Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm moving

Well, I'm going to try it out anyhow...  I find myself thinking more and more that I give out too much information on this blog.  I'm starting another one that's totally anonymous.

SO - if you for some reason want the address for the new blog, feel free to email me at: withoutarulebook at (I NEVER said I could come up with short pithy email names!) and I'll send you the link.

Pretty sneaky, I know.  But a girls' gotta be careful.

Hope all five of you will come on over!  (ok, sometimes there are 10!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This is the stuff I hate

I'm sick.  Had to leave work early, have fever, upset stomach & generally just feel crappy.

BUT - the kids are with X, and J is away... and actually it's not so bad to be alone.  Quiet.  Couch and comfy blanket all to myself...

Then... (cue foreboding music) the phone rang............  X.  You know, that man just knows.. just has that radar as to when to call.

He asked if I check the kids homework.  I said I did.  He said that Nathan's teacher asked Max to check Nathan's homework... and that it seems like Nathan has no clue what he's doing.  He says:  "You think you're a good mother -- but you're not.  You sit on the computer.  I'm going to ask for custody -- I can bring them to school every morning if I get a car..."

So, there are these two forces at work here... the one thing that yes -- I give the sitter a lot of responsibility with the homework.  I do check it over... but I don't talk about it with the kids unless I notice a mistake.  X says she is giving Nathan the answers.  So... it's something that maybe I'm not the best at.  And why does he know that?  I mean, if he called & said "You're not talking to your kids" I'd call him on the bullshit... but I can't really with this.

Then, the other part at play is knowing that I have sent homework & work books with the kids to X's house & he has never done them with them.  That there are school calendars still stitting in the bottom of the overnight bag... that I don't take out & just keep going back and forth from his place to mine....

And the fact that he is going to get a car?!?  With what?!?  He's unemployed! He's cut our support checks back by nearly $2000 monthly!  TWO THOUSAND.

Max was home with an upset stomach on Monday -- stayed with X -- who took him out for felafel.  (He was going to take him out for samosas.  Samosas.  A nice, bland food....)  So -- in reality... do I think that he will get custody -- do I think that he will actually even really TRY to do this.  Probably not.

But jeeze.  I'm here, by body aches, my stomach aches, I feel like absolute crap -- and this is what I need to think about?!?!

You know, you think the divorce means that all the shit ends -- but when you have kids it really really never does.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


So I spoke to X yesterday.  I am going to have the kids for Thanksgiving.  It is his turn - but I asked if I could have them.  I just cannot bare (bear? I never know that one!  Should probably just write "stand".) the thought of not having them with me for this big family holiday.  And since he's not American...

But his wife is.

And his Dad is going to be here, too.

But we're going to be in NYC - watching the parade, and Thanksgiving is going to be at my Uncle's apt - on Central Park West -- and J's family is going to be coming, too.  (Yep, families are pretty much all blended....)

So I asked X & yesterday he said ok.  "Bring them by Thursday night" he said.  But he said, his wife said "Does this mean we will never have them for Thanksgiving?"  And that really really touched me.  I love how she thought about that, and voiced it to him.  She wants them to be a family -- she considers my kids part of her family, to have them with her for that holiday.  And that's really really cool.  I don't feel threatened by that at all.

But *I* want them.

But dontcha know, being me... I feel guilty.  See how I take this situation and still manage to over think it & feel guilty about it?

Never a dull moment, being me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I feel like I haven't been posting lately. I guess because I haven't felt like posting. I haven't even really been following blogs. I haven't been timely in returning phone calls or emails. It started when I lost my job... and I guess I'm starting to come out of it. SO - the diagnostician in me would say it's probably a low grade depression. That's ok. I'm entitled.

So, J & I have been talking more and more about the Big Move. This summer. I will move into Manhattan. With J. And the boys. I told him I thought we should have a room for his girls (assuming we'll be able to find anything we can afford. He's more the optimist on this front. I prefer to think of myself as the realist....) so they will feel like it's their place, too. It feels funny that we would be setting up a house/home without them included....

