Its just not right

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today was the funeral for my friends lovely baby.

There is nothing that I can say about it, so poignant. So loving. This baby is ever so loved and cherished here or in heaven.

I wept when her father carried her in. Wept during Ave Maria. No mother or father should have to endure that.

Please know that what I am going to say here are representative of my opinions and my experience only.

The mass was comforting. I found comfort in the familiar traditions. These traditions guided my behavior when there is no right thing to say no right thing to do. They just are what you do instead of staying stunned crippled. The traditions, the motions, the prayers, the hymns gave a direction me.

To my dear friend, you are the first person I met in the group. You welcomed me, you comforted me after my loss, you have taught me so so much. Let my prayers and my thoughts, and the thoughts and prayers of all of your friends and family lift you up and comfort you now.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sad is such a small word for such a big feeling. I am sad that I ran out of Diet Coke and I am sad that my friend's baby died are not even in the same category.

Sad. Sad. Sad. Devastated. Profoundly devastated, even that just is not enough. Those are not enough to express the ache, the empty, the shell.

For such a small peanut she was so strong and so feisty. She was beautiful. Delicate, feminine but so so strong.

She is loved, she is missed, she is cherished.

This little baby touched so so many lives.

Her family, her parents, her siblings.. my heart breaks for you. There is nothing that anyone can do or say to help you heal- but I will hold you in my prayers and in my heart. I will thank G-d for giving you your time with your little one- just wishing it was longer.

its a bird! Its a plane!

Monday, March 28, 2011

no it is not superman--- it is a Suburban!!

GM was kind enough to loan me a Suburban to try for a bit.

When it arrived I was stunned at the size. I mean wow. I do not like big cars, I had a really hard time adjusting to my minivan even and this is even bigger- I was not sure I could handle it.

Added to that, for a long time I have had some kind of a stigma against GM and Chevy. I have no idea why but I had them labeled as crappy cars in my head... The Suburban is anything but. The Suburban is a-freaking-mazing.

It took me around the block to get comfortable with it. But driving it was so much easier than I had expected. The streets are pretty bumpy here in suburbia but the Suburban made the ride unbelievably smooth- like I could have totally handled the ride with kidney stones or in labor.

The Suburban that GM has loaned me has every single option in it that could be imagined, and then some. Again, I expected hell. Technology and I do not get along. Working the remote that says "watch TV" on it sometimes does not work for me. A car with more buttons than my laptop? Clearly, there will be issues. I just want the darn thing to drive.

But, oh, how wrong I was. I have never had a quieter drive (albeit all of 5 miles) than when I put a DVD in the player- and I did not have to curse at the thing once- it just worked!
The wireless headsets allowed me to not have to listen to the kid movie noise, nor did I have to untangle them to get them out of the car (even better).

Since the weather here changes its mind more than me when I am PMS-ing, I really appreciate the heated and cooled seats. I did not even know you could have cooled seats, but imagine not getting stuck to the seat when you get out of the car in the summer? That is a miracle.

Also in the things I never knew I needed category is the ipod usb thingy- super super cool. I love that- I can take my music with me! The stereo sound system- it is better than my tv at home.. it is just awesome

Something that I knew I would like but have resisted is the Navigation System- maybe the idea of the car being smarter than me scares me- maybe I just do not want to admit I am lost, but it is there, and I love it.

It is a lot easier to drive than I thought it would be- though I still parked it at the far back of the parking lot. All in all- it is a great car and has way more sex appeal than my minivan-- speaking of that-- there is a lot of room inside and the seats fold down super easy.

There are like, 20 more things I'd love to mention about how great this car is, but I think I have found my next car.

Shoot! I forgot the back up camera. I live in a neighborhood full of kids. Currently when I leave I have to ask the kids to get on the grass where I can see them but still back out stiff with fear that someone is going to yell that I have rolled over someone- this takes a lot of that anxiety away- totally love this.

