Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I’ve got something important to say, let me run to my car so I can tell you!

So now that we are fully into 2018 I figured it was time to officially say good-bye to a few things that drove me absolutely bat-shit crazy in 2017.  Here they are in no particular order;


Kale-  I have tried it.  It is absolutely disgusting.  I think most people pretend to like it because it was the new healthy fad.  It is gross.  And what the hell are Kale chips?  I’m sorry but no matter how hard you try you cannot make them be a legitimate substitute for real chips.  Never going to happen.  I tried making Spinach chips a while back when those were a “thing”.  I sprayed the baking sheet with Pam and they still stuck and broke into a million pieces when I tried to take them off the pan.  If you take a paper thin leafy vegetable, dehydrate it and try to move it from where it lays it will break into tiny slivers.  There is no way around it.  So, I was at the Basket the other day and they had a display with some Kale chips.  I took a walk over to check them out and yup, just as I suspected there was a bag full of green dust.  I swear to God, I could put parsley in a Ziplock and call it Kale chips and no one would know the difference.  I really hope the kale fad dies out in the new year.


Unpack-  I am not talking about unpacking from a wonderful, relaxing vacation.  I am talking about all the political pundits on cable TV who when faced with a multi-faceted topic say, “OK, let’s unpack that”, “We need to unpack that idea”, “Let me unpack that for you”.  Drives me f*cking nuts.  I don’t know why, but it is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I just picture them placing on old timey leather suitcase on the bed, and slowly taking out old, stale clothes one piece at a time and then pulling out an old, yellowed lacy piece of #metoo or #russiancollusion or whatever the daily topic was.  I know it is stupid, but it just annoys me to no end.  Thank the walking upright Gods I have never heard Anderson Cooper speak that word, I swear to God the second it comes out of his mouth our love affair is over.    Another one that grates on my nerves is the phrase “deep dive”.  As in take a closer look.  When they weren’t ‘unpacking” in 2017 they were taking a “deep dive”.  I love listening to Jim Braude and Margery Egan every day but there was one day when Jim said he was taking a deep dive and I screamed at Alexia to turn off.  Poor thing isn’t used to getting yelled at, but I couldn’t listen a second longer.  I didn’t listen to them for a week.  Not that they will ever know about my silent protest, but I know.  So, unpack that Jim and Margery.


Slime-  I hate slime.  I hate everything about it.  One of my kids is obsessed with it.  Obsessed to the point I am considering calling TLC and having her featured on an episode of My Strange Addiction.  Now I know a 10-year-old loving slime isn’t as strange as a 38 year old that likes to eat dryer sheets or a 53 year old that lives her life dressed as an infant, diaper and all, but it drives me insane just the same!  I find remnants of it everywhere, it has ruined books, table cloths, a dresser and most of my Tupperware has been sacrificed all in the name of slime.  As a matter of fact, one of my kiddos and I are locked in an epic showdown for the ages; she got yellow slime on the doorknob to the basement.  I refuse to clean it and she can't play with slime until she cleans it.  So far neither one of us has budged.  May the best person (mom) win.  I hope this fad leaves us just as 2017 has.

Eyebrows-  I just don’t get those big, thick, heavy, way over drawn eyebrows.  It is not a good look.  For anyone.  Ever.  My last post told you about someone at the grocery store.  Well, at the cafeteria at work there was a beautiful young girl.  She was stunning; beautiful skin, beautiful hair, perfect body, etc.  But she had these fake eyebrows that looked like the friggin count from Sesame Street.  They had to be a solid inch thick and a good 6 inches in length (not including the sharp, razor thin ends that finished off somewhere behind her ears).   I didn’t want to look or comment because I did not want to encourage this look in any way, shape or form but I couldn’t look away.  You know how they say right before you die you are drawn to the light?  It was like that, there was something magical about these brows you are just drawn to them and no matter how hard you try you can’t look away.  They were that spectacularly ridiculous.  I hope 2018 brings back a subtler brow.


Car confessionals-  This I trend I don’t understand at all.  My Facebook feed is filled with people sitting in their cars waxing poetic on whatever the current injustice in the world is.  Racism?  There is a car talker for that.  Sexism, someone sitting in their car telling men how to behave?  You bet.  Bullies? Oh, you can find at least 579, car seat social justice warriors discussing them.  I don’t get it.  When I have something important to say I have never had the urge to go sit in my car and discuss it to an imaginary audience and then post it online.  I just don’t understand this concept at all.  But I think I am in the minority here, when I see people post these videos their comments are full of phrases like, “true story”, “amen” and the ever popular; “this” (with any arrow pointing up), Logistically I have some questions; 1. Do these people have a camera already mounted in their car in case they feel a soliloquy come on?  Or do they have to go get the camera ready?  2.  Do they practice in front of their mirror, so they know what they want to say? —these seem pretty thought out, they angles, the facial expressions...  3.  Do they pull over to a safe place so they don’t put others lives at risk when they are saving the world with their car seat confessional? 4.  Do they clean their cars out in case the camera angle dips down a bit.  If I were ever to make a car seat video and the camera panned around the world would see my car is a sh*t hole. Or is it that their house is such a mess they need to go to their car to film their monologue?  And 5.  Why the hell are you making a video of yourself talking to no one in your car?

I am imagining if you are the type of person that takes to your car to make a video chances are your life is kind of in shambles, so your car is your only safe place.  Case in point.  Poor Tyrese has been making a LOT of car seat videos.  His life is spinning out of control, I watch TMZ, I know these things.  Some people have the Wall Street Journal or NY Times.  I have Harvey Levin.  Seeing his life fall apart in a sequence of these videos has made me think there needs to be some kind of system in place for the makers of said videos.  Like you know how some repeat drunk drivers have to blow into a device before they can drive their car?  I think some of these repeat car video offenders should have to pass some type of standardized psychological test before given free reign of their car mounted camera.  And don’t get me started about the people that make a car seat video AND use that asinine filter that makes their eyes bug out, their mouth super wide and have chipmunk voices.  I hope these videos go the way of the ones where people would stand silently, with somber music playing in the background while they held up page after page of cue cards with some pull at the heartstrings crap while making ridiculously over the top facial expressions, like that God-awful side smirk. 

So here is to 2018!  A new year and a new crop of things to drive me bat-shit crazy!!  Happy New Year!!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I’m too young to be “too old for this sh&t”

So lately I have caught myself muttering under my breath, “I am too old for this sh*t” and after hearing myself say it 4 times in about an hour it got me thinking; Am I too old for this sh*t?  In my mind I feel like I am too young to be too old. 

Back in December I turned 45.  That was a hard number for me to swallow.  The day after you turn 45 you are officially on the downward slope to 50.  50!  How is it that I am now closer to 50 than I am to 40?  I know with every passing day I age but I honestly still see myself as 25.  I don’t see myself as middle-aged.   But the more I think about it, the more reality sets in and I am old enough to be too old for this sh*t. 

