Category Archives: Save me!!!

Don’t Underestimate Yourself

There have been too many occasions for which my mother has had to fly in to rescue me.  In my defense, if I were to outline each of these insurmountable situations, you would absolutely agree that rescue was needed, hands down.  So, it’s not that I am a weak or incapable being, but if I were one of my sisters, or one of the three hundred other people who count on my mom for four million things, I might be slightly annoyed at daughter number four for her uncanny knack for attracting the impossible.

That said, one of these times specifically involved pre-term labor, a rambunctious 15 month old with a broken leg, a 16 ton cast, and doctor’s orders to “take it easy”  (Because that phrase means so much to a mother of a 15 month old.)  But, off she flew from East to West to help me do just that.  She was there about a week before Isabelle decided that 40 week pregnancies are for suckers and 36 was quite enough, thank you very much.

During the weeks that followed, she helped my husband and I as we ran ragged trying to juggle two babies, and I dreaded the day that she would go.  I kept on saying “how on earth am I going to do this by myself?  There isn’t any way! How does anyone do this?!”

But, the day came.  My mother had responsibilities at home that had been neglected for too long.  Her own 95 (then 93) year old mother lives in her care, as well as my younger brother who has Down Syndrome. I had her for a whole month – Only-child style.  It was then that I learned that we can surprise ourselves by our strength, resilience and resourcefulness once we are forced to go it alone.

The days and months ahead were not easy by any means, but I did actually learn that I could put two kids in the car without forgetting one of them in the driveway or the on roof of the car.  Coming to the realization that you are not a complete moron feels really good.  Thank you Mom, for cutting the cord.

Speaking of cutting cords….my mother swooped in the day before  my vocal surgery and stayed for five days, three days longer than planned.  After umpteen phone calls from my brother and grandmother, the guilt overtook me and I sent her home.  I had only two more days before I would hopefully be able speak, and although my husband was working late for both of them I felt confident I would surprise myself with my brilliant and silent coping skills.

The first solo bedtime was a complete disaster and it was made abundantly clear that there is absolutely no way in hell you can take care of preschool aged children without speaking to them with no other adult present.

And yet, I was again reminded of my resourcefulness.

I picked up the phone and sent a text to the babysitter.

See?  Trust yourself.  You are capable.  You are strong.  You have everything you need.

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Flu Etiquette Poll

Sickness seems to be rampant this year, at least in these here parts.  So, I thought a little poll-taking would be fun, just to see how much we all care about our fellow-man. It’s quick, it’s easy, and there’s no judgement.  Unless I disagree with your answer.

Here we go.  A couple of hypotheticals.

Strictly Hypothetical.

1.) You are on vacation.  Four days into your sunshine and bliss, you come down with the flu.  Surely caught from another Germy Influenzite within the stuffy confines of the aircraft on your way to aforementioned sunny and blissful destination.   The night before your scheduled departure to Coldville (your home-town), the thought of getting two children up at 5 a.m. to get them on a plane as you, yourself struggle to stop the room from being a simulated Gravitron ride feels impossible.  But, personal nausea aside, you are most certainly not germ-free and are quite possibly a walking flu missile.  Do you:

A.) Pay the $1200 in change fees to spare your fellow passengers (but continue to infect your in-laws with whom you are staying).

B.) Suffer through the torture, and get everyone home to their own beds and say a prayer for all those innocents flying North along with your toxicity.

C.) Find another solution that will make me feel stupid that I did not think of it myself.

 

2.) Once home, your spouse must work, leaving you to care for two small children in your pathetic sickly state.  Do you:

A.) Call a babysitter to come help, risking her health

B.) Beg a family member to come help, also risking their health

C.) Suffer through it and  actually sob to your three-year old and two-year old, begging them to go easy on you as they stare, utterly confused.

 

Brain DustBuster

I’ve always thought that I was born with some sort of defect. A missing part, like an Ikea box, if you will.

Miscommunications are a part of life. They happen. And, the particular types of which I write are rectified quickly. A mumbled word is heard as something outrageous and halts the conversation like a road flare. Often, these are humorous. We chuckle and continue on, back on track.

But, what happens when the understood word or phrase is horrific and offensive? These too can be quickly rectified (although sans chuckles.)This is where my missing part comes into play.

It is my theory that most of us are born with an automatic Brain DustBuster that sweeps these embarrassing moments away, allowing its person to move along with little additional thought on the blip.

