Monday, April 30, 2007

Life lesson #347

People are not automatically idiots just because they happen to be male. I HATE when I'm trying to have a discussion (or even a rant fest) and someone says something like, "Well, what do you expect? He's a guy."

I actually said this one out loud the other day:

"A penis is NOT a mental deficiency."

Now you know and knowing is half the battle.

Sometimes the sad reality of life smacks me in the face.

The neurologist appointment was a complete waste. I had to get a friend to watch the kids while I hauled across town only to have the doctor talk to me for maybe 5 minutes and then schedule an MRI and EEG in 2 weeks. We knew I'd need those. So why did I even bother today? And now how the hell am I gonna get someone to watch the kids so I can schlep out that way again? Why do I even bother?

I'm not posting to rant about that, though. I'm posting to rant about the medical forms I had to fill in. One portion asked for family members to whom you are blood-related who have/had certain ailments. Cancer was one of them. They gave a tiny line. If you wrote in small print, you could fit maybe two. I had to write above and below the line and even then, I forgot one.

I've been a bitch even since I got home. I thought it was because I had to deal with the kids and the mess and the waste of an appointment. Now I'm beginning to realize that my malaise began when I filled out that form and saw the grim reality of life (and the premature ending of it) staring back at me.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Airplanes take you away again..."

Dh is gone again. We dropped him off at the airport today. I hate saying, "Goodbye," but it's not nearly as earth-shattering when he's only going a few states away and is NOT working with any sort of explosives. It's even better when I know I'll get him back in 2 weeks rather than 6 months with the possibility of extensions.

I just found out that if he wasn't on the "non-deployable" list (since he's separating soon), he would be gone again. That sent a little lightening bolt of terror through me. We just got him back. How on earth could you even think of pulling him away from us again?

Anyway, today was a super hectic day. Lots and lots of stuff going on around these parts. Some fun, some not so fun, all of it exhausting.

Tomorrow I have my neurologist appointment. Oy! Not sure what to expect. We shall see. Wish me luck.

My parents come to visit on Tuesday. Yay. I'm looking forward to that. They can drive me nuts, but I do so love visiting with them for a limited period of time.

Hmmm...interesting random note. While I have an existing post label for "military," I don't have one for "Civilian." I suppose that will have to change soon.

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's never too soon for the blame game.

Jon Stewart had a fabulous piece on the other night about how public figures are playing the blame game in regards to the Virginia Tech shootings. If I could find it on YouTube, I'd share it with you. Unfortunately, I can't.

I have, however, come across these which I think should be shared:

Read this entry:
This just in: Chuck Norris is an idiot

and watch this video:

Matzah, fun for your mother, father, sister, brother

Why on earth didn't I post this for Passover/Pesach?

I guess it now qualifies as a random link.

So here ya go: Matzah

Yanking the chain yet again

Dear world,

Contrary to apparent popular belief, not everything that finds its way to your inbox is true.

Please, make the chain mail stop (not the chainmail, though. You can keep that coming. That stuff's pretty cool & dh makes it.).

I've ranted about this in the past, so I'll spare myself the anger and frustration and just post a link: Yanking the Chain

We seem to be visiting WTF-ville again. I expect the morons to forward the stupid things, but when my brilliant-doctor-who-finished-school-years-before-anyone-else (because she is THAT dedicated and THAT brilliant) friend sends me the SAME FREAKING E-MAIL that I've been getting for years, I find myself baffled and ticked off.

I have had to post this freaking link everywhere today, so in an attempt to raise awareness, let me tell you (before you send out that stupid e-mail) that boycotting gas stations on May 15 will not help. That same freaking e-mail has been circulating for years.

Here's your lesson for the day: Snopes, it's your friend. When it comes to forwards, Snopes should be your best friend.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Were you sold out for a sandwich?

Through the Black Breastfeeding blog, I found Motherwear's blog (Dude, how long has Motherwear had a blog? I had no idea.).

There, I found this which leaves me absolutely aghast and absolutely furious.

Were you sold out for a sandwich?

I know this marketing aimed at hospital staff happens. I'm just floored by the details. I'm also furious about the ethical issues that are being ignored.

After my girls were born, there was a recall on preemie formula. It was found to have potentially life-threatening contaminants. Luckily, my girls never got formula, so we never had to worry. Breastfeeding was EXTREMELY difficult for a good chunk of time, though. What if I had been swayed by the L&D and NICU nurses with their "Good Start" pins and free formula? My children could have been killed. I would have had to BURY MY BABIES, but hey, it's all good. The nurses would have gotten a slice of pizza thanks to their friendly Nestle rep. My kids' lives traded for lunch? That certainly sounds like a fair exchange, don't ya think?

An enlightening take on wet nursing

Honestly, I don't know what I think of wet nursing. On one hand, I like the idea of babies getting breastmilk even if they are born to the 2% of women who can't (many women who believe they "can't" could if given correct information). At the same time, what about the nurses' own children? I know the job has been used to exploit the poor in the past. In truth, the risks associated with it are not what some would like the public to believe. Medically, formula is actually inferior to breastmilk from another mother (either at the breast or in a bottle).

I could ramble a bit more, but I won't. I honestly don't know how I feel about the topic which has suddenly been tossed into the mainstream (an article in Time, a segment on the Today Show, etc.).

Then I was directed to this site and this entry: Who Said Wet Nursing is Hip AND Funny.