We had a big snow storm recently.  Our driveway and sidewalk were full of snow that needed to be removed. Chuck was doing the bulk of the shoveling but has an injured elbow, so I was helping.  He was using the decent shovel since he was doing the lion’s share of the work.  I was left with one of those collapsible ones you keep in your car to dig your tires out.  I liken it to a soup spoon.  So, there we are in sub-zero temps with whipping winds in the dark trying to dig out from a nasty Nor’easter.  The dog is out and wants to play, one of the girls is “helping” shovel by throwing snow in the places I have already cleared and the other 2 are trying to build something in the snow and getting frustrated because we are more focused on clearing the snow than helping them.  The girl helping storms off and pouts when I ask her to shovel another spot. Good times abound.  Finally, after muttering, “I am too old for this sh*t” more times than I can count I head inside to make dinner.  The next few days pass without incident.  On the 3rd day I wake up at 1:18 a.m. in excruciating pain.  I knew instantly what it was.  My mother F-ing Rotator Cuff.   Last spring, I tore my rotator cuff.  Don’t ask me how because I don’t have a clue.  Apparently, it is an injury of overuse.  If you know me at all you know I don’t overuse my body in any way, shape or form.  To this day it remains one of Life’s great mysteries as to how that injury occurred.  I had a cortisone injection some PT and  was good to go.  I haven’t had any problems with it since so I honestly forgot about it.  That is until 1:18 last Sunday morning.  I was able to get back into PT quickly and was looking for some relief.  So, the therapist says he is going to do some cupping on my shoulder.  Sure, I say.  I mean Gwyneth Paltrow is famous for cupping.  That is how I learned of it in the first place.  If it is good enough for Gwyneth it is good enough for Erin.  I mean she is this dainty little celebrity flower, I am not.  How bad can it be?  For the love of God, I am not as tough as Gwyneth at all.  AT. ALL.  That sh*t hurt like a sumabitch!  My shoulder ended up all bruised and battered.  It hurts to wear a bra and this weekend, unlike most weekends, I actually had plans that involved leaving my house and interacting with society, so I had to wear a bra.  I swear to all that is Holy when I go back to PT on Tuesday if he even hints at cupping again I will throat punch him.  So, when it comes to shoveling point goes to “I am too old for this sh*t”.  For the record, as we speak Chuck is at Home Depot picking up our brand-new snow blower.  So, when it goes to that Mother Nature, point goes to us bitch!


Recently with my kids I feel a sense of urgency to teach them as many life lessons as I can.  I am not sure if that has to do with my birthday and my new-found sense of hurry up and get my life in order before its over, or the shithole that has become our society.  Our president, love him or hate him has given me the freedom to use the salty language I prefer.  I may not be able to say words like science or evidence based but I do get to use words like shithole, pussy, bigly and covfefe.  So, as I try to raise three impressionable young girls into three independent, open minded, compassionate young women I feel like time is running out.  I don’t know what it is lately, but I feel like I have this small window of opportunity to pour as much kindness and good into them as I can.  I want them to be decent and productive members of society long after I am gone.  I am trying so hard not raise a-holes and the more and more time they spend out in the real world it seems to be getting harder and harder.  I have always put thought into how I was raising my children but now I have been consumed with this incredible sense of responsibility to ensure my daughters have a strong sense of self, sense of purpose and sense of doing the right thing even when it is the hard thing to do.  Raising children is a younger woman’s game.  Having my third at just about 41 has made me very tired.  Again, point goes to “I am too old for this sh*t”. 

Since my birthday and my realization that this isn’t a practice run, this is the only shot I get at life I have decided I need to get healthy.  Really get healthy.  Not just lose a few pounds, but transition to a more active lifestyle.  If I want to see my girls grow up into these decent young women I am pouring so much energy into I need to really change some things up.  Right before my birthday I had an appointment with my cardiologist.  Because my heart conditions are congenital, meaning I have had them since birth, I am seen by a doc at Boston Children’s Hospital.  So, I get to sit in the waiting room with little kids.  The way my appointments were set up I had to be there all day with several hours in between visits.  Going to a children’s hospital is always eye opening, despite working in pediatrics for almost two decades it is so different when you are there as a patient and not staff.  Being there and being treated for a heart condition that could have killed me and has killed so many always leaves me with a sense of gratitude for having grown into adulthood a privilege that is denied to so many.  Now, since my last cardiac appointment I have put on a crap ton of weight.  I had Emily, my mom died, and I have not put myself first in a very long time.  I packed on the pounds.  I knew it.  I didn’t need an 85 pound, if that, 24-year-old Cardiac Fellow to tell me.  But she did.  She came in and told me that we all struggle with our weight.  Now I don’t know much about her, who knows maybe she did have a weight problem in the past.  Maybe she has been counting her Weight Watchers Points and working out at Curves.  But my friends listen up, she told me the secret to weight loss; she told me, “when you are hungry for chips and cookies, just eat carrots and celery instead”.  She was completely earnest when she said this, bless her little heart.  I looked right at her and said, “oh my God, are you serious?  That is the secret?  That is all I have to do?  Eat carrots and celery when I want junk food?  Oh man, I have to go home and tell my husband now I know what I have been doing wrong all these years!”.  Yes, I was a snarky a-hole but she was so condescending.  She must have cried to the attending, who is amazing and so down to earth, because came in she said, no need to stock up on carrots and celery, don’t focus on the scale, just try to add in some healthier choices from time to time and make yourself a priority every now and then.  That I can get behind.  Mary Alice, our dog, and I have started going for walks when the weather allows.  Poor thing, she loves going to explore the new neighborhood but if we had to rank every member of our family for their fitness even Mary would come in behind me.  As I trudge up the hills of our neighborhood I may have let a few “I’m too old for this sh*t” slip out.  But in this case, I am taking a point for me.  See that Dr. Valente?  I took the point for myself so technically that is making myself a priority!


Things haven’t been all gloom and doom lately.  There are a few times when I was like, OK Erin, you’ve got this.  You might be middle aged, but you aren’t on the Geriatric service just yet.  And then reality rears its ugly head.  I have been finding a crap ton of greys in my eyebrows.  Like a lot.  I have been plucking them out but then I am left with bald spots where I should have eye brows.  Not a good look.  Eye brows are tricky.  I am sure I could get some hair dye and take care of the problem, but I can almost guarantee that would somehow end with me losing my eyesight.  Most likely only in one eye and I would have to wear a pirate patch.  My kids would have a field day with that and I can’t let them win this round.  So, I have taken to filling in my eye brows. This is a skill that is way easier said than done.  Don’t fill in enough and you have these weird, soft brown looking divots peppered throughout your eyebrow line, fill in too much and you look like you took Tom Brady’s black undereye light blocking cream and haphazardly smeared two swaths of sh*t across your eyebrow line.  It is a daily struggle to find the middle ground.  The other day I was at my supermarket of record.  (Not saying the name of the store to protect this girl’s privacy.)  I went to the courtesy booth.  The girl has her back to me and when she ever turned around it took all the strength I had not to burst out laughing and shout “da f*ck happened to your face?”  She had what can only be described as a wooly mammoth drawn above each eye.  They were both perfectly shaped so, 1.  She must have purchased a kit with a stencil, 2. She invested some time in drawing them on and 3.  She did this on purpose (or I am hoping against hope she lost a bet).  I couldn’t stop staring and part of me really wanted to secretly snap a picture but then my sensibilities snapped in and my sense of humor was replaced with a sense of sadness.  I felt so bad for her.  It hit me, and I got really sad, this poor girl has no one in this world that loves and cares about her.  If she did there is no way on God’s green earth they would let her out of the house looking like Bert from Sesame Street.  Now, before anyone gets on me for making fun of someone’s appearance, something I would never do.  This was her choice!  She was not born this way!  These were not her God given eyebrows.  These were those drawn in ones you see all over YouTube makeup tutorials.  I am all for a person’s personal style, making statements through fashion etc.  When my girls are teens if they want to dye their hair purple and shave it into a reverse mohawk, get a nose ring, wear ridiculous clothes-have at it.  But if one of them ever, EVER tries stepping foot outside the house with these ridiculous over drawn in eyebrows I would stage an intervention so fast A&E couldn’t get a camera crew here in time.  But I digress, my eyebrow issues don’t end there.  As if grey eyebrows didn’t scream “I am too old for this sh*t” enough, I found a rogue one you can only see in profile.  You know one of those eyebrows that grow super long and stick out up above the natural eyebrow line.  Yup, that kind.  So now every morning not only do I have to fill in the bald patches I now have to take my mirror and check out my profile to make sure I don’t have any long ones waving at the people.  Oh, and for the record, now that I am teetering on old lady problems I have added checking for stray nose and ear hairs to my daily beauty regimen.   I will take my old lady, crepe papery hands, put on my progressive lenses and just give a big, fat check in the “too old for this sh*t” column.

