Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
2.5 years ago - I told my Grandma to "be good" -- as I said goodbye to her for what would be, the last time...
4 months ago - I told my Grandpa to "be good" -- as I said goodbye to him for what would be, the last time...
Just now I watched the Today show -- Merideth Viera said "be good" to a trucker that she had spent a time with...that trucker died this week.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
They were so mean to her, I watched during their show... the conselors didn't respond to her - like they did to the others, the kids shied away from her...I was so sad for my beautiful girl who has been driving everyone crazy...driving me crazy -- I love her, I love her, I love her -- I may need to repeat it over and over and over -- or even climb to the highest rooftop -- I LOVE HER! I want everyone else to also...
I called R - our ped -- crying - I'm was afraid they were either going to break her, or kick her out! He is just amazing, just amazing -- after droppng Bob off after another accident - I took her to his office and he put her on clonidine - a quarter of a .1mg pill 2x per day ....
I hate drugging my little girl - I hate drugging my little girl -- but I need to be able to love my little girl on my outside -- not just my insides, I need to show her that I love her, we all do -- she deserves it...she does.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Inquiry serves as a painful reminder of a father's death from throat cancer
By Elisabeth Egan
updated 9:39 a.m. ET, Wed., July. 23, 2008
I'm sitting between two of my friends on a bench at the neighborhood playground when one mentions her aunt recently died of lung cancer. I know what's coming next, as surely as I know my kids will boomerang back toward me from the monkey bars, begging for money, when they hear the jingle of the ice cream truck.
As if on cue, the other friend asks, "Did your aunt smoke?"
I don't stick around for the answer. The ice cream truck has arrived, and I've never been so eager to hook up my kids with an Astro Pop. Blue-lipped and sticky, they can't believe their luck. What happened to their real mother — the one who's always pushing baby carrots?
I simply can't stomach yet another conversation about smoking and cancer. I've been a reluctant witness to the tobacco inquisition ever since my father was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999. He died four years ago, a month shy of his 60th birthday and a week after he and my mother celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
He smoked a pipe every day for more than half his life; he also regularly enjoyed a stiff gin and tonic (or three) and a cannoli (or two), and he never exercised a day in his life until he found out that he had a heart condition at 55.
When somebody asks if my dad smoked, I say yes. (Nobody ever asks about his other bad habits, although excessive alcohol consumption is a prime culprit in the development of throat cancer.) Once I've answered, it's as if the questioner has ticked off a box in her head. As in, "Oh. He got what was coming to him." Or, perhaps more understandably, "I don't smoke, so I'm safe."
Smoker or nonsmoker?
These people aren't malicious; in fact, before my dad died, I remember asking the same question under similar circumstances. Now that I've been on the receiving end of it, though, I think responding this way to news of a cancer death is misguided — and slightly rude. When someone dies of a heart attack, do we ask if she was overweight? Do we ask if a victim of a car accident was a good driver?
I don't understand why it is that people who have tobacco-related cancers must be summarily classified as either smokers or not. Are we to believe that death by cancer would be less tragic — would be, in fact, deserved — if the dearly departed inhaled a pack a day?
Of course, it's human to crave an explanation when awful things happen, to grasp for a sense of control when in reality we have none. I still agonize over the absence of a man who clearly meant to be here for a good long time. After all, he left behind crates of unplanted tulip bulbs and enough frequent-flier miles for a trip around the world.
I'd like to tell people who ask the dreaded question exactly how painful it is to be reminded, over and over, of how my father's bad decision — to take up pipe smoking — robbed my family of one of its poles. I wish they knew exactly how much my dad suffered and what it was like to watch. He was a lawyer who retired early without fanfare because he'd had his vocal cords removed with only two days' notice and, really, what good is a lawyer who can't talk? Stop and think for a minute about what it would be like to live without your voice: You can't make a sound when you laugh or cry. You can't whisper or yell. For three years, my dad also couldn't swallow solid food, and for the last six months of his life, he was fed through a tube in his stomach because he couldn't swallow at all. He had his teeth pulled (a casualty of radiation) and his toe amputated (a casualty of chemotherapy and diabetes). There were countless smaller indignities, including the time we took my daughter to see Santa Claus and the other kids in line cried when they caught a glimpse of the hole in my father's neck.
Cheated out of a dad
Was my dad's five-year struggle with cancer penance enough for his choice to smoke? Absolutely. Do I still resent him for that choice? I do, and never so much as when I'm placing a birthday cake in front of one of his grandchildren and he's not there to take his signature out-of-focus photos. When my third baby was born last spring, one of my first thoughts in those early exhilarating minutes of her life was, Look what you missed — which surprised me. Hadn't I already cycled through the stages of grief? How did such a joyous moment land me smack-dab in the middle of mourning him once again?