Wow! She raises some fabulous points.

I think that's a blog I need to add to my linky goodness.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The day I burned down the microwave

Here's a simple equation: metal + microwave = BAD

For lunch, I put a frozen meal in the microwave. They usually leak, so, like I always do, I put a paper towel under it. Then I set the time and walked away.

Girl1 ventured out into the kitchen and announced something was burning. I assured her that wasn't possible (I just put the meal in a minute before), but I wondered. As soon as I stepped out into the sitting room, I knew she was right. I could smell it. Still, how on earth could it be burning?

Simple. We had a stowaway. What I didn't realize when I grabbed the paper towel was that a twist-tie was stuck to the bottom. By the time I got to the microwave, there was a twist-tie shaped burn all the way through 4 layers of towel. It also appears that our glass microwave plate may be burned.

It looks like everything should still work fine, though. There were no alarms set off, no dancing flames, no injuries.

As luck would have it, I just reminded dh (I say "reminded" because it sounds much less bitchy than "scolded,") a few days ago that metal and microwaves are not friends. Yeah. It figures!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Random link whatever the hell day it is

I've been awful about keeping up with my random link days. Sorry about that.

Here's your random link for the day:

That place has awesome deals on a wide range of things. I love browsing there and it has lead me to some fabulous sales.

Strange how this journey's hurting in ways we accept as part of fate's decree

strange how certain the journey
time unfolds the petals for our eyes to see
strange how this journey's hurting
in ways we accept as part of fate's decree

so we just hold on fast
acknowledge the past
as lessons exquisitely crafted
painstakingly drafted
to carve us as instruments
that play the music of life
for we don't realize
our faith in the prize
unless it's been somehow elusive
how swiftly we choose it
the sacred simplicity
of you at my side

--Vienna Teng

I know I've been ranting a lot about dh lately. I must, however, point out that he really is a great guy and I do adore him. I often use this place as an outlet for my frustrations, so readers tend to get a picture I paint only when angry. I don't want anyone to think anger and resentment make up the bulk of our relationship. It doesn't. I adore my husband. He remains my best friend.

I'm scared and I'm feeling lost right now. That doesn't mean I love my husband any less. Please don't mistake my frustration for his bitterness.

"I can't stand myself. I can't stand my life. I can't stand in these 6 inch heels anymore."

I'm scared and I'm feeling awfully alone.

Some of my friends try to help. My sister lets me vent. My RN friend gives me tips/suggestions. Still, when it comes down to it, I'm lying there in bed at night crying myself to sleep.

Dh is home, but I wish he would go the hell away again. At least then, I could think, "Maybe if he was here, he'd do this," or "Maybe he would say that." When he's actually here ignoring it all, my head and my heart can scream, "SAY SOMETHING," but when he lies there in silence, there's no way to pretend it didn't happen. If I'm really alone, I can cry, "I want my husband back." If I feel more alone with him beside me than I did when he was in another state/country, then what the hell am I supposed to do?

My body is doing freaky things and it frightens me. Today, my hands started shaking and my heart raced. It felt like I had way too much caffeine, even though I hadn't. It felt like I used to feel after taking ephedrine--only it felt like I'd taken a double dose. It freaked me the hell out. I couldn't get a hold of my doctor, but I didn't think it warranted an ER visit.

I called dh and asked him if he could come home a little early. He didn't. Not only did he stay at work the full-time, he never said a word about it when he came home. I mentioned my hands a few times, but he didn't seem concerned. Tonight in bed, I broke down and cried. He didn't say a word. After a while, I crawled into his arms and told him I was scared. He didn't say anything. I also said I was alone. He didn't hear that part. Why am I not surprised?

There's so much shit going on with all this.

#1. is the physical issue. My body is scaring me. What the hell is wrong with me? What does this all mean? What does it mean to our future?

#2. is me feeling alone

#3. is #2's first cousin: I HATE to be left alone when I cry. For years, I hated to cry in front of people. It wasn't because it made me feel vulnerable. It was because I didn't know how they would react. I need people to reach out to me when I break down and I could never be sure if the people around me would do that. My husband knows this. I have told him time and time again. I don't use "Never," or "Always" lightly, but I will tell you that he NEVER comes after me when I'm upset. He doesn't hold me when I cry. Yes, I have told him specificially that I want/need to be comforted. Still, it doesn't happen.

Granted, this evening, he was tired. He fell asleep pretty quickly. But this evening was NOT the first time any of this has come up.

I'm just so fucking frustrated. I'm so scared and I'm so alone.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New look

I've been trying some different outfits on this blog o'mine lately. Since the whole Beta fiasco, it's been increasingly difficult to find skins that work with Blogger without having to jump through 3 hoops, spin around 12 times, dance on your head and then count to 6 backwards in Hebrew while blindfolded.

So I'm sticking with the completely devoid of personality standard templates. I'm just trying to find the one that is the least annoying.

On "partial-birth" abortion...

No matter what your feelings are on the topic, please read this.

It's an older post, but it's especially important given recent Supreme Court decisions.

Someone described Karen's story as "Words to make you weep and think." I think that's an absolutely accurate assesment.

I want

Here are some items that I want to help show my Jewish pride:

Oy to the world ornament

WWJD (he would be Jewish) bumper sticker

Kosher t-shirt (I want these for the kids and me)

Passover explained

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Compliment me, baby.