Get this part on tape: I was wrong. GM/Chevy cars (the Suburban specifically) are great. They have fantastic quality and generally just freakin' aweomeness in a car.

Princess loves this car almost more than I do. She loves that Stinky can't reach her to harass her across the back of the seat. She also loves the cargo space ("think of all of the shopping", I am so in for it- she is only 6!) Of course she loves the DVD player- as all of the kids do.

Stinky loves the entire car, if you ask him he just says he can't pick what he likes best- I think though that he likes that he can buckle himself in easier.

Peas is stuck on the DVD player as is Princess- but what is not to like about that??

The kids have their own things they love about it- but I'll save that for a different post.

So I will cry a little when I have to give it back.

Childhood dreams

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When I was a kid I wanted to be a lot of things. A ballerina, equestrian, astronaut it seemed to change as often as the weather did (and in Chicago, that is saying something).

One of my first aspirations, that I can recall was to be a nun. Yes, a nun. This coming on the heels of a watching a "Sound of Music" a few too many times. Clearly, being a nun would not give me Julie Andrew's singing voice or her incredible wedding dress, but still I wanted to make a habit of the habit.

Although my life has gone a vastly different direction, I still kind of, in some secret part of my soul, wish I had become a nun. For some reason, most of the nun's I know are some of the best people in the whole world. Sister Sharon, is so kind and so patient, Sister Julie is just indescribably amazing....etc.

But going around and saying "I want to be a nun" is not exactly a choice that is considered reasonable these days. Heck, I do not even know where one would begin to enter a convent or what the process is.

Of course, when I begin to chat with a clergy member I get all flustered blushy... what do you say?? I just don't know!

While a nun, is certainly not the path that my life has taken, the gifts that the Sisters in my life have shared with me and my family makes me supremely grateful.
In this vein, today, someone asked me if I would rather my son be a priest or gay..... you could have picked my jaw up from the floor, how to even begin to respond to that....

Mr. Helpful

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stinky has the capacity to drive me absolutely batty in one moment and have me totally melting in the palm of his hand the next. Such is the talent of boys right?

This week he decided he was going to learn how to ride his two wheeler (said like this, "my two wheewer") it is so cute coming from his little voice.

So I dug out a wrench and took the training wheels off- put his helmet on him and set him off down the driveway. Three hours. up and down the driveway. It was a long three hours... however I have not laughed and cheered so much in a while so it was well worth it.

Later that night he wanted to do the dishes... yes. Really he was begging to do the dishes (this is my evidence for when he is 12 and he objects strenuously to dish duty)

I agreed. After pushing the wooden rocking horse over he climbed up on it and got to work. I have never seen someone have such fun doing dishes!

Peas is pefectly precocious

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Peas has it rough. She is not the oldest, she is not the youngest, she is not the only boy, she is just kind of stuck in there. So she has to make herself heard. And she does. She gets her share of attention, by hell or high water. She takes no crap from anyone.

These are fantastic characteristics in someone, they are admittedly hard to deal with in a child.

She snuggles and loves with every part of her. She demands the attention she wants and will not settle for less. She has her own personality that is bigger than life.

Peas does not take a challenge laying down. If there is a problem she will solve it. If I tell her she 'can't' (which has resulted in me trying to avoid that word) she takes it as a dare. To point I put a toy that was causing problems outside and she went out and got it. I put it back outside and locked the door. She went, got a stool, then unlocked the door and then got it- and came back in with a smirk on her face. With that kind of attitude I pity anyone who gets in her way.

My Princess

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Last night I got to snuggle with Princess.

I am so glad she still likes to cuddle. I sat there and petted her head and noticed her profile is still much the same as it was when she was a baby and I could snuggle with her all the time, and we snuggled a lot.

Last night I lay there and ran my hand through her hair and noticed how thick it is- and remembered how fine her hair was, how soft her skin was (and still is). How wonderful it was just to hold her as a little baby. She changed my life.