I, on the other hand, get trapped in a loop. The loop during which I was understood to be ridiculous, or perhaps ignorant and/or heartless. Even after many explanations righting the course, and can’t seem to let go of those seconds or minutes, no matter how brief.

An example:

We were powerless for nine days, gloriously restored for one and a half, and then yanked from our cozy relief once the snow storm hit. A snow storm that paled in comparison to any I have witnessed in my 35 years as a North Easterner (minus the five we pretended to belong in Southern California’s valley).

So, as I sit here and write this with numb and chilly fingers on my iPhone, I am still unsure as to why we have no power. Last week, as live wires lay draped and flaming across our yard, it was quite obvious. We did not sit and wait for the lights to magically appear. We knew that as long as our yard contained zero electrical crew members, we would enjoy zero electrical amenities.

But this outage is baffling and beyond irritating, so i made a call to New Jersey’s power company to raise hell politely inquire.

During my call, the rep gave very little helpful information, and just said that they were trying to restore power to everyone by 11:59pm on the 9th of November. (tonight-still waiting)

“I just don’t understand! Why did the power go out at all? The storm wasn’t that bad?”

Oddly, she responded calmly,

“The storm was that bad, Ma’am. People lost their homes. Some lost their lives.”

And there it is.

Of course I spent the next five minutes making sure she knew I was not referring to Hurricane Sandy, but the silly snow storm that followed it. But I can’t shake it. For three seconds, this woman thought there was a jackass on the planet who would downplay a catastrophe that left thousands homeless, killed many, and ripped babies from their mother’s arms. And, during those three seconds, she thought that jackass was me.

Still cringing.

Please send Brain DustBuster.

Maybe an extra one came in your box?

Blogger’s Note:
The Verizon cable line has been destroyed on our block. We are told it cannot be put back up for weeks. For that fact, all typos are to be overlooked as I have no cable or internet and am using the WordPress app on my phone to write and post.

Better yet….

I’ll leave you the username and password. Would you be so kind as to log-in and edit at your leisure? While you’re at it, write a couple of entries, would you?

Username-fix our power
Password- cold

Death of Nap. Death of Sanity.

I’ve heard tales of this sort of thing on the street.

A child under the age of three phasing out his afternoon nap.

An Urban Myth, of course.

Or at the very least, a lack of parental know-how. They must not be timing things accordingly. Perhaps the lighting isn’t adequately creating a restful atmosphere. Overly stimulating post-lunch media? Maybe they serve juice instead of water?

At any rate, it couldn’t happen to me. Certainly not. I shan’t even entertain the thought.

Well, peeps. I’m here with my street cred to tell ya,

It’s real.

It’s true.

It’s horrifying.

Zachary’s naps have sprung with the spica. We fought it. We denied it. I bounced the kid silly for an hour the other day until he finally realized it was his crib or motion sickness. But, even that has stopped working.

“I’m just not tired, Mommy”

And I believe him.

He’s not tired at 12:00 pm.

Or at 1:00, or 2:00

It’s debatable at 3:00.

And at 4:00…

the sky comes crashing down around us all in a loud, thunderous, decimating explosion.

“Mommy! I’m tired! I want to take a nap!

OK.

What happens if the child takes a nap at 4:00 pm?

He’s up till 10:00 pm.

NOT OK

So, after much debate, discussion and tears (ours, not his), we made the painful decision to try something new this week.

No nap. Not even an attempt. An EARLY bedtime and all should smooth out within a few days.

How did it go?

God Awful

In fact, I made the mistake of accepting invitations for two play dates this weekend, planned for the early evening/wartime hours.

Twice.

I did this TWICE this weekend.  Because evidentially I didn’t embarrass myself quite enough on Saturday and felt the need to go back for more on Sunday.

Two different evenings.

Two different psychotic break-downs.

Two different calm, sane families as witnesses (both with a child who sits at the dinner table, quietly consuming prepared food for a period of time spanning longer than ten minutes-something I know nothing about even with all naps intact)

It would seem that I am trying my best to ensure no friends are made here in our new neighborhood.

My sweet, loving, slightly precocious little boy turns into a high-pitched, squealing banshee, who would be prescribed 17 different drugs if observed by a child psychiatrist during these episodes. (And I would certainly be prescribed a handful of my own, should I catch the doc’s eyes, even for a quick second.)

He is out of control.

I am out of control.

Isabelle joins the ranks of the ‘out of control’ just for uniformity, I guess.