Long story, but I couldn't sleep last night, so I stayed up and thought a lot about my want/need for compliments.

I'm an artist. I post my work at various internet galleries. I completely admit that I check back repeatedly to see if there are any new comments and I get damn near giddy when there are. Yes, I am addicted to compliments.

I've always known this, but I'm only beginning to see how it affects me in more ways than I realize.

Now to those who know me IRL, this is not geared to you. I'm not trying to prompt you folks to shower me with compliments. In fact, the person I think I want/need them from most doesn't even really come around this way. So I'm mainly just rambling in an attempt to sort out my thoughts. You're more than welcome to come along for the ride, though.

I'm only beginning to understand that this desire for compliments is probably what lead me to a situation where I had no right to be.

Years ago, my best friends were male. I thought women/girls were "too pretentious." I got sick of the drama. With guys, you could sit there and discuss Shakespeare, Tori Amos, and the X-files all night and never once have a visit from the drama llama. You'll remember, the drama llama sucks the life right out of me and honestly, I am NEVER in the mood for a drive-by-drama-llamaing. So being able to have a discussion without all that added dramatic crap was lovely.

Problem is, I had one male friend who was in a serious relationship (as was I at the time), but he took a liking to me. He was super sweet. My then boyfriend was a better guy, but that boyfriend was awfully quiet (why am I usually attracted to the strong silent types?). My then best friend, however, said the sweetest things. Honestly, the things he wrote about me were the sweetest things anyone has ever written/said about me. I've been with my husband for 10 years, but I'm very serious when I say this best friend said more sweet things about me in 6 months than my husband has ever said about me. And again, in all honesty, the things my then best friend said/wrote were sweeter than anything dh has said. I'm not trying to be accusatory here. I hope that's not the way it comes across. It's just the way it is. Believe me, I sure as hell wish dh would say/do/write things to put that guy to shame, but thus far, dh hasn't done that.

So when he proposed taking our friendship to a physical level, I thought it was a great idea. Don't ask me why. I can actually explain it, but it's all very shallow. I was a kid. I was naive. I was a moron. Luckily, that didn't happen. Still, I've been absolutely torn up about letting myself get in that situation. I feel horribly guilty about it. Years and years and years later, I still regret even considering it. I hate that I was so vain and shallow.

But you know what? I find myself wondering what it would be like to talk to him again. I have absolutely no desire to have any sort of relationship with him, but he understood me AND he complimented me. Granted, I have two or three very close friends/family who do that as well, but sometimes, you want/need that from a guy. Hell, I think women ALWAYS need that (on some level) from the men in their lives.

I look at old pictures and wonder why I was ever physically attracted to him. Now I think he looks awfully dorky in those old pictures. I heard from another friend that this guy has done/tried to do some lousy things in the years after that encounter. Still, I listen to Tori Amos and wonder. What would we say to each other if we were to speak again? I don't want a relationship with him at all. Let me repeat that: I DON'T WANT A RELATIONSHIP AT ALL with him. I don't even know that we would/could be friends at this point in our lives. But I do want to know someone understands and someone appreciates me. For a brief moment in time, he did that and he did it well. He did that in a way no one else ever has.

"And right there for a moment, I knew you so well."

I don't really want him. I just want compliments. He's just the one who did that best.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

File under "WTF?"

Yes, I realize all those things are from Posh Tots which is notorious for it's insanely expensive products. While I would never buy anything from them, it's a fabulous resource for design inspiration. Although, even while I'm oogling the fabulous colors and prints, I find I have to put the catalog down and step away in order to make the price-induced tremors stop.

When I grow up...

I asked the kids today what they want to be when they grow up. Girl2's response was the best.

When she was 2, she wanted to be a "Pilot ballerina." So we took her to air shows and put her in dance class. I have no clue what to do for her latest ambitions, though.

She told me, "I want to be a mom, a robot and a pirate."

Welcome to Hebrew school.

While searching YouTube, I came across this video. This is AWESOME. My kids have this CD and we love Debbie Friedman's version of the Alephbet. Apparently, some guy created a video and it's cool as hell. It's a shame the girlfriend he made it for didn't last, but hey, at least the rest of us can enjoy it. This rocks!

Wanna learn the Hebrew alphabet? Check this out.

"We're an army of dicks with a militant stance."

This cracks me up:

and while we're defending marriage, let's go after the Buddhists (Run, Kamrin & everyone else):

That video has one of the best lines ever, "Let's wipe out terrorism everywhere except where the terrorists are us."

Special thanks to Giselle for bringing this guy to my attention.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"There are no strangers here, only friends we have yet to meet"

I love watching kids play.

I took the kids to the park today and in their usual fashion, the girls made friends instantly.

At one point, they ran past with one of their new friends and another mom asked, "Are any of them yours?" I explained that two were and she asked, "So whose the 3rd girl?" I told her, "I don't know. My girls just picked her up somewhere." We both marveled about how kids can do that.

It was only a few minutes later when that new friend had to leave. I worried about how sad the girls would be, but in a matter of minutes, they had found a slightly older boy and girl and were happily playing with them. Those kids were SO neat. They were friendly and polite. They played so nicely with my girls.

It fascinates me how children can form bonds so quickly. We read self-help books to figure out what we need to change so we can make true lasting friendships. We scour magazine articles on the topic. We watch Dr. Phil to figure out how to fix whatever disfunction we believe is holding us back. And then, we watch our children walk up to complete strangers and say, "Hi. I'm (insert name here). Wanna play?" And you know what? Their strategy works!