Since my birthday I have really been taking inventory of my life.  It is like I have been slapped into reality; this isn’t a practice run.  I only get one shot at this and I need to make sure I am getting it done on my terms.  After focusing so much on being a mom for the past 10 years I am slowly learning to put myself first every now and then.  Being a mother makes it impossible to put myself first all the time, by virtue of being a mom your children should and deserve to come first the majority of the time.  But little by little I am taking back some of my life.  I love to write, it is like therapy for me.  I have started to clean out a storage room in our basement and I am working on turning it into an office, so I will have my own quiet, private space to go and write.  Who knows? Maybe I will even write a book about being a Minivan Mom before I am really “too old for this sh*t”.  Stay tuned….





Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Night Science

I know lately I start a lot of my posts with, "I am sorry I haven't written in a while blah, blah, blah..."  The blah, blah, blah is usually something that has kept me away from the computer.  Well this blah, blah, blah is a big one!  We moved!  I have a whole blog post I am working on about the move, but in the meantime here is a quick one to hold you over.

So we moved in very short order and we have been super busy with Halloween, the girls birthdays, a broken bone, Thanksgiving, pneumonia and getting ready for Christmas.  In the 6 weeks since we moved in this is the first weekend I have had off from work that I have absolutely nothing planned.  I left work yesterday and decided I was going to stay in my pjs all weekend and binge watch some mindless show. For the record I found a really good one called 'Catastrophe' on Amazon, oh and after seeing Amazon's logo over and over again today I am not entirely convinced it is a Smile.  I think it is a penis.  Yup, there, I said it.  It is a penis and now every time you look at the Amazon logo you will see it too.  You're welcome.   So far it hasn't strayed too far from that but my binge watching has been interrupted by the kids bugging me every 4 minutes for a snack, a new, dry pair of gloves (first snow fall of the season today), the dog wanting to go out etc.  Well, the kids went back out to play in the snow, Chuck was watching TV so I figured it was a good time to take advantage of one of the perks of our new house.  Our huge Jacuzzi soaking tub.  Yup, I was going to take some time for me.  It has been a stressful week with sick kids, an insane calendar full of extra stuff to get done, you mamas know what I am talking about.  So I was ready to relax...

I scrub out and bleach down the tub.  Then set the relaxing mood; battery operated Christmas lights draped over the sinks and toilet paper holder.   Nothing screams "RELAX" like illuminated T.P.  Our old house  was so small if the lights went out in the bathroom all we had to do was light a match and it lit it up like the Goddamn halogen lights coming on in the bar after last call.  The new house not so much.  I had to scrounge for a candle to add a little more light.  I found a Holly Berry scented one to do the job.

I fill the tub, turn on the jets and go to get in.  Then faster than a Kardashian around an NBA player, I was brought back to Mr. Guenard's science class and Archimedes' theory of water displacement. The displacement method involves putting an object into water and carefully recording how much the water level rises. The amount that the water volume rises is equal to the volume of the object.  Well, I wish I had remembered this theory before I went to sit my fat ass down in the tub.  I was about half ass deep when I realized any lower and we are going to have a flippin tidal wave.  So I quickly let some water out. 

Another scientific lesson I revisited was the theory of buoyancy.  "Boobs are fatty, and fat floats. So  the more fatty, the more floaty."  I found that quote on the internet.  You can literally Google anything!  But it is true.  I was curious as to why if my whole body is soft and squishy why were only my boobs floating in the water like two of those buoys you see floating in the ocean and the rest sank like the Titanic to the bottom of my tub?  Buoyancy is the answer.  See my faithful blog readers you are guaranteed to always learn something new when you read one of my posts. 

Ok, so I settle in.  My boobs are floating, I have Enya playing on Pandora and I am good.  Then suddenly I notice the water is draining.  Turns out our fancy tub is very sensitive.  The drain stopper is the kind that is attached and you push it down to fill the tub.  It is right at the same spot my heel was touching so every time my heel brushed it, up it would pop and start draining.  So the tub and I played this vicious game of fill and empty, fill and empty.  Finally I decided to just keep my feet resting on the edge of the tub. 

I decide to keep my princess fantasy going and pamper myself.  I decide to do a full leg shave.  I admit it, even though Winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st I have already begun my winter shaving protocol...ladies you know what I mean; only shave the bottom 2 inches of your legs or only as much that might possibly show if crossing your legs when wearing pants.  I thought, hey it's Saturday night wink, wink.  But I am almost 100% sure this Saturday night will go like almost every other Saturday night we have had since welcoming  children into in our lives.  Chuck and I both delude ourselves into thinking we will have some alone, adult time and without fail by 9 o'clock one of the kids is in our bed and one of us ends up on the couch or in one of the kids beds.  I eventually come to the realization that our children are the ultimate c-blockers, I take some ZZQuil and fall asleep watching an old Dateline on Investigation Discovery.  So in keeping with this charade I even use actual pretty smelling shaving cream!  I am about 4 strokes in and I take off about 3 layers of skin from my ankle.  We're talking epidermis gone, maybe even the dermis layer.  I am bleeding so bad if I were doing this in the open ocean I would have been eaten by a shark in no time.  Yet I charge on.  I move to the other leg and made the move a little too quickly I might add...at 45 I am no longer as nimble as I used to be.  A rogue wave that would have knocked a fishing vessel over flies over the side of the tub.  Sadly, that is not the end of the impromptu water park I currently have in my bathroom.  I stood up for a second to grab a washcloth to try to stop the blood letting on my ankle and the whole water displacement theory comes back in a big way.  You see while I was fighting with the drain, I never filled the tub back up as high as it was when I started out.  So when I stood my fat ass up, the water level significantly went down, down below the Jacuzzi jets so the water that was left in them when shooting across the bathroom.  I sat back down and decided a little blood on my ankle wasn't worth a flooded bathroom.  I close my eyes for a minute and listen to Pandora that is now playing the operatic song "Time to say Goodbye"  I listen to Andrea Bocelli and I totally get into the Sarah Brightman part.  The song is over and I open my eyes.  Holy Crap!!!  When the whole water displacement/Jacuzzi jet spraying debacle happened a shampoo bottle must have fallen into the tub.  The tub was now overflowing with shampoo bubbles.  It was a scene out of flippin I Love Lucy episode. 

I gave up.  I was not born to be a princess.  I turn the jets off, turn Pandora from my relaxation station and get back to my roots and turn on my Daniel Tosh station and after about 2 more minutes I give up and just get out.  So lessons learned tonight; tubs are for kids, one and done for taking a Jacuzzi tub and who knew a scientific theory I learned in school over 30 years ago would one day be so relevant?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