I've come to terms with the whole "being the poorest in a rich neighborhood" -- because I think where we'll end up in Manhattan that issue won't be too extreme. And I've also come to terms with the whole diversity/lack of diversity issue. Yes. Queens is decidedly more diverse than Manhattan, no question... but in thinking about it I realized that I grew up on Long Island. A diverse area of Long Island -- but Long Island nonetheless. And my parents were/are not so interested in exploring different cultures. The only ethnic foods we ever went out for were Chinese & Italian. Not even Mexican! And I realized my parents' narrow world view when I worked at a student exchange organization: "Why would they host a Colombian student? They all do drugs." (I'm be embarrassed to admit that somebody I'm related to said that!) And look at me! I grew up interested in learning about different cultures, experiencing different cultures, eating all sorts of foods....

SO - I guess what I"m getting at is.... maybe how I was brought up didn't play SO directly into who I am now. The big picture, sure... but... Who's to say if I brought my kids up here they wouldn't become so overwhelmed with diversity that they join the White Supremacists?! (Ok, not so likely -- but you get my point.)

But, what I still need to process is taking my kids out of their neighborhood. Their school. Their friends. Their Little League. I love their school. It is a small, community school. My dad went today to Nathan's Writing Celebration (neither X nor I could attend) and the assistant principal went up to him -- knew both boys.. was able to talk about them..

Max has already voiced his opposition to moving. And it's so strange.... if you had asked me a few years ago how I would have felt about moving to the Upper West Side of NYC -- where I lived for most of my post-collegiate life -- I would have been all over it... But now....

And I've talked to J about this. Oh yes I have. Because what has started to happen is it's slipping out in little passive aggressive ways... I realized it & figured I really better tell him what's on my mind. He does not want to leave where he is. He spent most of his married life (a good 20 years) compromising. He can't any more. He loves not commuting. He loves the neighborhood. And he tells me: "I will be unhappy there." So I think -- ok -- starting off living together it's better for both of us to be happy. It will not be a hardship for me to live on the UWS. It's the kids. But I know kids are adaptable. And I know my kids are expressive and talk to me...

So I know (I guess) that (ultimately) it will be ok.

But still. (Have you noticed that most of my posts contain those two words?)

You know, just when my life is calming down... something else? I have to move? Uproot my kids? Start them in a new school? They have to adjust to not seeing their dad during the week (probably), new friends, neighborhood, etc, etc.

I just want stuff to be easy!!

Yes, I know - it really never is. And I tell myself... it's better for all of us to be together, that that outweighs the difficulty of the transition and the adjustment.

But you know - you'll be reading lots about all of this -- that's for sure! (And hey -- a move would make really good blog fodder, wouldn't it?!? So maybe that's a plus, too!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Been a while...

Ohmygoodness.  I'm not even really sure where to begin.  I've had all these blot posts floating around in my head forever... and now they seem so outdated!

I've had a bit of a reality check with X.  You know, he's annoying, frustrating, aggravating, etc, etc, etc.  BUT - my new supervisor is currently going through a divorce.  And wow.  Was I and am I lucky.  There are whole other worlds of pain you can go through.

And when we took Nathan for a blood test last week - X came.  And I used his wife's insurance.  And the woman who took the insurance info was so impressed.  "His wife?"  and "He's here, too?!"

And when X didn't let me into his apartment when I went to pick the boys up to bring them to Hebrew School (don't ask) & I spoke to him about it the next day.  I asked:  "What sort of message do you think it sends to them?"  And he stopped.  And he thought about it. And we talked about it. And I thought, you know... he's a dick... but...

So.  My new job.

I started last Monday, so I've been there one full week.  I think it will be good.  Except -- my new supervisor (who is great, really) is, as I mentioned, going through a (rough) divorce.  She has two kids (4 & 7) and has just been promoted to supervisor.  Remember how I wasn't sure how *I* wanted to be a supervisor with just all *I* have on my plate...  Well.  This woman is a ball of stress.  And I so, so, so feel for her.  And I so, so, so know where she is and what she's going through.