We view other people and wonder if our parenting philosophies/religious beliefs/political affiliations/favorite music will mesh. We worry what the other person is thinking. We wonder if we're doing enough/too much for those around us. There are times we wonder if it's worth the effort to even try to become friendly with someone. Our kids, however, don't see strangers. Everyone is a potential friend. Isn't that absolutely amazing?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What NOT to do.

Don't ever use Nair or one of it's cousins without checking the expiration date. This is particularly important if you intend on using said product on more intimate areas. It's even more important when you stumble across an unfamiliar bottle of product and can't really remember when/where it came from.


It bears repeating: OUCH!

Petsmart, thou art my nirvana

I don't usually post on Shabbat, but I'm making an exception today.

Right after I posted last night, I figured, "Screw this. I'm going out." The cats are out of food, so I rounded up the kids and headed to Petsmart.

It was raining, so I grabbed them all and ran for the door (there were no close parking spaces because everyone knows Joe Schmoe in his Lexus with his yorkie needs to be as close to the door as humanly possible. The woman with three kids including a babe in arms, though, she can schlep in the rain and wind). The Boy lost his shoe in the wet parking lot, but a lovely lovely dear of a woman overheard me grumbling about it and SHE WENT AND GOT IT FOR ME. I thanked her 5 or 6 times.

We had fun staring at the cute animals (and even the not so cute ones).

Then, we went on the great cat food hunt. I'm never sure what to get the fuzzies. Our vet wants us to buy the ridiculously expensive stuff from them, but we're not big fans of that. A CSR came over to help. I asked what they had that filled our need. She showed me to a brand that was not overly expensive nor was it a Nestle brand (we don't do Nestle). Then she showed me that they even carry a light version of the same food. Our chubby fuzzies need that. And THEN she even handed me a coupon for $1 off that brand. Sometimes, all it takes to turn my day around is a baby's shoe and someone who directs me to reasonably priced healthy food that isn't directly responsible for the death of thousands of babies.

After that, it was pouring like crazy, but we didn't have far to go. We met friends for dinner and had a good time.

Oh and I started reading Parenting As A Spiritual Journey. It's been on my bookshelf for at least a year or two, but I just haven't read it. I sat down with it last night and I'm impressed. I want to share a bit with you, but the Boy is currently voicing his displeasure with the state of affairs in our household, so I'll do that later.

11 pm edit: The kids are in bed, so here's that bit I wanted to share:

"...All the theology I'd studied would not help me raise my children. But it might work the other way. Rising children might help me learn something about G-d. Theologians spend most of their time in their studies. But the best ones, I noticed, had done some fieldwork in living. I would do mine at play groups."

I think that sums the book up nicely thus far. It's written by a rabbi, but it doesn't stick to one particular religion. She speaks of parents of many faiths (or none at all). What I've read up to this point has been pretty interesting. It's been a pretty engrossing and quick read. So far, I'd say I recomend it.

Friday, April 13, 2007


The boy didn't nap much and now he's screaming at me. I'm meeting a friend for dinner, but that won't be for another hour. It's pouring and cold, so I can't even take the kids outside.

I'm trapped in the house with three kids including one who won't stop screaching.

I'm ready to scream.

I need a freaking break!

When cute grows up

Yeah, I'm still mad at the world, but I'm trying to keep my mind off of it. Like I told my niece earlier, the gym helps. Gotta love those endorphins (and Starbucks. Gotta love that there's one right around the corner from the gym).

Anyway, I'm trying to keep my mind off things. So I scoured MySpace looking for an old college friend whose birthday is today. I haven't seen her in years, but she's AWESOME. I wanted to send her a birthday wish. It looks like she deleted her page, though. I can't find her anywhere.

While scouring mutual friends' pages in search of her, I came across another old college friend. We did some acting together back in the day, but we lost touch. She was always one of those super cute girls. I'm not talking about the sorority type perfectly coiffed, expensive clothes, huge sunglasses cute. She was artsy, very laid back, funny as hell and cute.

Not everyone who was cute when we were 15 or even 20 grows up to stay that way. This woman, though, has gone from cute to gorgeous. I looked through her pictures and she really is stunning. That made me very happy.

I know it may sound wrong, but I take a perverse pleasure in finding that the obnoxious folks have grown up to be dumpy and ugly. Karma really does exist and it's evident on the wrinkly chubby faces of those people who existed in high school only to make everyone else miserable.

Although, at the same time, when I find someone who really is a neat person who grows up to look the part, it makes me very very happy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


This whole thing has me tense as hell. I keep clenching my fists and I'm ready to punch a wall (only reason I'm not is that I already have enough to clean up without that mess). I'm clenching my jaw. I'm so freaking mad that I can't sit still and I can't calm myself down.

On top of all that, I'm out of my sleeping pills. I had 6 samples. I took my last one last night.



I'm pissed right now and I can't quite explain it. But you know what? I'm gonna try. This isn't for your benefit. It's more for mine. Although, please feel free to come along for the walk down WTF Lane.

While trying to get laundry washed and folded, my sister called. She's 9 months pregnant and her husband is being a pest. After I got off the phone with her, I called dh to rant about my BIL (Dude, she could have YOUR baby at any time. STFU and inflate the damn birth pool).