You Know I Wish That I Were Dickie's Girl

OK, so I know many of my work friends need a pick me up and any walking upright God knows that I need a good laugh right now too.  So for those of you that don’t know me in real life my husband and I made a spur of the moment decision to put our house on the market.  ARRRGGGHHH!  If I added up all the sleep I have had in the past week since we listed it I think I would come in at a whopping 47 minutes.  Not each night.  ALL. WEEK. COMBINED.  I am sure I will have a blog or two about that coming down the line, you know things like one of my kids clogging up the toilet 20 minutes before a showing…that kind of stuff.  But back to today’s post.  This is something that happened to me about a month ago.  As ridiculous as this sounds it is all true.  Here goes;
So I was a flip phone hold out.  It was a simple phone for a simple girl.  My flip phone finally shit the bed and I needed to get a new phone.  Chuck got me a smart phone and I have to say, not really a fan of it.  I think it causes far too many problems for me than it is worth.   So one day about a month ago I was sitting in my kitchen writing my blog about our Disney Trip.  I was all alone in the kitchen and my cell phone was on the counter charging.  It had been there all day.  It rings.  I stumble around with it trying to figure out how to answer it.  Finally get it and say “Hello”.  “Who is this” someone asks.  I answer, “Erin, who is this?”  “You know who this is, you called me bitch” is the lovely response I get back.  “Umm, no my phone rang, I answered it so I think that means you called me”.  “Listen you little bitch”  is all I let her get out.  I told her, “you are not going to call me and start yelling at me, goodbye” and I hung up.  Put the phone back down and went back to writing my blog.  Not 2 minutes later does the phone ring again.  I tapped the ignore button and didn’t give it a second thought.  My phone beeped like I got a text message.  The following is the texting conversation I had with this girl.  I am going to type it as is, typos, grammatical mistakes and all.  Enjoy:
She sent me a text of a screen shot of her incoming calls that clearly shows my phone number as an incoming call.  It was accompanied by the following message;
Her:    “You got something to say bitch say it!  I can only gas this is one dickies little bitches…WOMAN THE FUCK UP!  YOU CALLED ME BITCH.  WEAK ASS LOOK AT THE SCREEN SHOT BITCH. PATHETIC AND YES IVE BEEN FUCKING HIM!!!! “  (OK, so I think in a text all caps means she is yelling at me and with 4 exclamation points I think she means business)
Me:  “Ok.  I have no idea who you or dickie are.  I have not used my phone all day.  I am a suburban housewife with 3 small kids.  I don’t have time to call someone else’s guy.  Though you texting me has brought some excitement to my day.  Oh and good for you from getting some from Dickie.  You do you girl!”
Her:  R u dumb?  Did I just magically create a screenshot with your number saying incoming call with the date and time??? You’re a fuckin liar grow up.  If u didn’t use uour phone to call me then someone else did.  LOOK AT IT”  (Ok, she is yelling at me again.  I am many things but I am not a liar, how dare she?)
Me:  Ok, for the 3rd time I didn’t call you.  Not sure why my number is on your phone.  I get calls from (town I don’t want to disclose) on this phone all the time.  I have no idea who they are from.  Not that I care but you seem pretty insecure in your relationship.  Maybe it is time to find someone else.  Again, I don’t know anyone from (town I don’t want to disclose) or anyone named dickie but I do appreciate the drama this afternoon, it has been a nice break from CNN”S coverage of the health care debate.
Her:  So mature.  Pretty sure how phones work lol a person calls its in your log.  I sent it to in BLACK AND WHITE.  So grow the fuck up.  (again with the all caps and with the level of her anger I don’t for one second she was doing any laughing out loud)
Me:  I am grown up.  I am 44, though I do wish I was younger.  Life is going by way to fast.  Feel free to call the phone company and ask them how it could happen.  It was not me.  Don’t take it out on dickie though when he tells you he isn’t banging a middle aged, overweight mom from central MA.  In this case he is telling the truth.  Shame though he sounds like a hell of a guy.  Seriously though, find someone better for yourself.  You have too much passion to waste on someone you don’t trust.  Again, thanks for making my afternoon  exciting but I have to go get dinner ready for my 2.5 kids and our dog.
Her:   I apologize.  Just seems way to convienieny with what is going on in my life.  2nd girl to say I never called u when clearly your phone called me or I wouldn’t have your number or that screen shot.  (I do think convienieny means convenient, I do like the ring of  convienieny though) 
Me:   Not sure how it happened, if I called I would have admitted it.  I am truly sorry you have a lot going on in your life.  I was serious when I said you should find someone better.  No guy is worth getting so worked up over.  Find someone who appreciates you and that you can trust.  You shouldn’t have to second guess every number that comes up.  You are better than that.
Her:  Thanks. I don’t kniw how the hell that happened.  I apologize again
Me:  Ok so this whole thing got me curious so I googled if someone can make calls from someone else’s phone number and apparently there are apps you can use for something called phone spoofing.  Here is a screen shot of what I found
Me:  I sent her a screen shot, something I learned how to do while going back and forth with her, about phone spoofing.  I guess there is an app people can use to make calls from their phone but it shows up as someone else’s phone. 
Her:  Wtfff omg!  I can’t believe that’s even possible.  So not right.  But you and I both saw the screenshot with the date time and your number.  I can’t believe that’s legal.  I am SOOOOO SORRY AGAIN!  Never thought for a second anyone could or would do that.  Seems like a lot of effort especially to call and say nothing.  I live in the (geographical region I don’t want to disclose) in (town I don’t want to disclose)  if you were closer I would love to buy you a drink lol I’m a mother as well.  I have a (#) yr old daughter.  I’m so embarrassed.  Happened at an extremely toxic moment and I jumped to conclusions.  But thanks for sharing that info   (again with the all caps yelling but at least this time she was apologizing)
Me:  No worries!  We have all been there!  Life is tough enough, us ladies need to stick together and not bring each other down.  I did live in (town I don’t want to disclose) briefly about 8 years ago so the number might be from when I was living up there.  I don’t blame you for jumping to conclusions, I would have done the same (no, I wouldn’t have but I didn’t know what else to say)
Her:  Thanks for being grown and an understanding compassionate woman about it!  God knows u didn’t have to.  And I don’t know if I would have addressed it with the class and maturity that you did  if u do come back to the (geographical region I don’t want to disclose) I would b estatic if you let me buy u a drink or coffee.  My name is (blank).  For a stranger you really have affected and enlightened me in such a positive way and for that I thank you.  (Ok, if she really read some of my comments I don’t think I was being that mature…)
Me:  You are welcome.  Nice to meet you (blank).  I’m Erin.  I do hope you keep in touch and I hope everything works out the way it is supposed to for you.
OK, for the record I have NO intention of meeting up with her.  1. I don’t want to get beat up and 2.  Yeah, I don’t want to get beat up.  Now this did have a happy ending but, if you have been following my blog at all or know me in real life you know that deep down inside I wanted to call her back and say, “yeah, just shitting ya, it’s me Erin,  is Dickie there?”

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Good-bye my friend

So my blog is usually good for a few laughs; me relating something funny that happened with me and my kids or just my odd observations on life but tonight I am going in a different direction.  Tonight I want to tell you all about someone very special to me.  Someone that I had to say goodbye to last night and far too soon.  Her name was Linda and she was amazing.

Linda and I have worked together for almost 8 years now.  Now I share a lot in my blog but there is a lot more that I keep private.  When I started my blog years ago I put some self imposed guidelines on what I would write about.  I don't write about any of my kiddos medical issues, I don't write about my marriage and I don't really write about my work.  I have made reference to working in the NICU but that is as far as I have taken it. Tonight I am going to describe a little bit more about what I do in the NICU.  I am not a doctor or a nurse, I am something called a Child Life Specialist. In my role in the NICU I spend the majority of my time with babies born dependent on substances their mom's were taking.  Or what the news call "drug babies".  Linda liked being assigned to those babies too.  We would spend hours on end in the nursery rocking those babies.  We would spend those hours talking about everything under the sun.  In the beginning our talks were more about superficial things like how hot Adam Levine is or stuffed pepper recipes.  Over time our talks became so special to me.  Linda became something I call a "momtor".  It is a silly term I made up for a small group of women, about 4, that I look up to or seek out when I am struggling with being a mom.  A mentor for motherhood.  They aren't perfect parents, but just women that to me are doing the best they can with what they are faced with with their children.  Linda and I talked a lot about our kids.  I knew no matter what I was thinking or feeling I could always be 100% honest with her and she would never, ever judge me even on my worst day. And on her worst day she never once forgot to ask me how I was or how my girls were and when she asked she really wanted to know.  And boy did my girls love Linda.  She would host a bake sale for the March of Dimes every year on Good Friday.  There are 2 things my girls look forward to every year, the Labor Day Duck Race and Linda's bake sale.  They get so excited.  It is the one day of the year they jump out of bed, get dressed up fancy and come and see their friend Linda.  This past year Anna my 7 year old made Linda the prettiest picture after the bake sale.  Linda teased me that it had swirly letters on it but the one Anna made me for my office had regular run of the mill capitals.  When Anna overheard me telling Chuck one night that Linda was having a rough spell Anna made her an activity book with homemade dot to dots, coloring pages and a word search that had the words; Linda, Love, NICU and Babies in it. It instantly brought me to tears because those words described Linda to a T.   Having to tell them that their friend Linda had died was second only to telling them my mom had died.  It was soul crushing. 