There are other times when my feelings of being cheated out of a dad border on rage: when I coax a fire into burning without the help of a Duraflame log; both times the Red Sox won the World Series; and whenever Sue Grafton publishes a new book and I have nobody to give it to. Sure, I'm angry with my father. If he hadn't smoked, he'd still be here. When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, I tell this father of three about my dad's positive experience at the same hospital where he's starting treatment.
Of course, he asks how my dad is doing. "Actually, he died," I say, wishing I hadn't gone down this road. "But he smoked," I add. "What did he expect?"
My father was the least judgmental person I've ever met — truly, ever — so when I think someone is judging him (especially when that person is me), I feel both ashamed and bereft. When my own children ask me why their grandfather died — always at some inopportune moment, such as when I'm placing a large order at Starbucks — I don't sugarcoat the answer: "Because he smoked." But then, impatient barista be damned, I remind my daughter, Louisa — at 7, the oldest of my brood and the family's inaugural grandchild — how she used to love following her grandfather around his garden, drenching the plants with her own little watering can until they were flat on the ground. I want all my children to understand that smoking is not the sum total of anyone's life, especially my dad's.
I recently moved to a new town, where I'm slowly making friends. When one of them comments on the riot of impatiens on my patio, I mention that all my flowers are planted in my dad's old potting soil. These bags of dirt, lugged from their semifinal resting place behind my old tricycle into the trunk of my new minivan, are an unlikely legacy from what we called the Garden of Egan.
"So your dad died?" my friend asks. I say he died of throat cancer. Then I launch into my spiel — anything to forestall the Question. "He was sick for a long time; he died at home in his favorite chair a few hours after the series finale of "Sex and the City"; my mom is doing well; she's the belle of her church choir, thanks for asking."
But smoking never comes up, which is how I know this friend is a keeper. Instead, she asks, "What was your dad like?" Why can't everyone ask this question? Answering it is a joy; it's the next best thing to having him back again.
Copyright © 2007 CondéNet. All rights reserved.
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Friday, July 18, 2008
A director should not send out an e-mail to their staff insinuating, implying or announcing preferential treatment of their staff over another person's during a collaborative project.
A consultant - who tauts theme selves as a professional, should not forward another person's e-mail to anyone, without permission.
A director should not withhold information from staff because it will be tough conversation - and think they will inform them when they return from a vacation even if it means the staff person would find out from an outside party.
A clergyman should not use a congregant as a pawn in a political decision.
All in one week -- I'm disappointed! Disappointment To error is human - but professionalism comes with expectations and responsibility!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Fast forward two doses - and it is 1:30am on Thursday - our boy walks into our room with a red face that is VERY warm - I take his temp thinking it is the infection....his body is absolutely cool, but his face red and hot. I called the Ped - the third Dr. - Dr. N in the practice called back - she - not one of my favorite people, but that is a story for another time.... she said stop the meds, bring him in first thing - and we'll change what he is getting, but also give him some benadryl.
Fast forward to 7am - his face is BRIGHT RED - HOT - and now SWOLLEN -- he was breathing fine - but looked like Unc did when he was mango boy.... No one answered at the Dr. office, unlike when Dr. R is there --
I took Bean and dropped her of - J took Bob and Belle to camp and then took Puppy right in -- Dr. J got pissy with J for not calling first -- I was pissed...here he was having this reaction - it was either the office or the ER....
So home again, home again - now my poor boy is on 1 medicine - 4 times a day -- 2.5 tsp of YUCKY stuff... we are not above bribes!! Take your meds and he gets some choc chips!!
But it for sure put things in perspective -- other things were happening...but my boy was going to be ok -- quite emotional....
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
OK - we'll backtrack. We got home from camp/school at 4:30 - I rushed to put in the salmon and make dinner..but it was too hot and took too long for us to leave at our designated time of 5:15 to make the 5:45 movie. So sandwiches it was - Tuna for Belle, 2 PBJ for Bob, melted cheese for Bean and PBJ for Puppy, throw a PBJ for me too....(no vegi, no fruit) water in the car!
We made it out, and to the movie -- using gift coupons that I had received for my birthday at least 3 years ago, if not more- the 5 of us walked in, and I got $1.50 back! (J came on his own and paid, so I don't even know what that cost!)