When I called, Dh was out with a bunch of people. I don't want to fault him for having a good time while he can, but DAMN IT, I'm jealous. I know I can kick into bitch mode pretty easily over stupid shit, so I tried to keep myself in check. When I had the chance to go away with friends, I went out and had fun too (although the only time I did that post kids was for a work function 3 years ago. Granted, it was with Kamrin, so it was cool as hell, but still, it was THREE YEARS AGO and it was for 2 days, not 20-some-odd days). Still, that's not dh's fault.

It is, however, his fault that he has had NINE FUCKING DRINKS. Dh very very VERY rarely drinks. He used to drink back in the day, but he hasn't had more than a few in about a decade. So this pisses me off on so many levels.

I was shaking when I got off the phone with him.

I don't know which part of the whole ordeal pisses me off the most.

#1. He had NINE FUCKING DRINKS when he hasn't had more than a few in ages. I don't mind drinking. Hell, I drink far more than he does. I'm mad that he had so many drinks all of a sudden. He's out of practice.

#2. He's doing this when I'm not around.
#2a. I'm not there. I know full-well that I don't need to be on patrol. He's a good guy. I don't have to worry about what he's gonna do, but still, I wanna be there anyway just 'cause I'm like that.
#2b. I'm not there. He even made the comment, "I'll do this now when I can and then I'll be back to my normal self when I come home." Why the hell does he have to be the straight-laced guy at home? Why can't we ever have a few drinks together when he's here?

#3. I'm stuck here trying to get all this house cleaning done, I haven't eaten dinner or lunch today because the kids didn't give me a chance, I'm trying to keep these kids alive, I'm scared about why MY FUCKING FACE, ARM, and TONGUE ARE NUMB and he's out drinking. WTF?

Let's review some important points: I have to wait 3 weeks for my appointment with a neurologist (which dh will NOT be here for). For those who don't know, we lost one of my brothers to brain cancer 5 years ago. No, I'm not trying to be dramatic. I don't think I have cancer. I am, however, TERRIFIED of WTF is going on. My body is out of control. My brain is doing strange things. I'm scared. And yes, I have explained that to dh. Until a few minutes ago (when I called my sister to rant), dh was the only person I told about how this scares me.

And my husband is out having 9 drinks.


You know what? I hope he wakes up with one hell of a hangover tomorrow and hopefully, when he does, he'll find some damn sense (hidden somewhere amid one bitch of a migraine).

I swear your dignity is delivered with the placenta.

Where oh where has my dignity gone? Oh where oh where can it be?

If you have kids, you know exactly what I mean. If you don't, just spend a full day with a parent. When you have kids, you do all sorts of stuff to embarrass yourself. Some things are intentional (pretending stuffed animals are speaking in funny voices, singing insane songs, repeatedly hitting yourself on the head with a piece of cardboard to make your kids smile for portraits). Other things, however, are not.

verb (used with object) cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash: Boy was I embarrassed when I started singing the Go Diego Go theme song and then realized the phone hadn't completely disconnected and so I was actually serenading Cora the banker at Chase!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy happy Joy Joy

I've had some depressing posts lately. So I'm gonna take a break and sidetrack to the land of the happy happy joy joy.

Here are happy product recommendations from me (not to be confused with a "happy little tree"):

If I could keep this near me at all times, I would. This smells WONDERFUL. I don't usually buy from Bath and Body works, but I stopped in the other day and they had smaller bottles of the new 3-in-1's on sale, so I tried a few. Some of them smell overly sweet, but the cinnamon bun one is fabulous. In addition to smelling amazing, I'm really happy with how it works as a shampoo. As a bubble bath, it's not great, but it's great as a shampoo and body wash and again, the smell is AMAZING. For some reason, though, the lotion doesn't smell nearly as good as the 3-in-1. Oh, FTR, I didn't buy the Frosting one (only because they didn't have it at the time), but I got a whiff of it at the store and LOVE it too. Again, the lotion just isn't the same, but the body wash/shampoo smells great.

While we're on the topic of hair care, I must post about Suave Professionals. I hate Suave products overall. They're cheap and in my experience, you get exactly what you pay for. A few friends gave the Professionals glowing reviews, though, so I had to try them. Apparently, they really are very similar to much pricier hair care products. I have this conditioner and I adore it. My hair looks great when I use it. I thought it might just be a fluke or the effects would lessen after a few uses, but I've used it every day and it still works wonderfully. I'm dying to try some of the other products they have available.

Now let's make a sharp left turn from the hair care aisle and head towards coffee. I'm a coffee fiend. I'm also a coffee snob. I like rich flavored coffees. So I was shocked to find I really like Folgers new flavored coffees. They really have lots of flavor. We've tried the chocolate silk (my favorite), hazelnut and cinnamon. I wasn't the biggest fan of the cinnamon, but it did pack a lot of flavor (it's dh's favorite). I LOVE this stuff.

I have lots of other favorite things, but for now, I'll end the list hear. We are now leaving Happy happy joy joy-ville. Please remain seated during the ride and keep your hands and legs inside at all times. =-)

on artificial sweetners

Anonymous left a really interesting link that had information about the physical side effects of Splenda. The information is frightening, but I don't think my recent health issues are related to that.

I don't do artificial sweeteners. I'll occasionally do them when I'm not pregnant or nursing, but I've been one or the other for more than 2 years. So I don't do artificial sweetners for the most part.

