Sibling Revelry

I received a comment on my last post asking why I don't talk about my siblings.  Well, in case it wasn't evidently clear, I'm not exactly what one would call selfless.  Make no mistakes, I like to talk, and I like to talk about me, and clearly about my daughter, as well.  But she's two, and when she is old enough to google her name I can very easily hit delete and make like this blog never existed.  However, my brother and sister can read.  And know about this blog.  And I would venture to think that they enjoy their privacy--neither one even has a facebook account--so it's not really my place to plaster their goings-on all over the Internet.  That being said...

Is this picture not heinous?!  It's from the early 2000s, I'd say.  Adriana looks so young (and pale, no?), Marco is channeling Paulie D., and I have once again hit the trifecta of jackpot gold with the horrendous hair color, ridiculous eye shadow, and Wet n Wild Lip Liner in 666:Brandywine. 

But seriously.  They are doing fine.  We all are.  Marco's got his wife and kids, and Adriana's in the process of buying a condo.  See?  Boring.  Not nearly as interesting as ME!!  Who's got some big things on the horizon.  But I cannot discuss at this time.  You'll will have to wait.  Until then...



Just Sit On The Toilet Already

Oh, has it been that long?  Sorry about that.  Let's just jump into some lamenting about my life, shall we?

We've been working on discipline with Leah.  I've mentioned before how I am trying to teach her cause and effect, especially with regards to her behavior at daily tasks.  I expect everyday common situations to go effortlessly--teeth brushing, bed time, meals--I mean, we've done these things hundreds if not thousands of times, and I shouldn't still have deal with whining and fooling around and general assy-ness when it comes to those tasks.  I expect a lot from her, but she's almost three, and she should be able to figure out that when I've said not less than forty nights in a row that failure to sit on the toilet before bed will result in no bedtime gels and ointments, that I really mean that. 

Up until recently, she wasn't getting it.  I was dealing with the nightly, "but I don't hafta go pee" lament, and I was following it up with, "if you don't at least try then you don't get teeth medicine" and this was happening every night.  But, last night was wine night, and I needed to get Leah into bed as fast as possible, so that I could get back to my ladies in the dining room (and my wine) as fast as possible, and, since I didn't want Joan and Gab to hear just how loud my voice could really get to, I vowed that I was going to keep it together.

She brushed her teeth.  Refused to sit on the toilet.  I didn't say a thing.  We walked to her room and she said, "So, uh, I can have teeth medicine?" and I said, "No, you can't and you know why." And she said, "Oh, yeah, I hafta go pee!" and she ran back to the bathroom.

I nearly fainted but kept my cool and the rest of bedtime went smoothly.

A similar thing happened on Wednesday night when she kicked me and was forced to go to bed early.  The next morning she apologized, without being prompted, for kicking me and making me sad.

We don't spank, so we are forced to come up with different ways of disciplining her, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to sometimes wanting to kick in the face whoever invented the Time Out.  I spend an inordinate amount of time talking to Leah and explaining, and I have no qualms about painting the picture of life exactly how it is: sometimes unfair and not always roses.  So, when she picks up on a lesson like Post-Teeth Brushing Pee Effort=Hand Lotion In Bed, it makes me feel like I'm getting my point across.  That my parenting choices might just be pretty good ones.  That I'm not messing up this kid too much.



Like Mother...





Thanks for the pics, Stace.




Lately, we are into making big messes.  Taking all of the pillows off the couches, bringing all of the toys out of the play room, going through dressers and removing clothes.  She's very proud of these messes.

There's a lot jumping too.  Somersaulting, twirling, hurling.  All of it.

And, of course, it's always, "Watch this, Mommy."  "Watch me jump, Mommy."  "Did you see that, Mommy? I can do it again!"  (And again, and again, and again.)

There's not a lot of cleaning, or quiet play, or meditation.  But there's a lot of fun.



He Doesn't Look A Thing Like Jesus*

In May of 1994 most of my graduating high school class headed to Wildwood, NJ for Memorial Day weekend.  I was not allowed to go, as my parents were horrible strict Nazis whose main goal was to ruin my life. 

My friend Melissa invited me to her family's shore house, and, since there would be a chaperone, I was granted a reprieve from my tower.  On the ride down we listened to tapes on our walkmen (how lame, right) and I fell in love with an album called August and Everything After by The Counting Crows.  I don't remember really loving a band or artist up until that point, save for Madonna, which every girl my age had to love growing up.  But here I was, down and dirty with the love, and my affair with The Counting Crows ran deep, and carried through my college years.

Boston was special in many ways, one of them being the existence of small music stores, as well as large well known chains, and so I was able to build my CD (I know, lame again) collection.

Those four years were filled with The Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, The Wallflowers, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and I re-discovered James and Toad the Wet Sprocket.  It wasn't unheard of for the elevator doors to open on my dorm floor and hear Hootie and the Blowfish's Let Her Cry blasting from someone's room, which remains one of my favorite songs to date.  And one of my fondest memories is happening upon the Barenaked Ladies playing in an outside pavilion while shopping with friends on a Saturday.  Not to be outdone by when someone handed me a white blank CD at an expo asking me to take a listen to an up and coming band: No Doubt.