Bob held my purse and keys, as we proceeded down the escalator -- I held Bean as she is TERRIFIED of them and help Puppy's hand. We got a BIG bucket of popcorn, 4 small cups and 2 med (you can't tell me they were medium, they looked like a two litter bottle!) drinks, one lemonade and one diet coke -- and we were off.
Poor Puppy thought we were going to shul where they had movie night the week before, on the grass with "Cars" projected -- this was a bit different...for a sensory kid, but he was a trouper.
An hour and a bit into the movie -- Puppy starts saying Penis! Penis! VERY LOUDLY in a quiet theater...there were only about 20 people total in the theater -- but when you are paying $12 a ticket, who wants to be interrupted?!?
He continues, Penis! PENIS! PENIS BOY!! Penis BOY! I PENIS BOY!!! I PENIS BOY!!!
OMG J and I were trying so hard not to laugh, Bob was in stiches and the girls kept looking like he was nuts! Remember now - more than an hour into the movie, NO POPCORN left to distract...no paci in site, and Penis Boy yelling PENIS BOY at the top of his lungs....turn to Lemonade!
Sticky, sweet, sticky - ice cold -- did I say sticky? But it distracted good'ol penis boy for enough time to get him to forget! I dont' think the rest of us ever will.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Disappointed...but we all kept it together -- even J-s who got his glove and ball signed by two players...he took it hard, but came home and watched a bit of a Mets game. A-d fell asleep on the way home - A-s and Y-d got to watch a show and then off to bed...
Maybe we'll get in a movie tomorrow -- that is the plan....but we know what happens when we plan.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It is a lot of pressure! I just love my peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, grapes -- the real stuff you can get at a super market -- I know, I'm a party pooper!
*Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a mutually beneficial partnership where urbanconsumers receive fresh, nutritious vegetables while helping to sustain the livelihoods andstewardship of regional farmers. In a CSA arrangement the farmer pre-sells “shares” in his or herfarm’s upcoming harvest to individuals, families, and institutions in the city.Tuv Ha’Aretz, a program of Hazon, means both “good for the land” and “the best of the land.” Ultimately, it also means the best for you and your family. As a Tuv Ha’Aretz member at TI, you’ll know where your food is coming from, and enjoy:
• a variety of fresh, organic vegetables at competitive prices from Calvert Farm.
• weekly produce delivery to TI, on Monday afternoons
• supporting local farms, a healthy environment, and strong community
• connecting in new ways to Jewish values and tradition
• a weekly newsletter, Tuv Ha’Shavua with recipes from the farm, divrei Torah and more!
• farm trips and inspiring education classes
She is not doing this to me/us.
She wouldn't do it if she could stop herself.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I was 3 weeks shy of 10, what a special day it was. I became a sister, something I waited a VERY long time for....though now, I'm waiting even longer to be an Auntie myself:)
Love you Lolo -- we all do.
Monday, July 7, 2008
As we pull up to drop off Cookoo and Puppy -- Belle says, "you know what mommy and abba, you were right, I shouldn't take my dog to camp, I'm glad I left him at home!"
Boy were we upset -- a straight out fabricated lie.
(Fast forward 7 hours and she left the car without permission and crossed the parking lot at the pre-school without a grownup -- almost full meltdown over dessert, but we were able to cut it off at the pass...this time.)
When talking to my friend and doula tonight - B - I recounted my day with among other issues, Belle -- and I gotta love B -- she said:
"wow! she is going to be a great writer when she is older!" A refreshing and creative ending.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
So I pulled out salami, bread, ketchup, mustard (2 kinds), carrots, peppers, ice water & blueberries -- add the picnic blanket, camera -- 4 bikes, 4 helmets, wipes - plates, napkins, utencils AND BUG SPRAY -- and we were off within 14 minutes flat ...nope, could not have planned it.
We took two cars, and with gas prices at $4.22 per gallon, we drove the mile to a local elementary school parking lot -- put out our spread, and had the entire lot to ourselves for riding.
Amid the raindrops, and sunshower...Bob took of riding as usual, Belle rode for the first time without training wheeles!! Though did take a spill -- Bean didn't love getting wet, but rode for a bit and Puppy was too funny in his three wheeler -- and helmet.
I survived, though I HATE the outside, bugs and all -- but I feel proud of myself, I think that I did ok...I did it for my kids. Had I had to think about it, and plan it and worry about it, I don't think I could have pulled it off... I'm so glad we did.