She's so busy & stressed that I really have to focus her to find out what I need to do.  And it gets me stressed (collateral stressage?).

But - It's so cool!  I mean, I've never even really worked with people who have kids!  Now I'm with a woman who is a single mom, two kids....  It's like we speak the same language!  It's really wild.

I'm sure it will even out.  It's only been one week.  AND..... the BEST part:  It's SO CLOSE to where I live!  3 miles!  40 minutes by subway!  I drop the kids off at the bus in the morning - it picks them up 8:20 - 8:30 & I'm there.  On time!  I was so worried about it I actually did two test runs - one via bus and one via subway!  PLUS - my new supervisor lives nearby & can drive me home sometimes.  AND, she says if I need a lift there I can call her.  AND, Max & her son know each other from day camp last summer.  AND Max & her son want to meet to talk about divorce!!  Can you believe that?!?!  She told her son about Max -- and he said he would like to talk to him.  I told Max & he nodded his head sagely..."Maybe he could email me."  (Just like his mom!)

My sitter is back - with her one month old baby!  It's so great to hold an infant... to see an infant.  And she's so calm about it!  It was raining her first day & she has to walk with him - in the Baby Bjorn - to pick the boys up!  I call her:  "How will you do this?!?"  and she just replies "Ummm..... with an umbrella?"  Oh.  Right.  I'll stop now.

So, I guess that's kinda it for now....  Gotta go catch up on my blog READING now.  Really fallen behind with that, too..

Thursday, October 09, 2008


So today is Yom Kippur. My family are at synagogue & I am home. I did not fast. I woke up with the migraine from hell. I'm taking the three month birth control... so you get your period once every three months... EXCEPT they forget to tell you that when you get it... well... I don't want to venture into TMI... but suffice to say I'm not sure if the every three month deal is really worth it.

BUT - Yom Kippur is supposed to be about forgiveness. So I've been thinking about this a lot. You know, I've never done anything I've ever regretted. You know, when I was "younger" it was always "no regrets." Sure I've done things I feel a bit uncomfortable about -- that were poor judgement -- but never anything that I've ever really just not been able to get over. To forgive myself for.

Except, for what happened this summer. With my client. With the video. You know, a holiday like this brings on some soul searching... and I'm really realizing how big this was. With me. For me. To me. And who do I ask for forgiveness? The woman? She doesn't know. She doesn't realize. My colleagues? You know, they've pretty much forgiven me. And the ones who haven't... well... you know -- I was just remembering another former colleague of ours. She had been fired for stealing money from a client. I remember people -- co workers talking about her. Bad mouthing her. I said to them: "You know, she was a friend. We don't know her side. We don't know what drove her to do this. We shouldn't put her down until we really know. We don't have to agree with what she did -- but this was out of character & we shouldn't bad mouth her so..."

Well, the people I know who are not "nice" to me now -- are the same ones then. So I know I shouldn't be surprised.

And my supervisors... well... I don't know. I just don't know.

But ultimately -- I know -- I have to forgive myself. But it's so huge... this. And today, in synagogue... talking about forgiving - and I feel my eyes tear up. A rabbi sends an email. It says: 1) Acknowledge the sin and apologize.
2) Repair the damage or compensate the victim.
3) Don’t repeat the offense in the same or similar situation

1) I do. 2) I can't. 3) I won't.

But still.

I ask my therapist -- how long do you think before I get over this? She says: "Getting fired is hard enough to get over... this is a bit more. Give it time." And I understand what she says.

But still.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The search

So, I've gone on about four interviews. The first one, for the supervisor's position at the nursing home I pretty much screwed up. Panicked when they asked for references. Babbled. Gave out too much information. But, I've come to peace with that (I guess) -- it was my first interview & I really was just not ready for that to come up. Hadn't prepared for it. Never in my life been in the situation where I could possibly have a bad reference.