After graduating, I returned to NJ where I listened to a lot of dance music, as well as some vintage freestyle, thanks to Gina.  I went nuts over Sporty Spice's I Turn To You and I think I might have died when I watched the 1999 Grammy Awards and Ricky Martin sang La Copa de la Vida.

And THEN.  Oh and then.  In 2000 I watched a summer show on The WB called Young Americans.  And that's when I heard David Gray for the first time.  And I quit my job, moved him with him, made him my boyfriend and have been baking him brownies ever since.  I've only seen him in concert once, last year at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, and I only cried twice, so that was progress.  Not even the enormous fight Greg and I had after that concert can take away from that night--that was the best concert I've ever seen, and the twinkling lights from the disco ball that reached every square inch of the theater during A Moment Changes Everything took my breath away.

These days I spend my time listening to Christine Stone and Richard Blade tell me what to like on Sirius Spectrum and it mostly consists of The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine, Gomez, Amos Lee, and Bob Schneider.  Guster is NOT a fave of mine, but I melt when Mr. Blade says that word in his sexy English accent so I make an exception.

My daughter loves her some Rihanna (doesn't matter which song, she loves them all), and Katy Perry, and Train, and all three of those names sometime hurt me to say, but hey, to each their own.

Thank you all for the nice words about my last post.  Believe me, I wasn't trolling for compliments about my actions, but I sure do appreciate what everyone said.  If there is one question I was asked more than any other, it was if, as I was running to the flipped car, did I think about what I could possibly find inside there.  And the answer is no, I couldn't even remember to turn off my own car the first time, do you really think I was thinking about anything at that point?  Honestly, my biggest fear was that a child would be stuck in the flipped car and I wouldn't have been able to negotiate the focacca strap/hook deal that keeps the damn seat attached.  When it comes to gadgets, technology and mechanics, I am not bright.

**A line from a Brandon Flowers song.  It's catchy.



21 Minutes

Today, while driving on Route 80 heading back to work from a meeting, I glanced at my GPS and noticed the arrival time to my destination was 11:04 a.m.   In that instant, an SUV not too far in front of me jerked severely to the right, then jerked to the left, then swerved back and forth and back and forth for what seemed like an eternity until it slid sideways, perpendicular to the highway lanes, for a couple of seconds, dust flying up and encapsulating the vehicle.  In that exact moment, I thought, whew, it's over, when it then stopped sliding, the dust spread thin, and the SUV flipped over.

Me, along with 5 or 6 cars pulled over and ran out of our cars.  I started running towards the SUV, stopped, ran back to my car, turned it off, and then ran towards the SUV again.

The driver, a young kid maybe 20 or so, was out, his hand bleeding.  His father, who had been sitting in the passenger seat, was climbing through his window.  I ran to the other side and there was a woman, the mother, lying on the road next to the back window of the vehicle.  One of the drivers who had pulled over knelt down and began speaking to her.  Another driver and I ran back to the father and asked him if there was anyone else in the car.  He didn't answer--just stared at us.  I screamed to someone to call 911, but he was already on his phone.

We knelt down on the ground, our knees in the glass, and looked into the vehicle.  There were a lot of papers and water bottles, an open, busted cooler, bags of potato chips.  And a vacuum.  But no one else.  Just the three of them.

Over the next few minutes we figured out that the family was foreign, and only the son spoke English.  Mom and Dad understood a little.  They were all in shock.  The mother refused to stay on the ground and began walking around.  Me and another woman forced her to sit on the snow bank and I ran to her car to get a blanket that she told me was in her back seat.  I walked over to the son and asked him what happened.  He told me he had fallen asleep.  I told the father, who I had forgotten most likely couldn't understand me, that he and his family were so lucky to be able to walk away from this.  He looked at me with his sad blue eyes and said, "God is here." 

It took a few minutes for the cops to arrive.  And then the paramedics.  And the family kept telling us no, no, we are fine-we don't need to go to the hospital, but it was clear that the mother was in pain, and it looked like her shoulder was dislocated.  I looked at the woman driver who had stopped to help and when our eyes met she knew what I knew, and we just knew.

She said to the son, "It doesn't matter if you have insurance or not, the hospital will take care of you."

And I said, "Are you here legally?" 

He said, "No."

I said, "Just don't worry.  It will be OK."

I didn't know if that was the case.  I still don't.  But I just wanted that family to be OK.  They were all in shock, not one of them crying over what had just happened, just scared to death of what might happen.  They kept looking at each other with terror in their eyes, occasionally saying something to each other in their native language.  They kept telling us they were fine, but when I would look at the mom when she didn't know I was looking, I would see her wince in pain.  And her shoulder--it was not right.

The other woman who had stopped to help asked me if I was a nurse, too.  I said, No, but my mom was.

