous commenter of my last post - I responded to you in the comment section of the last post.

Donna - I appreciate your input/compliment as well.


Well, last night did not really go as planned.

Every Tuesday evening, So has gymnastics at a community center not too far from my house. I was fortunate to make a carpool with a friend. She takes So there, because Hun is not home when gymnastics begins, and this saves me from needing to load my car with 3 other non-compliant, overtired, children in noxious weather. Hun typically leaves work at 5 pm or so on Tuesdays, just so he can be home to allow me to retrieve So and her friend from gymnastics, so that aforementioned extraneous activity does not have to take place. Other nights, he leaves work when he sees fit, certainly no where near 5 pm.

Last night at 6 something, Hun was kind enough to call me (and I am certainly grateful it was Hun on the phone and NOT a cop at my door) to let me know he had been in an accident and would not be getting home anytime soon.

Of course, I FIRST verified that he was okay, and Hun was being called away to answer questions, so I did not get details at the time. I then had to make a call to see if my carpool friend would be so kind to retrieve the girls, and of course she IS so kind. Then I called Hun back.

Apparently, the accident was significant enough to total the car. Hun was coming straight East down D. street and had just gone through a green turning yellow and entered the intersection. A 16 year old girl who was facing West and waiting to turn left, later said to police, that the guy behind her honked and it made her nervous and she accelerated to make her left turn. This is when she hit the front driver's side of Hun's car, deploying the airbags and hurling him around into a car to the South waiting at the red.

The police verified all the information from the three drivers involved as well as other witnesses who all corroborated, the sequence of events. The police referred to it as a "no fault" accident, and issued no tickets. An ambulance was on scene and Hun was offered to go to the hospital, which he refused at the time. The woman in the car, that Hun's car subsequently hit did go to the hospital, but my understanding is that no one suffered any serious injuries.

I did not share with the kids the details of what was keeping Hun, but they were inquiring about his whereabouts because while they would normally be going to sleep, they wanted to wait up to light the Menorah with him. I told them his car broke down and he would be late, and they of course, insisted on waiting up. This made for a very productive night on my part. They were hyped up on Chanukah treats and overtired and I was still concerned about Hun who had not arrived home yet.

When the initial shock of the accident had passed and Hun arrived home, he was a bit shaken and started to feel some soreness. We agreed that he would go to the Doctor today, just to document any possible injuries in case it becomes a problem later.

Mostly, it is a headache that Hun did not need right now. He has to deal with insurance and shop for a new car which was not in the immediate plans, although....

Recently I would mention here and there that at some point Hun would need a more presentable car. (Nothing fancy, Hun and I are not into that, just slightly more appropriate for a respectable business man who goes out on the road for business often.)

But the car had a lot of sentimental value to me...

No one (6 siblings) in my family had their own car growing up. My parents did not feel that a 16 or 17 year old needed their own 20 - 30,000 dollar piece of machinery, and I actually agree. I think teenagers can become spoiled if they just have a car handed to them. Even though license age in Illinois is 16, my parents would not let us get our license until we were 17. But once we were licensed, my parents were pretty fair and generous about lending us their car for our personal and social use.

In '94 I started College. While Chicago has a pretty decent public transportation system, it did not cover surrounding suburbs very well. Somehow, I was able to function at first by borrowing my parent's car or getting dropped off and picked up for classes. On the way to college, I saw a car with a "for sale" sign on it. I did not immediately know what make of car it was, but the body looked totally perfect and new and it had a sunroof, which really attracted my 19 year old self.

I told my father about this car and asked if he could come with me to the owners to negotiate a price. I had money saved from various jobs I had and I was also currently working at a restaurant. When we arrived at the owner's house, the door opened, and an older European woman looked at my father and said,
"Oh - maaaa Got"
in her thick European accent.

My father looked at her closely, and then gave a little giggle and said,
"Oh, look who it is..."

I was just dumbfounded really.

Apparently, they went way back and then she sat my father down and offered him coffee and mandel bread (cookies).

I just wanted to buy a car, but I was sitting there for 40 minutes and listening to "old" talk.