She has grown into such a wonderful girl. I am so proud of her. She is generous and kind and smart. With enough attitude to keep me on my toes- she is my child and if there was not some attitude there would be something clearly wrong.

Princess is now nearly seven and I am not entirely sure where that time went. It seems like yesterday we were moving into the apartment- I have been so blessed to be her mother.

Princess brand new

her she is now....

Eco Friendly Giveaway

Friday, March 18, 2011

Aside from the cool eco friendly aspect of this giveaway (sponsored by ME) I always seem to forget to buy Ziploc bags at the grocery store so I am left scavenging for a back to put lunch things in. Here the problem is solved. No more wrapping paper wrapped sandwiches (I was truly desperate).

So I am happy to be able to offer you a set of Mixed Bag Foodies in Beach Ball and a matching lunch tote.

To enter:

1) follow my blog (shocker huh)
2) Like me on Facebook
3) follow me on twitter @almostsinglemom
4) ReTweet it!

Please leave an individual comment for each action, Thanks!

This giveaway will end on April 1, 2011. I will use to select a comment number and will announce the winner via Facebook and Twitter. The winner will have 5 business days to contact me at or a new winner will be chosen.

Good Luck

yes I know the picture is gigantic but I don't know how to fix it!

Foolish But Fun

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recently Time Magazine ran a piece about how having children is foolish. They sited survey responses that indicated that childless people are happier than people with kids.

I will willingly and freely admit that being a mother is unbelievably hard. I mean yesterday I cleaned up pee, on the on the counter. Every time I think I get into the swing of things- someone throws a curve ball at me and I have change my tactics to respond.

Currently I juggle more than most professional clowns. I write, email, guide, help, clean the house, cook dinner, go shopping, do laundry, chauffeur, make lunch wake up, act as a counselor, a nurse, a negotiator, a friend, and a few hundred other tasks that I am too sleep deprived to think of at the moment.

If I slip up or make a mistake I am yelled at, reamed out, and humiliated.

But- If I had it to do over again, I'd still have kids.

Because despite the chaos, the expense, the sanity (really I am kidding) there are moments that bring me immense and incredible joy. Like the commercials, a price cannot be put on that.

I mean a babies first real smile at you- you cant say that it is foolish, or the enthusiastic greeting kids give you when you walk in the door... foolish? ehh not really.

Kids are the essence and of life and love. Seeing life through their eyes is at times exhausting but amazing- being a mom may mean it is my job to teach them about the world about life, but I have learned so so much from them.

Maybe the foolish ones are the ones who do not see the value in having and raising kids. From a practical side- who is going to be around when we are dead? Who will the doctors, the lawmakers, the police officers be if all decided having kids was a poor financial decision and based their decisions solely on that.

I think that the snuggles and laughter are more valuable than any bank account.

Besides, the desire to have children, is for many, a biological drive.

And maybe the love that comes with it just can't be reasoned out.

Another day, another ER visit- Humpty Dumpty should have had dermabond.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am beginning to think that living in my house for any length of time would be a great substitute for an emergency medicine residency (I am only slightly kidding).

A few weeks ago it was pneumonia and strep. Yesterday, we took a more traumatic turn with a cut chin and lacerated tongue.

Poor Pixie has been the patient at the most recent ER visits. She was super brave.

My kids are monkeys, they love to climb, everything. Normally it is perfectly fine. Yesterday, it was not fine. Pixie climbed and fell.

There was so much blood. I could not even tell where it was coming from. Teeth are the one think I really can't do. I get weak knees and nauseous; so when Pixie was screaming so much and there was so so much blood in her mouth I thought she knocked a tooth out.

Again, thank heavens for my neighbor, she came and helped me figure out what the issues were. She had a pretty nasty cut under her chin. It was deep- you could see the fatty tissue, and the edges were gaping. My mind swirled. I could not even think. What the hell am I supposed to do? How is this managed?? The only thing that I could think was I had to get her to a doctor. But I could not seem to move. I could not seem to think.