She naps just fine-

Not three and four hour stretches I’ve heard parents claim their kids give them. I know nothing of that sort of luxury. Never have. Good Lord, what on earth would I do with that kind of time?

If one of my children has ever napped for more than one hour and 45 minutes, I’ve checked for a pulse.

So, that’s that.

Except it’s not.

This nap CANNOT go. It’s not working.  There is a reason why kids don’t usually drop it until after preschool begins. It is unnatural for any human to go through 13 hours of entertaining two toddlers without so much as a five-minute reprieve.

This just won’t do.

No siree.

Must figure out a new plan.

Until then, all post-3:00pm play dates are out of the question. I must salvage what friendships remain!

have a click!

Retracting Previous Allegations

I must retract previous allegations against St. Barnabas Hospital in NJ.

I was unfair in my blanket statement concerning the whole establishment.

While I stand by my original assessment of the phlebotomy lab totally sucking, it turns out the Pediatric Emergency Room and it’s staff are all perfectly wonderful.

I had the pleasure of being corrected on the issue this evening while admitting Isabelle into their very kind and capable care with a dislocated elbow.

I do not however plan on writing either a letter of apology or an expression of gratitude.

I feel it is in everyone’s best interest that I shut my mouth for an undetermined period of time.

And possibly relocate my family to a padded room.

Padded for my children’s delicate bones and ligaments, padded for their Father who has thrown out his back lifting little spica man, and padded for their stark- raving, bat-shit crazy Mother.

I will however expect a visit from Child Protective Services sometime within the next 24 hours.  Should they not come knocking, I will be disappointed in the system as they are clearly not doing their job.

On another note, before my self-imposed silence,

All those of you who have been hurt either emotionally or physically by yours truly in the last 35 years, perhaps a childish shove on the playground in 1983, a prepubescent roll of the eyes in the early 90’s , anything you can think of,
please let me know how I may pay my debt to you. An email, a phone call, a letter, lunch, perverted sexual favors…anything.  Whatever you feel is necessary to lift the curse affecting my family.

Or wait!

A mirror! Maybe I broke a mirror!  Which is only good news if the break occurred seven years ago bringing us to the end of our bad luck. Five would still be bad news. Two more years of this is not acceptable.

Think, Emily! Think!

Drat!

I can recall no broken mirrors.

Back to plan A of paying my debt to society.

Send all grievances along with proposed  payment to:

Motherfog Padded Room

Sincerely,

Loony Toons Mcgee

Holy Crap. I Forgot.

First let me say, I grew up here. Not exactly here. But here in the Northeast. And, as I have mentioned, after a five-year pit-stop in Southern California, we decided it was time to bring the flock home to the extreme gloriously diverse seasons. Who wants 75 degrees and sunny every single day? That’s for the birds! But not these birds.  East we flew.

The major preoccupation we had before our migration (other than the silly detail of finding employment) was the cold, bitter, cheek-slapping winters. With our move scheduled for January 1st, it was a valid concern. But alas, we dodged a snowball this year. Our frantic, last-minute gifts of snow suits, coats, hats and mittens have collected dust in the hall closet as spring reigned victorious over winter and snuffed out the cold. It seems as though Los Angeles’ winter stowed away in our Sienna to vacation in the East.

But, just as were feeling cocky about pulling the wool hat over the eyes of Madam Wicked Winter of the East, Summer has appeared without warning, reminding us that there is more than one season capable of bestowing some unpleasant days and nights.

I have heard people talk about the difference between 110° heat in a dry climate vs. 90° in high humidity and I never bought into the theory that it doesn’t feel as hot in the desert.  110 seemed plenty toasty to me, especially since I spent a couple of these seasons waddling and swollen with child. I’d say “pish posh” on the idea that aridness makes 110 bearable. Pish Posh!

However, yesterday unfolded as follows:

The morning began with a sweltering walk to the train.  Although quite certain I was not with child, I waddled through thick, hot gobs of suffocating moisture, fingers and toes swollen, sweat dripping down my neck.

After 8:30 pm, the sun vacated the premises, but sneaked off without its heat.  During the wee hours, we frantically ran to-and-fro from crib to crib to tend to screaming, sweaty babies who have grown accustomed to sleeping in footed jammies under central air during rising temperatures.  I spouted in panic to my husband.

“There’s something wrong!  Their hair is wet, their bodies are clammy and their skin is hot!  They both must have dangerously high fevers!”