The car belonged to her daughter, who had actually moved to the suburbs, but she thought she could sell it quicker near my neighborhood. It was an '89 Mercury Sable (so 5 years old) and in GREAT condition. I was all prepared to haggle and negotiate and have my Dad get all business man like on her European tushik, but then my Dad said,
"just tell me what is a fair price.."



Huh, what, that's it? You just give her what she asks for. I was paying my father back for this car. I wanted to push for something lower. But what could I do? I mean, she gave him mandel bread for "Bubby" sake.

So, that was it. I became the "paying" owner of a Mercury Sable with sunroof. Little did I know at the time that American cars suck it and Mercury Sables suck it the most.

I will say that my parents did pay for the insurance, but I paid gas and maintenance.

The car was only good to me for so long (because it was a friggin' Mercury Sable). Then it started to nickel and dime me. And then one morning I walked out of the house to take my car on one of its many trips to College and it was bleeding. Seriously, there was red liquid all over the ground under the car. And my incredible savvy car knowledge told me ..... uh, that can't be good. Something died in my car. Turns out my transmission died and transmissions bleed red when they kick the bucket. 1200.00 and a new transmission later (WTF - I paid 5000.00 for this piece of crap) I was getting into the nitty gritty of nursing school. I had to wake up really early in the morning and take various highways to get to my clinicals at various hospitals. I needed a car I could depend on.

I sold the piece of crap for 3,000.00 and decided to actually learn a bit about cars. And in '98 I fell in love with a car called "Camry". I love you number one selling Japanese car in America. You get great mileage. You are considered low maintenance and have the potential for looooooong life. I am a practical person. I don't need me a perty, cool piece of crap. I want me the car that will last forever and not cost me more after I make the final purchase.

But I could not afford a brand spankin' new Camry. And my parents do not buy cars for their children. So my parents and I worked something out. Interest was really low in '98. We would finance the car. My dad would pay the bills to the dealership in full, and I would pay my father, monthly what I could until the car was paid for. My parents also still paid the insurance.

So I got me my sweet, brand spankin' new '98 Toyota Camry in blue and .... YES, it had a sunroof.

It was paid for, in full, by me in two years time, just in time for me to get married and bring it into the marriage.

Hun came into the marriage with a Ford Crown Victoria. He was always under the impression that if Police and taxi drivers drove Ford Crown Victorias then they must be great cars because police and taxi drivers drive HARD. To which I explained that Police cars and probably taxi cars were souped up vehicles and he was not privy to the souped up version of the Ford Crown Victoria, and also, nothing good could come from an American car. I furthered my point, just a few years ago when it came out that the gas tank of the Ford Crown Victoria was easy to explode upon a rear end collision, but the only recall Ford made was to the Police cars, a category my husband's car did not fall into. This was obviously the beginning of Ford's demise.

So, when I was pregnant with Ate and we obviously needed to upgrade from my lovely sedan and his gas guzzling boat, he reluctantly conceded we agreed to sell the Ford and Hun would drive my Camry and I would get the "mom" van.

And that brings us to today...

'98 Toyota Camry

survived (with gratitude to G-d) by Hun and Orah.
You were good to me my friend. And I stand by your safety, as my Husband walked into the door in one piece. You gave me 11 good years, and now you have gone to Camry heaven. Say hello to my Sable although, come to think of it, the Sable is probably in Hell. I will never forget you.

So, does anyone have any ideas for a new car. Hun wants an all wheel drive at this point. (Frankly, he would drive a big rig if I let him, but where would we park it?)

I want him to have something safe, that does not eat gas and hybrid would probably not be a bad idea these days...



Tuesday, December 15, 2009



It's about time, right?

I never even blogged about our apple picking back in October, but that is the origins of the new picture.

Well - I am pooped from my recent blog construction, so I'll give you a new post tomorrow (hopefully).

In the meantime, let me know what you think please.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More To Love

I have a confession to make.

This may make some people uncomfortable to hear.

I have no regrets about this secret.






And he gets to put his hands on me.

I won't even bother to tell you who know me, to not share this little tidbit with my husband.