I occasionally ate foods that include Splenda a few months ago, but I don't like the taste, so I haven't had any Splenda at all in a while. I can't stand Aspartame and that's something I particularly avoid while nursing or pregnant. Honestly, that stuff scares me (and it tastes AWFUL).

The info on side effects caused by Splenda and Aspartame is very interesting. I've been told Splenda is most likely about to loose that lawsuit over it's slogan since it's actually NOT made from sugar. I'd rather deal with the calories from sugar than the chemicals in the artificial sweetners.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Heigh ho. Heigh ho. It's off to the neurologist I go.

My face is numb. WTF is going on? All of a sudden this evening, while at a meeting, my lips went numb. You know that feeling you get when you start to get a bit buzzed? Yeah, that's how my lips felt. Now it's moved to my chin, my cheeks and up to my eyes. I'm getting a headache too (the eye strain kind).

Of course dh is away and it was way past the kids' bedtimes. So I really didn't want to go to the ER. Besides, what can they really do there anyway? I can still function. I'm not paralyzed. It's just a strange sensation.

I called the doctor's after-hours number and he says he'll get started on a referral to a neurologist in the morning. He has no idea what's wrong, but it seems to be getting worse, so we need to do something about it.

After much debating with myself, I called dh about it. One thing you learn as a military wife is to try not to run every little thing by the spouse 'cause it tends to freak them out while they're away. Admittedly, I'm not great at that. Dh and I work well as a team and I'm used to getting his opinion on everything. So I decided to bite the bullet and call to ask if he thought I should go to the ER (this was before I talked to my doctor). When he first answered, he was out to eat. I told him to call back because this is not the type of thing you discuss in a restaurant.

I talked to him after I spoke to the doctor. Dh was ticked that my doctor said he'd have a referral ready "by the end of the week." Dh wanted something done tomorrow. But then he goes on to tell me about how he had some great burger tonight. Dude, I can't feel my face and I'm caring for all 3 kids. I don't want to hear about your fucking fabulous burger! GAH.

So, I have no answers for you (or me for that reason). I don't yet have a referral to a doctor. I have no clue what's going on. What I do have is a numb face, hand and tongue. WTF?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He'll never wear it,

but I want this for dh:

T-shirt: My wife homeschools our kids...

Once upon a time, there was a pro-breastfeeding t-shirt that I liked, but didn't buy because I knew he'd refuse to wear it. I can't find it now, but it said, "I play with my kid's food."

Second verse, same as the first, but a little bit louder and a little bit worse

I have a few good friends who I see almost every morning. They all know I'm Jewish and I've been more than happy to explain different holidays, beliefs and practices to them.

So I was more than a little surprised when I got an e-mail from one of them today that ended with this line:

"Hope you are having a great Easter!"

Mind you, she's not overly-religious and doesn't even consider herself "Christian." I've had long conversations with her about how we don't believe in Jesus. So I'm very confused.

I appreciate that she's thinking of us, but once again, what part of "Jewish" confuses people?

Here's your public service announcement for today:
Jews do not believe in Jesus. *

Now you know and knowing is half the battle.

*Messianic Jews do, but they're not really Jewish. They are, by definition, Christian. I refer to them as, "Christians in Jews' clothing."

I'm going to be bald by the end of this week.

I swear, the universe is trying to make me pull my hair out.

Results from the sleep study are insane. I'm having some other scary medical issues. Dh leaves for training tomorrow. Kids are on crack. It's STILL Passover, so I'm still without bread. I'm on prescription sleep aids which don't help the night wakings, but they do make me absolutely exhausted during the day.

Then today, there was the Sunday school teacher. @@ They had a seder in class. Apparently, as part of the seder, there was chocolate. My kids don't eat chocolate (well, we do allow them a wee bit of dark chocolate once in a blue moon and milk chocolate gelt for Chanukah and Purim, but that's it). Why no chocolate? Because there's no reason to eat it. It's high in unnecessary fat, calories and sugar. The more accurate question would be, "Why would you let them have it?" Now I'm not judging anyone whose kids eat chocolate. I'm just saying that we don't do it. I don't think you're an awful parent if your kids eat it. I just think it's not right for our family.

My kids have been wonderful about telling other people that they can't have chocolate. They told their old Sunday school teacher last year and on several occasions this year, they have come home and told us how they relayed to their teacher that they couldn't have chocolate. Last week, when they searched the classroom for chametz and the chametz was chocolate, they handed it to us. I'm very very proud of them for that.

Today, their Sunday school teacher pulled us aside and asked, "What's the story with your girls and chocolate?" I explained that we don't want them to have it. She then said it makes things difficult when someone tries to give out chocolate. I shrugged my shoulders at her and gave her an "Oh well," sort of smile.

First and foremost, my girls have told her this all year. Why is it only a problem now? She acted as though this was news to her even though our girls have told us several times that they relayed that message to her and refused the chocolate.

I'd be more than happy to bring something they can have that she could keep on hand to give our kids when other kids get chocolate, but no, she didn't ask for that. She asked us to change our dietary restrictions to suit her needs. Let's remember, this is at a CONSERVATIVE synagogue. For those who don't know, C Jews typically keep kosher. That shul has strict guidelines about what foods can and cannot be brought on campus. So if anyone understood dietary restrictions, it should be this woman. Grrrrr.