For the most part we were just work friends.  We grabbed breakfast only a handful of times and we did go see a medium together and Linda my friend, don't think for one second I didn't see the sign you sent me right around the time you passed!  Please know I am forever grateful for that.  Though we were "only" work friends that did not cheapen or diminish my love for her and the sincerity of our friendship.  She was one of those rare gems you connect with and forge a deep and sincere friendship.    All told I have probably spent more quality hours with her in the nursery the past few years than I have with any of my other friends.  I am so grateful to have had her in my life.

Linda was in so much pain this past year but would always put a smile on and care for all those around her.  If you didn't know that she had a terminal disease you would never have guessed.  One of the many, many qualities I loved about Linda is that she treated every single parent that walked through our NICU doors with the same kindness and compassion; it didn't matter if they were millionaires or homeless she always, always did right by her babies and their families.  She never let on to the NICU families that she herself needed care.  I do believe her NICU babies gave her the strength to go on for as long as she did.  One day not too long ago we were having lunch together after a particularly rough few hours with the babies.  I just looked over at her and it hit me she really wasn't going to be around much longer.  Tears started streaming down my face.  As I opened my mouth to say something she cocked her head to the side, gave me a smile and slightly shook her head no.  And that was it, she wasn't having it. Linda wasn't one for ever feeling sorry for herself.  There was to be no grieving before she died.  She lived life to the fullest and appreciated every day she was given.

I also want to take some time and talk about how special our NICU family is.  We have been dealt some tough blows this past year.  Time and time again I am amazed at how we all come together and come out the other end stronger.  In my role I am very fortunate because when needed I can step out and get myself together.  I am very fortunate in that respect.  My colleagues aren't that fortunate.  They are caring for critically ill babies.  They can't always take a step out to gather themselves together.  They have to stay with their babies and keep them alive.  I am constantly in awe at how they are able to give their all to their NICU babies and families while inside they are grieving.  The care they give the patients never falters and no matter the situation the families are none the wiser.  They are the most professional group of nurses I have had the privilege to work with. 

Linda was not much older than I am and that fact has not escaped me.  She died way too young and had so much life left to live.  In thinking how to honor her life I think the best way is to stay true to myself, my beliefs and live each day to the fullest.  Just be the best version of myself I can be.  I have already started to make some changes to do just that. 

I am not looking for  "so sorry for your loss" responses because even though I am hurting and suffering a loss, it is not my loss, it truly is the world's loss.  After people die you always hear things like "the world was a better place because of her", "the world will never be the same" well in Linda's case it is absolutely, hands down, unequivocally true.  The world will NEVER be the same without Linda.  The world WAS a better place because of her.  The one piece of comfort I take in her passing is knowing that a piece of her is inside every single one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of babies she cared for and her presence will literally be felt for generations to come.

Rest easy my sweet friend.  I will miss you more than words could ever do justice to.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fire up the family truckster, we are taking this sh*t show on the road!

First, I want to apologize in not posting in months.  Emily, our 3 year old somehow loaded a virus on the computer.  Whenever we would try to use it boxes of Russian text would show up and screw with everything.  Damn you Russians!  And they keep insisting there wasn't any collusion... my ruined computer begs to differ.  Thank you Jared Kushner.  When Chuck reformatted it my bookmark to my blog was gone.  Me being me, I did not remember how to log in.  It has taken me a few months to figure out my password and the email I used when I set it up years ago.  But here we are back at it. 

We recently returned from an extended vacation in Florida and it did not disappoint.  I had you, my faithful readers in mind the whole time.  Now that I have upgraded to a smart phone I was able to type in phrases/notes along the way of things I wanted to blog about.  So grab a snack, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Disclaimer--if you are one of those dyed in the wool Disney fans you may want to stop reading now.  This blog may be a trigger for you.  If you chose to continue reading and are offended that is on you.

So one night I come home from work and the girls are super excited to see me.  They are squealing, "guess where we are going"  so I guess West End (a local ice-cream shop)?  Nope.  The Dollar Tree? I mean I would be squealing if we were headed to the Promised Land.  Nope again.  "DISNEY!!!!"  "We are going to Disney!!!!".  Turns out they spent my 8 hour shift planning a trip to Disney.  Note to self; maybe rethink this whole work outside the home thing--they majority of the family is home while I am at work and they tend to make major family decisions while I am toiling away.  Long time blog readers will remember that is how we ended up getting a dog!  The contract was made while I was at work and man do I love Mary Alice but sometimes I wouldn't mind being part of the discussion.  But I digress.  Back to Disney.  I am the first to admit I am not a perfect parent.  There is negotiating, there is yelling, there are bribes and at times there are lies.  Yes, I have been known to lie to my children.  One doozie I perpetuated was that the law says everyone in your family needs to be 5 to go to Disney.  Why do you think I popped out another kiddo when Anna was teetering on the edge of 5?  Somehow my offspring found out there really wasn't a law supporting an age requirement for Disney.  I have my suspicions on who may have leaked the truth...  Anyway, the trip was booked for the day after they were to get out of school.  We live in New England and it snows.  So in the end they not only got a trip to Disney they also got to miss the last 2 days of school.

So we pack up the family truckster and head out at 5 a.m.  Oh yeah, did I forget to mention We. Were. Driving!  So I hate the heat.  Chuck hates driving with the kids for longer than a 3 hour stretch and he hates people.  So here's an idea;  let's drive 1,500 miles to Disney in the summer.  I half thought of printing Divorce Papers off of Legal Zoom and have them at the ready in the glove compartment.  I also thought it might be a good idea for all of us to make a list of what we love about each other.  That way when we are 3 states in and we are all bickering we can read from the list and remind ourselves that deep down we do care about one another.  In the end I did neither.

Everyone is excited and we pull out of the driveway without a hitch.  We make it to all the way to the Jersey Turnpike and we stop for breakfast.  Let me just say, our first stop did not disappoint! I was waiting in line for my egg sandwich when two guys come running in yelling to the staff that there is a lady passed out in her car with a needle still in her arm.  Oh great, an overdose at 9 in the morning.  To add to the ambiance of the beautiful food court there are dirty disease infested birds walking all around on the tables.  I take the girls to the bathroom and Emily walks in, immediately announces it smells gross in there, gags and pukes.  Good times!  Now, if you have never been on the Jersey Turnpike before then you have not experienced that glorious smell.  There really are no words in the English Language to describe it fully.  Anna and I have a good working theory on where the smell comes from; So the rest area on the Jersey Turnpike is  usually the first stop for New Englanders when they are on a road trip.  Anna and I believe everyone is being polite on the first leg of the trip and holding their farts in.  Once they step out of the car into the parking lot they let em all rip.  Think about it, the nearby traffic is so loud no one can hear them.  It is the perfect solution. 