After a few deep breaths. I got a gauze square and some paper tape. Put it on her chin and got started. Thankfully my neighbor H, could watch the other kids while I went to the ER with Pixie.

The local hospital is fantastic. They got us right in, just like they did when she had pneumonia, and it was the same staff. We had the same PA and the same ER doc. They remembered her and were so reassuring to me and fantastic with her. Pixie was feeling better by the time we got to the ER. While we were in the room we played peek-a-boo and hide and seek around the cart. Obviously, she was not too traumatized.

The nurse put a cotton ball soaked in lidocaine to numb her chin. Which was fantastic. Pixie was super patient when the PA was examining her, and that is when he found the bite marks on the bottom of her tongue. They were so so deep and terribly close to her frenulum- but thankfully it was intact.

The chin laceration would require some help to close though. Stitches or Dermabond? Silently I prayed that Dermabond would suffice. It did. He chin stayed closed. We were free to go.

In and out in about an hour. Now Pixie has a great excuse to have milkshakes to be gentle to her tongue.

My sweet oblivious girl

Monday, March 14, 2011

Princess is gregarious and a lot of fun to be around. She has countless friends. Wherever she goes she makes new ones..

She is a "one of the guys". If asked about her favorite people to play with 9 times out of 10 I will get of a few boys before any girls. I love this. She will be the girl playing kickball with the boys (while wearing a skirt). She will beat them in races while giggling.

This is great for now. But what about as she gets older and relationships become complicated? I mean she is a pretty girl and I can just see all sorts of issues that will be less than pleasant to address. Probably the best bet is to just let things happen and not to borrow trouble.

I wish things could remain this simple though. Where she is invited to all sorts of birthday parties, boys and girls, and doesn't think twice about it. I want her to feel comfortable inviting anyone she wants to play with over with out fear or concern of judgment.

and then wild dogs attacked...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I had a beautiful Indian dinner all prepared for my family. The aroma was delightful, the colors were fantastic.. I even went as far as to be concerned with presentation.... then wild dogs (my children) attacked and picked the bones clean.

When Pixie was in the hospital a few weeks ago I had the chance to watch TV. Actual shows that were targeted to an age group older than age 5.

I watched "Take Home Chef". First, it made me rethink going to the grocery store in my sheep pajama pants.

Second, on the episode I watched they made Tandoori Chicken. Which I could not get out of my head for days.

I had to have Tandoori Chicken. I planned an outing to Devon Avenue in the city to track down authentic food. That got pushed off (of course), but my desire did not wane.

In the end I decided to follow the recipe and make my own. I had to first locate all of the ingredients. Shockingly- everything was at Ultra Foods.

Obviously, I do not have a tandoor, so my cooking method was not entirely authentic. I did the best I could with what I had.

The color of the chicken was stunning (no food dye used!). The aroma filled my house. The kids asked what smelled so good.

Honestly, I went easy on the heat- because I really wanted my kids to enjoy it. They were apprehensive at best. After asking them to close their eyes and taste it they were hooked.

Our dinner was Tandoori Chicken, Cucumber Mint Raita, and Jasmine Rice. Wait, their dinner was. Not mine. They ate all of it. An entire chicken. Peas was eating the raita with a spoon. I wish I had naan but- nothing can be perfect right? Maybe next time.

Family Matters

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Family is a huge part of our lives. I talk to my mom almost everyday and I text or email my sister several times a week. But one family member who I have under- appreciated it Aunt C.

She is fantastic with the kids. They adore her. She is fun and energetic and all of the things I try to be all of the time. My kids look up to her and cannot wait to see her and spend time with her.

She is responsible and mature and I trust her judgment quite a bit. I hope that if they do not feel comfortable discussing something with me- they go to her, I know she will guide them well.

Our family has obviously gotten us through so many rough times and been a source of help and support to us. Sometimes, though, I forget how truly blessed we are.