Happy 4th of July!!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
BSP, my oldest and dearest friend from kindergarten gas been telling me about her friend BR and her husband RR, who have a daughter SR who is going to be at school with Puppy...but they also have a son JR who is 18 months old...BSP herself has SPa who is Puppy age and SPb who is 4 months old (yes, both their names start with S -- I'm not the only one to mess this up!) so I invited both families....J was aware of this, but what I forgot to tell him....is that when I thought of who was coming -- I invited TG -- with her three kids - SG who is Bean's age, LG who is Puppy's age and NG who is JR's age so they could meet too....
Needless to say, the 4 year olds were the loudest - the 2 almost 3 year olds cried the most...and some parents handled the noise better than others...
All in all I had a great time, lovely people -- and J chose not to divorce me yet!
Monday, June 30, 2008
The repeated nonononononononononononononononononononononono -- there are no other words...none, just no in a different pitch, a different cry, a different scream...but it continues...and cries, and screams...as I type -- J is dealing with the screams... and trying to calm her, there is no talking - there is no reason...just the repeated no.
What caused it this time? Who knows....she came out of her shower -- that she did greatly on her own, she was really cute coming out of the shower -- I gave her her towel, and reminded her to be careful coming out, and not to slip...for a second she gave me a VERY weird blank, almost catatonic look...I laughed...and so did she, she snapped into a big smile. I asked her to dry off before she got she left the bathroom, and I would come cuddle once she was in PJ's.
(8:49 -- the screaming has ended -- only 31 minutes this encounter)
A few minutes later she jumped into our bed - getting bet between our duvet and the cover -- something that drives us nuts, as it rips the cover.... she said she was cold and need to warm up. I asked her to come out of the cover, get her pj's on, and I would help warm her up under her covers.
That is when the no's began...(this time)
I helped her into her bed, put on her pj's and tucked her in -- then it continued, the one word chorus, the unending screaches and screams... she undressed and followed me around, screaming she was cold and NO!
J took her into her bed -- and somehow got her calm...he said re-direction...asking her what she wanted for lunch tomorrow - snapped her out of it, this time. And then she asked for her winter PJ's -- it is 87 degrees...and she wants winter fleece pj's - fine, we have air conditioning, and it is getting cooler -- but what prevented her from just saying "mommy, I'm cold, can I have my winter PJ's?" Maybe someday we will know -- I'm just thankful J was able to help her out of it this time...he is really good at it, he always has been...patience I need to learn.
Sensory issues, sure -- can they be the cause of all these outbursts and meltdowns? We are on the quest to help her....
Sunday, June 29, 2008
4 generations -- much love and more - ration of 2.75 adults per child -- much more then we have on any normal day! But to hear Bubbie, my grandma say it was the best day of her life -- was awesome! Zaddie even got his feet into the pool -- grandma was quite sad, watching all the help he needed to do it, I was too -- this strong, brilliant man, dentist, husband, care taker, father to three, grandpa to 9, now great grandpa to 8 has withered... but no matter how we have felt about what has come out of his mouth in the past, we all love him and are there to support both he and grandma...as they have always done for us. I'm so fortunate to have my kids know my grandparents...and love to spend time with them, just like I did...just like they do with my parents...we are all truly blessed.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I was not prepared, I wasn't ready -- could I say it in a different way? I feel I needed to psych myself up for my baby, my youngest to not be in a crib anymore - more than just the second anyway.
All 4 kids were excited -- J was excited, mostly that he wouldn't have to get out of bed to get Puppy anymore...
I'm excited for Puppy too, he is a big boy, when Bob was his age, he was almost a big brother to two and in a big boy bed for a while...it helps put things in perspective...but alas, for the last time in Central, we took a crib side off to make a toddler bed...
I'm a little sad.
Today, a wonderful woman at shul was talking about how wonderful Belle, even with all her issues going on.... she said having Belle in a class would make it worth going back into a classroom instead of administration! I love that some people an get her. We talked a little about the type of teacher who would be good for her...but she said, we have to make sure whomever she has doesn't break her spirit and the inner calm Belle has... WOW - something in our crazy day to day...I must remember....
The other thing that is on my list...Tim Russert died two weeks ago...but through all the tributes and all the quotes they showed him saying...the one that I keep remembering is "Luke, I'm proud to be your dad."
Bob, Belle, Cookoo, Puppy -- I'm proud to be your mom!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Middle Child Syndrome - I believe in it. Both my parents are middle children, my sister Lolo is a middle child -- My friend BP -- I've watched it, I get it...one of the reasons I wanted 4 children...but I guess there is alway a middle-ish child. In our house Bean is it. I realized that I have yet to bring her up...poor kid!
To describe her...she is like an only child who didn't get the memo that she was not only one of 4 -- but the 3rd to be born. Bean loves attention, craves attetion and will do anything in her power to get it...possitive or negative. She messes with people, especially Puppy, to get them to do things with her, but makest them angry.