The first day we make it to North Carolina.  Not bad.  We only made 3 stops that day, breakfast in Jersey, lunch in Virginia and dinner/hotel in North Carolina.  Not bad.  Truth be told I didn't have coffee and significantly limited my liquid intake.  I did not want to be the reason we needed to stop--didn't want Chuck to get upset and start channeling his inner Clark Griswold.  It was great looking at the beautiful scenery along the way.  Oh wait, the only thing we saw on 95 were signs for Cracker Barrels, Adult Super Stores and Jesus.   What the hell would an alien think of our society if their mother ship landed in America's South Eastern corridor?  Perhaps they would think we are all overweight, sexual deviants in need of salvation?  Keeping it classy Murica! I did have a revelation along the way one that may cause me to change careers late in the game; the people who come up with road names in this country have the easiest job in the world.  A few examples; Dry Bread Road, Virginia.  So was the namer sitting around eating a sandwich when he realized he was up against a hard deadline and just types the first thing he sees.  His boss sends an email back asking for more details...kind of like when you would get a composition back from your teacher and it was all marked up with a red pen.  More details, huh?  So the road namer decides to throw in  Dry to it?  Perfect!  Thank God he wasn't on the crapper when he was pressed to come up with something.  Then I sh*t you not we saw Blue Balls Road.  I am not even going to venture a guess with how that name came to be.  Though Chuck and I had some fun coming up with scenarios on that one.  After all I am a 12 year old boy at heart. 

So the next day we make it to Florida.  How did we know we were there?  Simple, the number of walkers and Hurry-canes by the pool outnumbered pool noodles and floaties a good 10 to 1. We settle in and have a good couple of beach days before we head over to, duh, duh dunn...Disney. 

Before we get to Disney lets talk about the beach for a minute.  Way different than our New England beaches.  For one you can drive on them.  A concept I love, you don't have to drag all your crap through parking lots and across miles of beach.  You pull up, park and that is it.  Lovely.  The ice-cream man drives his truck right to you!  AMAZING!  That is until you try and get out.  Now as the title of my blog suggests, we have a mini-van.  We saw other mini vans on the beach with Florida plates so they must be fine, right?  Wrong.  We had successfully parked and exited a few times.  But on one of our trips we got stuck in the sand.  Being drive-on beach novices we didn't have a tow rope, board or shovels.  We had a teeny, tiny plastic toy shovel smaller than my flip flop.  We are all in the car, I am pushing the gas and Emmie is yelling for Chuck to push harder and the rest of us are laughing and laughing.  Chuck wasn't quite as amused as the rest of us.  But we did finally get out.  Needless to say we parked at a parking lot the next time we went to the beach.  Oh about the beach; so we are sitting on the beach and I am looking out into the water and no word of a lie I see a fin glide by.  Has to be a dolphin right?  So I am thinking about it and I swear it was a shark fin, it seemed too angular to be a dolphin fin.  I get on my new smart phone and google "are there sharks at Ormond Beach?" Oh yeah there are!  Turns out the county we are staying in, Volusia County, is the Shark Bite Capital of America.  Turns out there was a shark attack on the very beach I was sitting on just two months earlier.  I made Chuck stay in the water with the girls after that.  For the record I never told the girls what I saw and I intend on keeping that a secret in case we go to that beach again.  I figure if they ever find out I knew it will give them something to talk to their future therapists about.  I mean can you imagine that is a therapists dream, a patient telling them their mom allowed them to swim in shark infested waters. 

We make it to Disney, check into our hotel and hit the pool.  It was really, really crowded in the pool.   All the people in there skeeved me out.  It was like human soup.  Warm, hairy human soup.  It was the one and only time I went into the pool.  We head to dinner the first night and Emily sleeps through it.  Missed the whole thing from appetizers to dessert.  Sound asleep in Chuck's arms.  Little did we know that was a start of a trend for Emily.  Emily slept her way through Florida, this is a kiddo who gave up her naps 2 years ago and here she was sleeping a good 18 hours a day.  We took lots of pictures to prove she was, in fact on vacation with us.  She is a lot like me with the heat.  We hate it.  It isn't that I just hate being hot and sweaty, I got really hot on the inside.  I truly feel like my blood is boiling through my veins.  I think we have had this conversation before, that I whole heartedly believe that at some point I will become a victim of spontaneous human combustion.  Emily turns into a furnace in the heat as well.  The poor bugga was so flippin hot.  I was giving her Motrin in case she had a fever brewing but I am pretty sure she was just reacting to the heat.  Had I taken her to Urgent Care and had blood work done I am pretty confident she was straddling the fence between consciousness and unconsciousness.  The two of us spent a lot of time hanging out in our hotel room.  With all the heat and oppressive humidity I broke out like I flippin teenager.  So not only was I hot and sweaty you had Zitty McGee over here giving myself NICU baths with baby wipes every hour on the hour...NICU ladies you know the one...clean to dirty!

The next day we finally enter The Magic Kingdom!  The kids are excited, Chuck and I are excited to finally take our children to the happiest place on earth!!  Fast forward to 10 minutes in and we were biting each others heads off.  I swear to all that is Holy I heard every 3rd parent go by muttering "Happiest Place on earth my ass" under their breath.  I had to laugh at the hypocrisy of parents yelling at their kids to 'smile for the damn picture'.  I do have an ingenious idea for some of my retired and soon to be retired ED nurses; retire to Disney and charge $10 for every nurse maids elbow you need to reduce from parents pulling on their kids arms as the kids try to run away.  You would live a luxurious retirement from one week's pay!  Fast Pass that Disney!  No, seriously Disney, put a fast pass on your app to go to the Medical Tent and get your kid's elbow put back in its socket.  It would be such a value added feature. 

In the 4 days we spent in the Disney Parks I have come to realize good old Walt was a sadist.  Why for the love of God would you build an outdoor theme park in a tropical swamp?  It was hotter than an old man's balls in a steam room!  I saw a wild bunny and the poor thing was so skinny and pathetic looking.  He was just casually walking along, no hopping, no spring in that poor beasts steps.  Though the heat did lend itself quite nicely to the Disney diet--in a nutshell it is too f@cking hot to eat.  OK so on second thought, maybe Walt was ahead of his time and predicted Americas obesity problem.  He was being proactive.  He saw a problem coming down the pipeline and he came up with a solution--make overweight Americans walk for miles in this God awful heat, they will be too overheated to eat and they will sweat away the pounds.  I am a people watcher and one thing I noticed was that there were a ton of fat moms with wicked in shape dads.  I am not judging...Chuck and I are one such pair.  Why is that?  Why are the moms of this country heavier than the dads.  Is it because the moms are focused on everyone else in the family and they always come last?  Is it because they are making the crappy food for the kids all day and it is easier to just eat mac and cheese with them instead of making a separate meal?  I have nothing funny to say about this or any answers, it was just a curious observation. 

Oh, here is another observation I made.  There was a disproportionate number of people using electric scooters at Disney.  I know many people need them to improve their mobility.  However, I am going to go out on a limb and say the multiple groups of teens I saw all piled onto a single scooter, think 5 teens to a scooter, didn't really need them for improving their mobility, at least not medically anyway.  Or the scores of inebriated looking twenty something's racing each other through the park.  Again, I am not in a position to medically assess them, but I don't believe every single scooter rider was legit.    As sure as the day is long, I can absolutely, 100% guarantee the rest of us poor schleps don't think it as funny as you do when you slam into our ankles because you don't know how to stop your scooter.  For whatever reason you find yourself on a hover-round in Disney for Christ's sake do not make your maiden voyage in Disney!  Do society a solid and take a test run in a Wal-Mart, preferably one in Florida.  I had the pleasure (and when I say "pleasure" it is of the sadomasochistic kind of way--you know when pain in some sort of twisted way causes pleasure, yeah, that kind of way)  of visiting Wal-Mart a few times while on vacation in Florida.  A Floridian Wal-Mart is a beast unto itself and also a blog unto itself....Apropos of nothing, but I got 3 Amber Alerts on my phone while in Florida.