Why should I bother?

Not only does Hun know about this other man in m
y life, he encourages it.

This man is great at giving therapeutic massage.

He is also great at adjusting my spine,
applying ultrasonic therapy to my messed up neck and upper back,
and applying a 3 pound weight to my head as it lays extended over a heated roll on the edge of a table so I can regain th
e proper curvature that G-d intended for me.

I saw on digital x-ray just how misaligned my cervical and upper thoracic spinal areas are, and it is pitiful.

But Dr. Mctouchy is doing his magic and things are shifting and angels are singing and stars are twinkling and...
well, you get the point.

I will add here - he is not just some dude I found on "Craigslist". He is actually a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine.
So it's legit and I am not a slut.

Want to know what does not really help my wayward spinal issues???

This little freakishly huge dude -

I just took him for his 6 month checkup and found out what kind of load I am carrying around on a semi-regular basis.

20 pounds, 8 ounces - 87th percentile for weight.

28 inches long - 92 percentile for height.

He is the weight of some one year olds...

Hey - chunky monkey - some one year olds walk!!!

Just more to love, I guess.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blankets Do Not Always = Security

You know how






Well apparently, so does




(By the way, can you believe Bam is already over 6 months old? Me neither, but back to that in a later post.)

After 3 slightly more docile children at bedtime, I now have a child who just can not be trusted with a blanket of any kind in his crib.

I love my night vision baby monitor. But a baby monitor is supposed to give Mommy peace of mind and a good nights sleep. Instead I have found myself glued to the many all night productions, entitled:

"How Many Ways Can Bam Kill Himself With His Blanket?"

Well, he can magically turn his blanket into a Boa Constrictor as he tosses and turns and strangle himself.

He is also pretty good at playing "peek a boo" with his blanket, only he sometimes forgets to "peek" and "boo" and the blanket lingers a bit too long over any breathable orifice. So that would be suffocation.

And of course, why stop there when a blanket can also act as a perfect teething device. Only I don't remember swollen gums being that far back in the throat. So lets throw in, choking hazard.

And now Bam is being punished for his usually quite appealing playful manner and he will be sans blanket.


(I am like the "blanket" Nazi.)

Wanna play a game?

It's called:


Where's Bam? Where's Bam? Where's Bam?

Oh, thank G-d. There he is. In all his "gassy" glory.

I felt really guilty for taking away all his crib "entertainment". So I ran out and got him this...

... a mini blanket with the head of a decapitated bear attached.

I think we have at least eliminated strangulation with the mini blanket, but how long he chooses to keep it on his face or how far he decides to stuff it down his throat is yet to be determined.

So I will probably still be awake watching the joy he gets from doing things in the privacy of his crib that happen to give his mother a near heart attack.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten

This will probably not be the most pleasant of my posts, especially after taking a hiatus for a while. I had a bummer of a day and it is only 1:30 in the afternoon. This post will come in two parts - two parts of my day that coincide.

The first part of my day came in the form of a funeral. There was nothing extremely extraordinary about this particular funeral. The good friend of my parents who passed away had been ill with terminal cancer for quite some time and most recently had been in a coma for weeks, but the quality this person encompassed is what makes the loss all too sad.

Mrs. M. was full of life. She must have been in her early 80's, but these days, so long as your safe and blessed with good health, 80 does not have to mean your demise. In the past couple years, Mrs. M. was no longer blessed with good health, but you would never know it by looking at her. She always had a smile on her face. She always had something delightfully humorous and spirited to say. She lived life as if it truly meant something. And for her, it meant an enormous amount because she was also a Holocaust survivor. For her, everything about life was luxury, because the way she saw it, she was fortunate just to have life.

On a more personal level, she was a woman I have beautiful memories of from the time I was a small child. She was such a close friend to my parents, that we shared many weekend meals, celebrations and events together. It has become blatantly obvious to me, that at my age of only 34 I am personally sharing in the loss of her and many of my parents' other friends. And this is the part that is painful for me.