She loves adults- and loves to please us....but will tell us something she did wrong, even if it something so low on the do not do list/ or even something that is fine to do, but she decided it wasn't -- she tilts her head to the side, chin down, lip out, puppy dog eyes looking up and an ALMOST tear -- saying "I am sorry I _________ mommy, I know you will be mad, I won't do it again, I love you"She is also the child, when I am angry at someone else or yelled for any reason -- says "mommy I love you" in a shy quiet way.
But come time to take a picture, or stand still, or stop talking - FORGET IT!
She is a sweet, caring, BRILLIANT little girl, who gets people, loves life, loves everyone around her -- she deserves the best - my prayer for her is that she accepts it as it comes her way.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today after her appointments at the drs she didn't want to go to camp. She told J that she was not nice to the children in her group, so she didn't want to go to camp because she didn't want to be mean to the other children.....
That is self awareness...no she can't control it, yet; but she is aware. I'm proud of her for that. We moved her, thanks to the wonderful directors of the camp, to the group with rising second graders that Bob is in, instead of the rising k/1 group she was in. She is physically more their size, and hopefully will be a positive change on day 3 of camp.
6 year check up -- 48.5 inches tall -- 95th percentile
Well my darling daughter who SOMETIMES does GREAT with being "flexible" (as we call it in our house thanks to Pinky Dinky Doo) had a very flexible transition when I said we were out of nuggets and if chicken fingers would work...THANK GOD for noggin and a flexible birthday girl....it could have just as easily been a disaster!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We planned her, we asked for her, we need her to come when she did. You see, J-h's dad had been diagnosed with brain cancer in Aug of 01, I had a miscarriage that same week -- while J was away visiting his dad -- a pregnancy I didn't know I had until it was gone, and a terrible day that rocked our world 9-11-01. We wanted something good, we needed a good thing to look forward to, and we wanted to be happy again. Bob was only 7 months old at the time, but we knew it was time. Unc may never forgive us, for where it happened - but if it didn't happen then, Grandpa G would have never met our precious Belle...
It was a tough pregnancy - not physically so much, but emotionally. J also lost his job that August, and things were quite tough -- we didn't know he would be out of work for more than 6 months. The emotions of Grandpa G being sick, and the fear of what it meant to the family was great. The organization I was working for was hit hard by 9/11 and finances there were also of grave concern (I ended up loosing my job December 02).
But Belle came that beautiful June morning -- on her due date -- our friend M and R came to take care of Bob....M was his favorite person at the time. Grammy had come in the night before and was able to be with us as well. Of course B our friend and Doula, who saved me from a section with Bob and helped us with both Bean and Puppy's too!
It was a quick labor - 6 hours and a much easier entrance into mother hood the second time around then the first.
We all were together for her naming on July 7th 2002 -- the last time both sides would be together in its entirety before Grandpa G passed away 3 months later.
We chose a special name for her -- well I did and J went along with it. Her name means "good will rise above" - I love it - it fits her, the time she was born both in the world and in our family. She was also named after my great uncle, my grandfather's brother, who despite being mentally slow, lived a full life - on his own -- rising above any challenge that faced him...that is our hope and wish for our Belle.
Today she went off to camp -- 6 years old -- ears pierced and all -- with a big smile and a can do attitude. I worry about her, constantly....but I know - she will rise above any obstacle in her path (self inflicted or otherwise:))
Monday, June 23, 2008
It works! (as long as there isn't a gate!)
it is a big milestone, it is a little bit exciting, a little sad at the same time (our babies are growing up)-- but the fear of J or I falling down the steps -- tremendous!
Bob turns around this morning and was bawling his 7 year old eyes out! Saying that Puppy bit him. I turned to Puppy and said, Puppy - we don't bite!
Poor Puppy looked up at me with those puppy dog eyes of his and said -- "Mommy, I no hit him?!?"
How do you not laugh? My 7 year old is in tears, and my two year old thinks he figured out how to listen!
The boys exchanged hugs and a special kiss is delivered to the wound -- and our new mantra is ..."We don't hit or bite"
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The confusion has increased over the years, with drs appts and playdates -- but as a side affect it has created posting confustion - as I post I can't Say J Y A and A when there are two A's and a husband J -- let's see if this code works for now.
J-h -- J -- Husband
J-s -- Bob -- Son
Y-d -- Belle -- Daughter
A-d -- Bean -- Daughter
A-s -- Puppy -- Son
Edit -- ok that wasn't working for me- let's try nicknames...