Stripping them down to their diapers, and turning window fans on high, he calmly said,

“Honey. So is mine. And I don’t have a fever. Its 90 degrees. Did you not spend your childhood in a 125 year-old house with nothing but an open window and  hot breeze for air conditioning?”

Holy crap. I forgot.

I am rethinking my pish-poshy attitude.

Crimes and Punishments

We awoke yesterday morning as usual, a lazy, seven-ish hour. I put off my morning coffee and ignored my children for the five minutes it took to upload one of my home-movie masterpieces onto facebook. Nothing excites me more than when my video and snapshot compilation of events magically aligns with a downloaded Mp3, searched for and hand-picked for its fitting theme.

Naturally, I must share these works of digital art with facebook friends, as people across the land are clamoring for three or four minute videos of our family’s holidays or my child’s first steps.   Or… nice facebook friends are kind enough to comment so I am kind enough to keep posting.  I’m very giving like that.

While preparing eggs and waffles, my phone sung its g-mail notification tune and I quickly glanced at my blackberry to see what life-changing message was awaiting.

It was facebook. Was I winning a prestigious facebook cinematographer award?!  This latest was up there with some of my best creations, I must say. As I read, I was shocked.  I was being cyber-slapped!

It seems that any music playing in the background of a video, even it happens to be innocently playing on the radio during taping, is forbidden to be posted anyplace where people can hear it. So, my letter from the facebook team was informing me of the ban they have placed on my ability to upload and post videos……EVER. Not a slap on the wrist or a day or two of suspended privileges while I slouch in a quiet corner and think somberly upon my transgression.  No. A complete hack of a facebook limb without warning.

In my frantic attempt to rectify this, I ended up filling out the only form I could find with which to contact the facebook gods, and inadvertently “E-Signed” some legal document stating that I had permission to use the music. Which of course I do not. I don’t know Bing Crosby or how to go about contacting him. And who has the time to go around chasing down stars and musicians for permission to use their diddies as added ambiance to montages of their babies locating hidden colored eggs?  I was merely trying to find a way to submit my plea of  ignorance, and beg for the punishment to cease.

As the kids were throwing grapes on the floor and styling one another’s hair with oatmeal and carrot  puree,  I spewed my prophecies of getting fined or arrested for this mistake to my distracted husband, who found the whole thing ludicrous.

He had no time to entertain my fears of being thrown in the slammer for acts of piracy. He was rushing out to the DMV to get our Sienna registered in New Jersey as he felt that four months was surely past the legal time limit for California plates to remain.

Five minutes after his departure, my phone rang with the familiar “husband” assigned ring.

“Honey, did you do something with the GPS?”

“No. It should be right on the dashboard, in plain view, where it always is. ”

“Ok. Someone broke into the car.”

Now, I’m not sure one can use the word “break” if nothing has been broken. It would seem the car was unlocked. You know how hard it is these days to push a little key fob button that locks all doors with one single press. But none the less, regardless of my lack of attention to minor details, the GPS was missing along with the $4.00 auxiliary cord for the ipod.

I called the police immediately. I searched many a Radio Shack for that cord!

Much to my surprise, a police car pulled up to my house within ten minutes. I walked out to greet him, a sleeping Zachary inside and a freshly napped Isabelle on my hip, and explained the event. He asked for our license plate number to file the report, and I sent a text to Steve for it. I wrote,

“The cops are here”

He responded,

“Because of facebook?”

Chuckling, I gave the policeman our plate number and listened as he got his response from the database. The dispatcher relayed the information that our vehicle’s registration had been suspended.  The California DMV had suspended our registration alleging that they have no record of valid California car insurance.

I retorted,

“Of course we don’t have California car insurance. That would be silly. ”

As I wrapped up my explanation of the gap of registrations, giving far too many details of our sienna saga, Steve pulled up, New Jersey plates in hand. We all went through the car together to compile an accurate list of missing items. It seemed as though the diaper bag had been rifled through, its contents strewn about the floor. Sadly, the sight didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me. He then asked if we kept any weapons in the car.

“Just the 45 colt revolver we keep in the diaper bag” I said.

I think he found me cute. Or annoying. It’s often hard to tell.

The officer was very kind and assured me that no ticket would be issued for the many days of driving an unregistered vehicle. We were, after all reporting our  own crime.   Thank goodness. After being so severely punished by our favorite social media site, I just could not bear another sanction. It’s possible that the penalty for driving an unregistered vehicle for 48 days is slightly more severe than video prohibition.

But, I’m not entirely sure.