Most of my friends are the oldest in their families, and their parents are only in their 50's, maybe early 60's. My oldest sister is already 51, so the all too real truth of where the cycle of life leads is becoming ever present in my life, and it scares the sh$# out of me.

I pray that my parents will forever have good health and longevity, but we all know that life is fleeting and one day it will be the end for all of us. I am just not ready at my age to even bear the thought of what could be lurking around the corner. And for all those my age or younger who lost parents way before their time, my heart goes out to them. I don't know how they make it without the parental advice and pearls of wisdom that should have been available to them for many more years.

I left the funeral and watched as my parents joined the procession (taking the body to the airport to be buried in Israel). They were probably the only non-family members who joined the procession to the airport, that is how close they felt to this wonderful woman.

Mrs. M. - I will try to take and pass on a valuable lesson from you so your life will continue to have meaning even though you are no longer with us. When I heard your daughter speak her eulogy of you, she mentioned a few times how you did not let things bother you for much time. You did not bear a grudge. You let things go quickly. When your daughter once became upset with you for letting a pot of fish boil over on her new stove, and subsequently felt bad for her unnecessary anger, she came to you to apologize and you said,

"for what... I don't know what you are talking about...


So this is my new motto.


I will learn to let things slide. Because after all, life is fleeting, why should I waste so much time being upset over things.

But who knew I would be able to actually put this motto into place just a few hours after the funeral?

And so the second part of my day took place at my local grocery store.

Although I am a savvy couponer, (my mother taught me this art when I was quite young) I am not one for blogging about my couponing experiences. I enjoy reading about other peoples incredible coupon domination, but I personally do not find excitement in talking about my own coupon prowess. But today, I will share one coupon moment which began to go bad.

I would have gone straight to the grocery store from the funeral, but I specifically drove home first just to retrieve my coupons. I knew exactly what I needed, many things already discounted and I had a plethora of coupons and Catalinas. Many of my items were actually "Proctor and Gamble" products, such as Pampers diapers and wipes, and I was looking forward to making my "P&G" purchases because when spending over 20 dollars on these products I would receive a coupon for 5 dollars off my next shopping order and 5 free Redbox videos. That is pretty much like handing me 10.00 in addition to the 50.00 I saved with coupons on products I was already spending less on because they were the specials this week at Jewel.

In addition, I was smart enough to separate out two piles of "P&G" products to be rung up separately, because it was over 40 dollars all together and would have given me two Catalinas worth 10 dollars each.

Both my grocery orders were rung up and I watched all the Catalinas coming out of the Catalina machine (Catalinas are the coupons that are printed at the store and given to you at the end of your purchase). After I signed for the second order, was when the cashier grabbed the Catalinas and looked at them before turning to me cautiously and announcing,

"Uhhhh, it seems that these Catalinas all came out blank."

"What did you say? Ha ha - for a second I thought you said that all those Catalinas are blank and useless."

"Yeah, that is kind of what I am saying .... blank and useless."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! What about all my coupons for future shopping? Aggggh - WHAT ABOUT MY 2 CATALINAS WORTH 10 DOLLARS EACH????

I was feeling very upset and angry. As the cashier and another Jewel employee tried to reset the Catalina machine and switched out the ink cartridge, all which did not help, I tried to think of Mrs. M.



It was hard, I will be honest. I was willing to just walk away from it all and let it go.

They did send me to customer service to see if they could help me. I was offered to have my entire transaction (a lot of stuff) voided and re-rung at another register. But life is short, and I did not want to spend that much time of my valuable life waiting to re-ring my groceries when I could just say,


I did, however pull out the two most available "P&G" products, diapers and wipes and have them voided and re-rung with my original coupons to at least get me one Catalina for the future 5 dollars towards purchase and 5 free Redbox videos. And guess what? Although this register had a working Catalina machine, that particular coupon still did not show up.

Oh gosh -




But the customer service representative actually got on the phone and called the Catalina company and was given a code to manually print me out the damn coupon.

And in the end, I did walk away with at least one coupon worth ten dollars and the rest ....

....uhh, I forget.

Mrs. M. you may be gone, but YOU will never be forgotten.