So back to Disney.  Disney is a freakin cult.  There, I said it.  It is a cult.  Walt Disney is like the David Koresh and the millions of middle class Americans that make a pilgrimage to Mecca, uh-uhm, I mean Disney World every year are his followers.  They all dress alike with the mouse ears, pay a hefty portion of their income to the Church of Mickey, not much different than Scientologists.  They walk through the park blankly staring at their phones or so I thought.  They aren't blankly staring at their phones, they are frantically trying to secure their next fast pass.  Turns out you need to have a fast pass for the rides if you have any expectation of actually getting on a ride.  If not you will spend literal hours waiting in line for a ride.  One ride had a wait time of over 3 hours and no fast passes.  3 hours!  And people were waiting in line for it.  It was a ride from the movie Avatar so I guess the people waiting for 3 hours really had nothing else to do with their time.  Nerds of the World Unite!!  So instead of parents watching their children's reactions to the happiest place on earth they are staring at their phone looking for fast passes then screaming at their kids to haul ass to the other side of the park--they just scored a pass for the Mine Train and they aren't going to miss their time slot God Damn It!  I saw a crap ton of couples with Bride and Groom mouse ears on.  So this lead me to conclude they either A.) had their wedding at Disney or 2.) are honeymooning there.  I can assure you sure as shit, if somewhere in the proposal/wedding planning my betrothed floated the idea of a wedding or honeymoon at Disney that wedding would be called off so fast it would literally make dear old Walt D. spin in his grave.  There is nothing as unromantic as Disney.  The crowds, the smells, the sweat, the kids, ugh!  The one good thing I guess is a honeymoon at Disney may be good for population control.  What better birth control than seeing 4,000 screaming kids having tantrums because you won't let them get a $56 Lilo and Stitch stuffed animal.  Minnie Mouse sure, Dumbo, perhaps, but Stitch?  No F-ing way kid.

The best part of being at Disney was the E.P.I.C people watching I was able to do!  So there is someone I will call "Tattoo Lady"  at Epcot.  Now, I don't want all the tattoo folks to get in a tizzy.  I like tattoos and I even have one myself.  That being said, I believe tattoo artists should have some type of magical, crystal ball customers are obligated to look in before getting inked.  That way they can see if this body modification will stand the test of time.  Case in point, Tattoo Lady.  She had Cinderella's Castle tramp stamped above her ass crack.  How do I know?  She had a tank top on that had an open back.  Above the Castle she had Tinkerbelle and other princesses floating around.  There was also a quote higher up on her back.  Something about life is tragic/life is magic.  I didn't get a perfect look because the shirt, though open in the back had flaps on it.  I tried discreetly to blow it open with my menopause fan. Yes, I brought my menopause fan and proudly wore it around my neck.  I also wanted to take a picture but I am not that savvy with my phone so there was no way I could take it without asking Tattoo Lady to pose for it.  I wasn't in the mood to get beat up so I made a note of it in my phone instead.  So maybe when she was in her teens she thought this would be a good look for her, but it looks like she may have put some weight on after having her kids, hey, it happens to the best of us.  The castle now looked as if it could house the entire cast of Disney characters and not just Cindy-relly.  Next to her was another lady with a gem of a tat.  This woman had a portrait tattoo on her shoulder.  It was of a man.  Based on her age and the age of the guy in the portrait I am guessing it is her dad.  It had birth/death dates on it.  I am all for memorial tattoos.  I have one I have wanted for about 5 years now and I will get it at some point.  However, this is where her and I digress.  I have put a TON of thought into where I am getting mine.  Hers may not have been as well thought out.  This tattoo was very realistic.  It looked like a crystal clear photograph.  It was beautiful.  But stick with me here, you know I have the sense of humor of an adolescent boy, right?  Well, and I sh*t you not, this is exactly what I was thinking while strolling through Disney with my beautiful, sweet little girls; what the f*ck must her husband be thinking when he is doing her from behind?  Instead of lingerie does he buy her flannel housecoats?  Does he purposely place his hand over dear old dad's face?  I was fascinated with the mechanics of all of this.  So as a general rule, if you are out with me and I have a far-away look on my face, do not, I repeat, DO NOT ask me what I am thinking about!  Do I feel bad about mocking these ladies life choices?  No, why you ask?  Because when you go out to see the world, the world sees you too!

Then there was someone I like to call the "Good Morning Lady" from Epcot.  I hated her at first but then I realized her and I could be best friends!  So I am walking into Epcot and wanted to know where the stroller rental was.  I see a lady in Epcot, we make eye contact and she says "good morning".  I say "Hi".  I then ask her where the stroller rental was.  She repeats "good morning".  I say hi again and ask where the stroller rental is.  I get another "good morning" back.  Oh, I get it now...Epcot hires people from around the world to work there.  I try again but much slower, making sure I annunciate Ev-er-ee worrrr-duh.  I get another mother f-ing "good morning" back in my face.  Then it hits me.  She is playing with me.  She is just as miserable in this heat, probably not too happy with how her life is going at the moment, throw in some daddy issue and this is how she has her fun.  She is going to get me to say good morning even if it is her last act on earth.  She is not going to tell me where that  stroller rental is until I give her a cheery ole good morning back.  For a spilt second I hated her for playing me but then I had mad respect for her.  She is a girl after my own heart!    I gave her the biggest God damned Good Morning I could muster and she gave me the keys to the kingdom and told me where I could rent a stroller.  You do you girl!

Another gripe I have about Disney is how everyone that works there calls everyone prince or princess.  Here is my take on it; call me princess one more time so help me God...I am not a princess.  We all know at this point in the trip I am looking less than regal.  Again, he heat has made my face break out like a teenager.  So here I am, all sweaty and gross and but for me coloring my gray hairs before we left I would be a dead ringer for Ursula from Little Mermaid.  Oh and I have photographic proof that I am, in fact not royal looking.  After getting admonished from one of my children for actually having fun and interacting on the Buzz Lightyear ride, which you are encouraged to do, I sat with my arms folded all while contemplating where and how my parenting skills went so horribly wrong and at that exact moment the ride took my picture.  It. Was. Priceless.  When I came off the ride and saw the puss on my face I almost peed my pants laughing.  My Disney experience was captured and frozen in time forever!  If I had a nickel for every time I said "for f*cks sake" in my head, wait I take that back, if I had a half-pence for every time I said, for f*cks sake in my head I could buy Disney World, Disney Land, Euro Disney the Disney Cruise line and hell even Disney Asia and still have money left over for a souvenir!

So I got to thinking, Is Disney really magical or is it like Kale?  People say they love it but really just suffer through because it is what society dictates.  Give me an old fashioned Himalayan or tilt a whirl at the Marshfield Fair, some toothless carnies, a book of paper tickets, Journey on a boom box and I am good.

Over 2,800 miles, 14 days of togetherness, ridiculous humidity, a preteen and her attitude a 3 year old going on 93 with the amount of napping she did and I only yelled once.  ONCE!  I deserve the Nobel Frickin Peace Prize, don't cha think?

Monday, March 20, 2017

You can take the girl out of the Basket, but you can't take the Basket out of the girl!

So the other day I stopped at Wegmans on the way home from work.  I needed some Buratta cheese, remember I told you it was a game changer for me and I needed some of my fake sausages.  Now don't get your mind all in the gutter...by "fake sausages" I mean vegetarian sausages not something one would buy at Amazing Superstore.   Yes, I am a vegetarian and yes, I am a little overweight and yes, I know that an overweight vegetarian is somewhat like a unicorn...you have heard about them but actually seeing one is damn near impossible.  So again world, you are welcome!  Just doing my part for humanity.  Oh, as a side note for the first time in 17 years I actually ate a piece of meat over the weekend.  It was St. Patrick's Day, the Corned Beef smelled sooooo goooood that something came over me and I ate a slice of it.  OK, 2 slices.  Vegetarians take note; if you have not had meat in 17 years--DON'T!!  It tasted OK, but the texture of it was hard to swallow, literally, and the stomach pains I got about 20 minutes later were totally not worth it!  In my defense, before I took my first bite I did make sure I had the next couple of days off from work and that the bathroom was well stocked with toilet paper.  Fortunately for me and my darling family, I didn't need the extra TP, but the pain in my belly confirmed my lifestyle choice for at least another 17 years!  But once again, I am way off topic, back to Wegmans...