Match Made In Mental Illness Heaven

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My cat and I have a lot in common in terms of out mental health. I am have an anxiety issue. If I skip even a day on my medication everyone can tell and it is not good for anyone.

I have posted about this cat before and her fur pulling, it is getting pretty bad again so I think it is time to see the vet, but everyone I have talked to and a lot of the research I have done points in the direction of my cat having an anxiety issue. This makes me want to scoop her up and cuddle her to tell her that it will be okay, I know how it feels!

My poor kitty licks plastic bags obsessively and pulls out her fur, which are apparently hallmarks of anxiety in cats. Great because I can help her, not great because she is suffering now.. and her life can be so so much better. She has had a rough go so far, and she has been there for me through so much, the least I can do is is give her a happy existence.

Diet Coke= My Addiction

Monday, March 7, 2011

It is not at all socially acceptable to be sipping on a glass of Pinot Noir at 9 am. It is however moderately more socially acceptable to be working on a Diet Coke- no one needs to know that it is my third one of the day.

Diet Coke and I are intimately acquainted a relationship of sorts. Admittedly it is a dependent relationship on my part. I need it. I crave it. The wonderful bubbly goodness.

Whats worse is, I am now convinced that McDonald's spikes its DC with something to make it more addictive than the pain pills I took after surgery- you know the ones that you practically have to sign your life away to get?

Diet Coke is my respite. My break in the insanity of running... it helps me through the day.

Fish Murderer

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A while ago a friend asked me to watch her fish while she and her family were out of town. I agreed. Fish are pretty low maintenance. Right? No problem, I can do this.

Dutifully, I went over to her home and fed the fish. One day I noticed the water was a bit cloudy, but thought nothing of it (I am not a fish person- at all). The next day the water was more cloudy and the fish in that tank were dead.

Shoot. Crap. I am a perpetrator of carp-acide. And Frog-acide. I let my friend know that I was deeply sorry for the demise of the fish in one of the tanks, but the other tank was still doing well. I was guilt ridden for days. Should I send flowers? Chocolates? Fish Sticks?? The appropriate etiquette here escaped me.

I opted for cleaning out the tank and letting her decide what to do with it from there.

However- I still feel awful for the dead fish, and I am left wondering whats up because when I watched her cat a few years ago- they came home and all was well- but a few days later they learned that she had cancer and was put to sleep. Apparently, I have bad pet sitting mo-jo.

Mama Meltdown

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kids are not the only ones who have meltdowns. Mamas do. It should come as no surprise.

Mamas are needed 24/7 (or at least I am). I have kids making requests (demands) at the same time, whining, pestering, arguing with each other, just bothering each other for the sake of bothering each other....wanting to touch me all the time.. and night time sleep is a mere memory.

I can't even explain what happens from day to day... there is just so much it just wears me out. Emotionally, physically, mentally... especially knowing that there will not be a reprieve for a very very long time.

Then I feel my hands start to shake, my shoulders around my ears... tension mounts, anxiety builds. I feel utterly incapable of accomplishing the basic tasks in life, going to the grocery store? Just thinking about it is more than overwhelming.

At some point I lose my patience and yell. It is not that I want to yell- really I don't. At the moment though I am usually tired and frustrated and really really wanting peace and quiet.

Some people are energized with social situations. Very rarely am I- I do not like to be around large groups of people-- even kids.

All of this left me on the phone the other day in desperation pleading for some support- to not feel so alone. Seriously considering calling a psychiatrist because what I was/am feeling cannot be normal. But maybe it is... maybe all (or most) moms have their patience tested to an inch of their sanity. Maybe if we all were honest about how a 72 hour pysch hold to sleep and not have to argue about not jumping on the dining room table may be a good idea, maybe then so many moms wouldn't feel so entirely alone so isolated, like they suck as a parent because locking the bathroom door to pee is the only way they can not have to deal with some form of chaos for a few moments.