Next week, I'll make a point of bringing a few packs of something healthy for her to keep on hand for my kids, but I'm sure she'll act annoyed about it and I'll growl silently to myself.

Now you'll excuse me while I have some more caffeine and continue tearing my hair from my scalp.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Twisting the stunning words of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning to suit my needs.

Passover means nothing remotely resembling bread products (and trust me, Matzah is nothing like bread). That combined with this evil plot to annoy the Jews (every single freaking year, during Passover, they come out with a few new food products completely covered in chametz. I swear it's a conspiracy) has ignited a longing for bread in the depths of my soul.

Bread, this one's for you:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth (bread? did someone say, "Bread?") and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath....(Bread? where?)

For those familiar with this poem, you'll notice I edited out the last lines. I severely doubt I'll love bread better after death (its or mine). Hmmm...Does bread die? It molds (and that would be the death of me since I'm allergic to it), but that's not death. That's a new life-form. Is it physically possible for bread to die? I suppose digestion would make it no longer suitable for life. So maybe I should keep that line in. Maybe I'll change the line to "...If G-d choose, I shall but love thee better after I've scarfed you down."

JSYK, most alcohol is also forbidden during Passover (see below). Reiza - (bread + alcohol) = not a happy camper.

Passover Preparation

In the Passover dietary laws, leaven includes any foods or drinks created as a result of leavening or fermention with the exception of matzah which must be made from one of the five fermenting grains specified in the Passover dietary laws. In essence, chametz includes leavened foods, drinks and ingredients that are made from or contain wheat, rye, barley, oats or spelt. Therefore, all grain products such as breads, cereals and other breakfast foods, grain alcohol, grain vinegar and malts, are forbidden during Passover.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

From the land of the WTF

When I dropped the kids at the gym nursery today, I told the staff that the kids couldn't eat anything other than what I brought for them (they sometimes share animal crackers with my friend's little girl). I explained that it's Passover, so they can't have any bread products.

Then one of the ladies who works there asks, "What about eggs and Easter candy? Will they be able to eat them for Easter on Sunday?"

Um...ahhhh...what part of "Jewish" don't we understand?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bag O'Plagues

We went to a seder last night at the (Conservative) shul. They handed out bags full of toys to commemorate the 10 plagues. They did the same thing last year, but it always makes me giggle (and keeps my kids entertained for days). Yes, I realize how strange it is to say that about a bag o'plagues.

I'm impressed that they found toys to represent all the plagues. Just for fun, I'm gonna list the plagues and the corresponding toys.

1. Water turned to blood: a small clear bottle of bubbles with red food dye added (perhaps the dumbest of the ideas. I threw them out right away. I didn't do that last year and learned my lesson).

2. Frogs: Rubber squeaky frogs in the big kid bags and a small stuffed frog in the baby's bag.

3. Lice: bug stickers

4. Wild Beasts: Masks for the big kids and a small plastic rhino for the baby (which The Boy insisted on stomping across his high chair tray while he roared. Very cute, but not the most appropriate sound effect for a seder).

5. Cattle disease: For the big kids: those plastic collapsible animals with strings inside that you can make fall by pushing the button underneath (I think this idea is absolutely perfect). For the baby: a stuffed pig (which I insist is quite possibly the most inappropriate item ever at a seder. I think the only way to make it more inappropriate is to have a WWJD necklace wrapped around his neck)

6. Boils: band aids

7: Hail: ping pong balls (or as Girl2 insists on calling them: King Kong balls. Feel free to laugh at her expense)

8. Locusts: Big kids: small plastic tiddly winks bugs. Not sure what was in the baby's bag as the bigger kids invaded it before I even got a look.

9. Darkness: Big kids: glow-in-the-dark bracelets. Baby: big early 90's florescent sunglasses (which he ADORED)

10. Death of the Firstborn: Baby boppers. The Boy insisted on smacking himself in the head with it while yelling, "Bop. Bop. BOP!"

I know people have pre-conceived notions about what a seder must be like, but I'll bet none of you thought it would include inflatable hammers, band-aids or stuffed pigs. :-)

Restoring my faith in humanity

Yesterday, my faith in humanity was restored at least a little bit.

I took the kids out to eat for lunch (we had just done the Pesach cleaning the night before as is required by law and I did NOT want to add any chametz to the household). I was trying to juggle the baby, the drinks, the girls, and a tray of food when an elderly woman tapped me on the shoulder and insisted she help. It wasn't until after she carried our food to the table that I realized she had her grandson with her. A few minutes later, I would realize he had a disability. So this woman offered to help us even though hers is obviously not an easy life. I was very impressed and humbled.

While we ate, I noticed the little boy had a disability. He was about 5, but was unable to speak. He repeated the same sound several times and flailed his arms. He also seemed to have impulse control issues (he climbed up on top of tables and walked along the window sills).

I wondered how my girls would treat him if they played together. They all headed towards the play structure together. Girl1, in her usual fashion, introduced herself and asked the boy his name. He didn't answer, but that didn't stop them. They all climbed up and all three slid down together, giggling the entire time. My girls tried to talk to him a few times, but he never answered nor did he seem to respond much to what they said. He did, however, respond with giggles and smiles while they all played together.