Now the reason I chose Wegmans over Market Basket was one of convenience.   It was closer to work and it does carry the sausages I like whereas Market Basket does not.  As you all know, I have a love/hate relationship with the Basket (as does every Basketeer).  Before I had kids I was a Whole Foods aficionado.  Once kids came into the picture Whole Foods was out.  There is no way I can afford to buy groceries for a family of 5 there without putting us into financial ruin.  So the Basket became my go-to store.  Plus, deep down the clientele at the Basket are my people, my kin folk if you will.

So I pulled into the only available parking spot, so maybe it wasn't the only spot available but the others were way over by another store and it was about 8 degrees out and the winds were whipping.  I get out of the car and as I start to walk away I notice there was a sign at the head of the parking space.  It read; "Parking for Expectant Mothers or Parents with small children".  Hmm, for a second I thought I should move my car but then my inner Market Basketeer came through and I started to play the game of semantics in my head.  Technically I am an expectant mother.  No, seriously, hear me out...I am.  I am expecting my children will clean their room.  I am expecting my children will complete their homework.  I am expecting my children will grow up to be respectful, productive members of society.  See, what I did there?  I just made a good legal case as to why I can be classified as an expectant mother.  Parent with a small child was another qualifier for the spot and yes, again, I can make a solid case as to why I fit into that category as well.  Here it is; I am a parent with small children.  Simple as that.  Nowhere on the sign did it say I had to currently have the small children with me.  But for good measure and so as not to be crowd shamed I may have protruded my belly out slightly to give the appearance of a pregnancy.  I may have kept this charade up for an aisle or two on the off chance a lookie lou was keep track of me and my belly.  So as I was perusing the cheese aisle I got to thinking; have I completely gone to the dark side and crossed over from a suburban mom who shops at the Basket to a stereotypical, rathced-ass Basketeer?  I have assembled some scenarios and I will let you, the court of public opinion, decide if I am more a part of the main stream or if I am more likely than not to find myself on the People of Market Basket website with my eyes covered over with a black band...

I was recently at a conference.  There were a crap ton of vendors there and to entice you to their table they had little giveaways. I am a firm believer in one per customer, but....this one table had the pens that anyone in health care has gotten from a conference, you know the ones that look like little syringes filled with blood.  Now, as a Child Life Specialist I am against medical personnel using them in front of children, but, as a mom they are cool "souvenirs" for my kiddos.  So I took one.  Then I started to hear the inevitable fight in my head; why does she get that pen and I get a plain purple one that says Medela?  Not fair that she gets the cool one!  So in all my ratched glory I watched the table from afar and whenever it was super crowded I would stroll by and nonchalantly take another one.  I did this until I had a pen for all 3 of them.

Another sketchy thing I do happens at Home Depot.  Whenever I am there I go to the flooring section.  I pretend to be looking at all the flooring choices and then head over to where the sample carpet and hard wood squares are.  I pick them up and carefully exam them before placing a few in my cart.  Now, these are free samples so I am technically not doing anything wrong.  However, the belief on the part of  Home Depot is that you are taking these home to see how they would work in your house and then potentially spend a lot of money purchasing them for your home.  I take them home so the girls can use them for flooring in their Calico Critter and doll houses.  Brilliant, right?!  I can almost guarantee at least on of my readers is going to start doing this and for that you are welcome!

I may not always be honest when it comes to coupons and store rewards cards.  I have learned if you are at Kohls and they ask if you have any coupons ALWAYS say yes!  Even if you don't have any!  I tell them I got one for 30% off emailed to me but I didn't have any ink in my printer, or it is in my other bag--- and I have never been denied!!  I am new to this whole smart phone world so this may be old news to most of you but the Savings Catcher on the Wal-Mart app is great!  You scan your receipt and it searches surrounding stores and if an item is found elsewhere for a lower price they give you the difference back.  I have had my phone 3 weeks and I am already up to $32 back.  My plan is to keep growing it all year and use it for Christmas shopping.  So what's my angle?  I have told some people that don't care to use the app to give me their receipt info so I can use it.  Scandalous? Not really.  A receipt can only be used once so you can't double dip but in some small way I feel like I am sticking it to the man.

Someone I know, and I swear to God it is not me, would take the extra Box Top coupons off of items at the grocery store.  Now for those of you without children in the public schools, Box Tops are like gold.  They are small little coupons on select items that when turned into the school is worth 10 cents.  They add up quick and the schools can get several thousand dollars a year from them.  I have never done this but, for the record, I would look the other way if I saw someone swiping them off of some Progresso Soup.

Anyone that works in health care knows about the tedious annual education we have to complete.  Not the specific things that are actually instrumental in saving another person's life, but the online learning modules teaching us not to share our computer password or not to talk about a patient in the elevator.  It is the same mind numbing videos year after year.  So every fall we need to watch a video/power point and then complete a test assessing our understanding.  Truth be told, 17 years in I hit "next" without reading a damn slide until I reach the test page.  Shockingly I get 100% on all of the tests.  **As a disclaimer I do read the slides/watch the videos for things like CPR and safety standards.**  Also, as I complete the tests each year I do wonder if they added a new slide saying "Yes, please share your password-we actually encourage it " to see how many people just breeze through straight to the test portion.  Someday it might come back to bite me in the ass but until then I am hitting "next".

When I sign up for something online and it has a microscopic list of terms 16 pages long I just click "agree".  Am I signing my first born grandchild away?  Perhaps, but I am not busting out a magnifying glass to read the terms to connect to the internet at McDonalds or to let Emily play a round of Star Stable. 

Another example of me bucking the system happened when I gave birth to Anna.  Sara, my first born was an emergent c-section  I had been in labor literally for days.  Then at hour 36 she was having some trouble so they decided to take me to the OR.  I was already numb and could not move easily when they gave me some medicine to clear out my stomach or something like that.  I took it and immediately vomited.   It was the most foul tasting liquid on earth and with my movements constricted I puked all over myself.  It was awful.  Fast forward 2 years and I was waiting to go to the OR for a scheduled section.  This time I had not had anything to eat or drink after midnight and my table time was pushed back 5 hours so my stomach was free and clear.  The nurse handed me the medicine.  I asked if I had to take it since I hadn't had anything to eat or drink and she said yes, you may have taken something and not remembered.  She then left the room.  I put it up to my mouth and the smell was too much to handle.  I threw it away.  She came back and asked if I took it.  I gave an honest answer of  "Yes, I took it"--as in I took it from your hand.  Perhaps a better questions would have been did you ingest it?  Now, shame on her for giving me a medication and not staying to see if it was taken properly.  Fortunately, by the time Emily came around the medicine had been improved and tasted like a grape Jolly Rancher.  So I can honestly say, that unlike Anna's birth, Emily's life did not start out with a lie.

The last example of my  questionable ratchedness is an oldie but goodie.  My long time readers may have heard this one before but it deserves to be told again.  Before Chuck and I got married I wanted to lose some weight for my wedding day.  I joined Curves..hey it was over 10 years ago--Curves was legit back then.  I would go after work.  Well, one day I just didn't have it in me.  Instead of going home and owning up to my laziness, not that Chuck would even care, I devised a plan to give the appearance of having gone to the gym.  I drove around for a while to kill the amount of time I should have been doing my 30 minute workout.  I pulled into a parking lot, turned out to be a liquor store, pulled around the back and changed into my workout clothes in the car.   Way to keep it classy!  In an effort to make it look like an authentic workout I drove home with the windows up and the heat on full blast as I leaned my face towards the blower.  I arrived home all red-faced and sweaty.  Chuck was none the wiser.

Yes, I know I was only cheating myself and I have long since come clean to him.  So after careful examination of the sum of my parts prompted by my attempt of shopping in a bit more upscale store like Wegmans I have realized; You can take the girl out of the Basket, but you can't take the Basket our of the girl!