In the end, a cop asked us witnesses, who were down to three, what had happened, and I didn't mention that the son told me he had fallen asleep.  He escorted us back to our cars on the highway.  And then--

I drove away.  Headed back to work.  GPS listing my destination arrival as 11:25 a.m.

I will never see those people again.  But I will wonder for a long time what happened to them.  On a day they planned to go on a picnic.  With their vacuum.  But never made it.



Doodle Guitar

Greg works late on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, so it's my job to gather Leah from whichever babysitter she is at on those days and head home.  I will occasionally attempt to cook a meal, and we will usually sit down together to eat the meal.  I will then try to clean up the kitchen, as well as the forty million items that are out of place in my house by that point.  After that is done, the plan is to sit with Leah and entertain her until bedtime.  However, on most nights, she's the one doing the entertaining.

This is what she calls "Doodle Guitar" and, forgive the poor picture quality, but it's her rendition of a girl eating a cheese doodle playing an air guitar.



God Said Ha

Today was such a cruddy day.  It started off with me leaving my house 15 minutes earlier than usual, but hitting major traffic and getting to work 15 minutes late.  This is not fair.  People should not be judged by when they get to work, but rather when they leave for it.  My boss should know that I left 15 minutes earlier than usual.  NOT that I was running into the office like a lunatic at 8:15.

Then, I stood up to a co-worker who treated me poorly.  It was incredibly difficult to do because this co-worker is nasty and mean and doesn't care who he's treating badly.  But we work very closely together and I can't be disrepected and I won't tolerate inappropriate or unprofessional behavior.  I also knew this this person would fight back, rather than most who are just stunned that you stood up to them and sit there and take it, so I braced myself for that too. 

He didn't disappoint.  And it wasn't pretty.  But in the end he apologized and we moved on. 

Then I received the text from Greg that Leah had thrown up at home.  When I picked her up after work and we proceeded to Thursdays with Michael, she threw up fruit loops all over Michael's bathroom.

And then in her car seat as I drove home on a long and windy road with no shoulder to pull over to.

I bet only a few of us can boast "scooping vomit off my child in the Dairy Queen parking lot" on our list of accomplishments.

And then I couldn't get the car seat cover off to wash it so I just threw the whole foccaca thing in the garage and decided to let Greg deal with it.

And then she wouldn't get into the bath, so everyone, everything, all of us, smell like vomit. 

Oh, and for the third time this week I ate dinner standing up in the kitchen in between catering to my child and her demands for various blankets, toys, liquids, and THE PURPLE SLIPPERS MY GOD THE PURPLE ONES, MOM, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, THOSE ARE NOT PURPLE! YOU SUCK!!!!!

I think that's all for now. 




A few months ago it dawned on me that while I spent a lot of time talking about potty training, I didn't spend a lot of time actually potty training.  In fact, I really wasn't sure what was involved in potty training, other than some time, some underpants, and me asking Leah every few minutes if she had to go. 

Problem was, I just never had the time that I thought was necessary for training. The weekends were always chock full of plans and outings and parties, and there was nothing more terrifying to me than the thought that I would have to put Leah on 6 different public toilets in the course of a day and pray for her to pee.

So, as in most things parent-related, I lamented and complained about the potty training, or lack thereof, and soaked in the comments that people gave me telling me that it would happen when it happened and I was doing everything right.  There is nothing like a lot of people telling me I'm doing everything right.  Even when I know that I am probably not really doing everything right.

The turning point was when I checked facebook, which I've replaced reading and/or watching any current events publications and/or media with (Egypt what?), and I saw that several people were talking about September pre-school registration.  NOW.  I, of course, am no where near registering Leah for school in September.  I haven't even researched, called, visited, learned the name of one single school for her.  SEPTEMBER?  Really?  NOW?  Gosh, you guys are so on the ball.  It's February!  School?  Hmph.

Anyway, what I did remember is that you can send your child to a cheaper more curriculum-based school if he/she is potty trained, and, I'm nothing if I'm not cheap an advocate for the enrichment of my child's academic opportunities, and this whole 40 paragraphs of intro is basically to say, fortheloveofgod, Dana, get to the point: Leah needed to potty train.  Now. 


So, this past weekend seemed like the best time to do it.  We didn't have to leave the house until late afternoon on Sunday, so, on Saturday morning, I put some underwear and a t shirt on Leah and proceeded to ask her every 5 minutes if she had to pee.

She had one accident on day one, early in the morning.  And that's it.  No accidents.  Dry diapers during nap and in the morning.  An incredibly LARGE number two at around 7 p.m. each night.  HUGE: like she's channeling the butt of a 300 lb. man.  

If I appear to be going fast at this part it's just because I don't want to talk too much about it, for fear that I'll jinx it. 

But, here we are at the end of day 4, and she's still doing really well.  I might even venture to say that she's totally trained.  Right? 

So, I guess that's...over?  Just like that?  I don't really know what I'm going to complain and beat myself up about now, but I am happy that it's not this.