On the way home, Girl1 said, "I asked him his name, but he didn't answer." I tried explaining that he couldn't speak because he had a disability. The girls didn't understand and I was put on the spot, but I tried to explain it. I told them, "Some people have a difficult time doing things or there may be some things they can't do at all, but that doesn't mean they can't play with you. You might have to do some things differently, but you can still play together." I gave them Lucy as an example and said, "Lucy has a disability. She can't walk, but she can still play." They pointed out that they know that's true because they've seen Lucy singing and playing on the swings in the Signing Time DVDs. Then Girl2 threw out Lucy's big sister. "Leah has a disability too. She can't hear, but we can play with her too. because we can sign." I told them it was exactly like that. Granted, my kids' knowledge of signs is very limited and they probably couldn't converse much with Leah, but dammnit, they would certainly try. From the time they were about 2 & 1/2, if you asked them why we sign, they would answer, "So we can play with Leah."

I was so thrilled that the kids played together. They didn't see any difference in abilities. My girls didn't even see the disability. The kids only saw each other as friends. They could all giggle. They could all smile. That was the important thing.

To be honest, I was a little leary about even pointing out that the boy was any different from them. If Girl1 hadn't mentioned it, I wouldn't have said anything. I want them to keep that innocence. I want them to be able to enjoy someone's company regardless of what he can or cannot do. But at the same time, I'm so proud that it's very matter-of-fact to them. Sure, some people are different, but it doesn't actually make much of a difference. You can still play with them and that's the only thing that's important.

It may take lying, cheating and stealing to make me doubt humanity, but all it takes is a group of kindergarteners playing together to restore it.

Have I mentioned lately just how much I adore my kids?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

People piss me off.

Actually, lately, everything pisses me off.

My sister called and asked how I was doing. I think I summed it up nicely when I said, "I'm tired. I'm bored. I'm pissed at the world."

I can feel myself getting depressed.

I'm so mad that someone can just outright lie like that woman who caused the accident is doing. I'm hoping that she's just mistaken (we've realized that depending on how she worded things, she may not be lying, but would still be at fault). I'm so pissed that this may go on my record and my insurance rates may go up all because she failed to yield when she was supposed to. I'm trying to assume good intent and I'm thinking maybe she's mistaken, but I need to know exactly what she said to find out if she's outright lying or if she's admitting fault, but doesn't realize it.

Unfortunately, I have to wait on my new insurance claims rep to get back to me so I can find out exactly how she worded it (the difference between "green arrow" and "green light" changes the fault to hers). So I've been dying to find out this whole weekend, but we've had to wait. Dh tried calling to get the police report, but records won't open again until Monday.

I'm just pissed off at and disappointed with humanity in general right now. How could people not only act in a dangerous manner, but then lie about it? I know it sounds naive, but I'm shaken by it. I'm also feeling very "Why me" about the whole thing. I try to be a good person. I try to take responsibility for my actions. So why am I being saddled with this now?

On top of this, the military has stopped dh's pay and stopped paying our insurance. Dh is still active duty military. He will be for a while. We have no clue why they're doing this, so he's going to have to fight with the Finance office tomorrow. This is the military and nothing in the military is ever easy, so I'm sure he's going to have to jump through a ton of hoops before he gets any answers much less anything taken care of. Luckily, we have a nice savings, but our dental insurance is effectively gone and we all needed cleanings plus I had lots of work I wanted done before dh got out (yes, I'm one of the few folks my age who is still the not-so-proud owner of wisdom teeth that need to come out).

Add to all this the sleep study I had on Friday night. I didn't like the place. It was really nice, but they're not really there to analyze your sleep. They're there to prove you have sleep apnea. The mentality wasn't, "Let's see if you have sleep apnea," it was, "You have sleep apnea and we'll prove it. When we do, you'll get your CPAP machine from the XYZ company who supplies us with every single bit of information you see here." Problem is, I don't have sleep apnea. My doctor thought I might, but I knew I didn't. I agreed to the study because I want to find out what on earth is wrong with me. But this place doesn't seem to be about finding answers unless the answer is sleep apnea.

At one point, the tech explained how after they get enough apnea readings, usually after 2 hours, they'll come in and hook me up to the CPAP machine for another 5 hours. I told him, "Then I won't see you again. I'm pretty sure I don't have sleep apnea." He looked at me like I was crazy and asked, "Then why are you here?" Pardon me while I sigh.

I had all the electrodes stuck to me. I got very little sleep from which I woke often. And I was proven right. Aside from when one of the electrodes came off and the tech had to come in to fix that, I never saw him again. When he gave me the survey in the morning, he had crossed off the entire section about the CPAP.

Oh and Pesach (Passover) starts tomorrow. That means LOTS AND LOTS of cleaning. I'm not up for it. I'm so freaking tired right now. I just don't care.

So let's recap: I'm gaining weight, I'm tired, and I have nothing remotely resembling patience. We assume this is all because of my insomnia. Yet we still don't know what the hell is causing it and how to deal with it. Until we do, I will continue to be fat, exhausted and the world's worst mother. We have no income and no insurance and we don't know why. I was in an accident for which the responsible party is refusing to accept responsibility. That means that unless she wises up or the insurance company is actually willing to investigate (which I've been assured they most-likely will NOT do), I'm out the $500 deductible, I'll have this on my driving record and my insurance rates will go up. Oh and I need to clean my whole freaking house top to bottom and sort and remove lots and lots of food--foods that are staples of our diet.

Pardon my language, but there's no other way to put this: This fucking sucks!