This is something that's going to take a while to heal. No, I'm not beating myself up... but it was a big screw up on my part & the repercussions will be felt for a while. (Over dramatic much?)

Had another interview at an agency that works with blues & jazz musicians. Pretty cool, huh? I googled it & found out about the exec director who would be interviewing me. Found out she has kids. So, when I did the phone interview with her I took a chance. I said: "I have to go at 2:30, I have to pick up my kids." It worked. She asked about them, then she realized that I went to grad school while they were still young. She was impressed. She totally wanted to meet me. Based on that.

I met with her and another social worker. She asked me: (and this is not a usual question either -- and one that I usually would not answer... but...) "Are you a single mom?" I said I was. She said "I am, too - and so is she!" (Pointing to other social worker.) And I tell you - for the first time ever this worked. The single mom thing was not seen as a negative... but as a positive.

When I sent her the thank you email she said how much she liked me -- but how they need to diversify the office. Ok. I understand. There were NO African Americans working in an agency that deals primarily with African Americans. Even I noticed that when I went in for the interview.

But, the next day they called. Please come in for a try out. I did. When I got there nobody really knew what I was supposed to do. I listened in on some of the social work calls & made a call... but it was strange.

The day after I received an email from the Assistant: "my colleagues have decided to go with somebody else." Colleagues?! WTF? Whatever.

Got calls for three more interviews.

Went to one last Friday - at an SRO for formerly homeless seniors. A well respected agency. I think they'll call me back for a second interview.

Then this past Monday I went on an interview at a NORC here in Queens. In Woodside. Close by. It was pretty much the same job I had before & the director was estactic! I said "yep, there's pretty much no learning curve." and I think that clinched it.

I spoke to her today & they're offering me the job, contingent on HR checking my references. Checking. My. References. I know the agency policy is that the supervisor can't talk to people calling for references -- and that HR can only give "name, rank, serial number." But - I'm scared.

So I guess I kinda have a job. A job offer. Have to give them the reference info... The salary isn't the sky high nursing home supervisor salary -- but it's pretty much exactly the same as what I earned before. And it's closer. And I feel it's a nice, laid back environment -- that will be family friendly. So that's good. It's right by the #7 subway train - so easy to get to from the city (to stay & J's & when we move....) so that's good, too.

I should feel happy, but all I feel are butterflies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I've been unemployed for a bit more than a month. I've been on three job interviews (two for the same job) so I've really been doing ok. Especially given this economy.

But damn - it's so disheartening.

I went on an interview today & I KNEW they really liked me. I liked them. I sent a "Thank You" email a bit ago and got this response:
"it will be a while this process, but you are terrific. We are hoping to diversify our staff so not sure how it will play out but we will definitely keep you in mind. I'll let you know We are trying someone out who interviewed weeks ago and I'll let you know how it works out after about 2 weeks, In the mean time, stay wonderful and we'll let you know what happens.
Your energy and your heart are just beautiful. " So Ok. That's actually not a horrible rejection. But it is nonetheless -- especially since I felt like they were ready to offer me the job right then and there. I have to work on not getting SO excited. J says I'm negative, but I think it's easier to be that way -- that way I don't get disappointed....

And the 2nd interview? (Went last Thursday.) Haven't heard back from them yet, and as far as I know they haven't even contacted my references. I wouldn't be that anxious -- except I really feel like I messed up the interview. When she asked for references instead of just saying "sure" I said "oh, well, my supervisor can't give references... company policy... it has to go through HR -- but I have co-workers who can give..." She looked at me -- with a new look. "Oh" she said "I'd really like to talk to a supervisor. You mean she won't talk to me on the phone?"

And to make matters worse, when I sent her my list of references I just gave her the phone number to the main office: HR. Didn't even give her my supervisor's name.

I just panicked.

J has coached me since: "Don't give more info than they ask for.... you have references -- just give them." He's right.

So, I have this feeling of dread about this job. I won't get it.

And yes, I've only been unemployed for a month - and have been on two interviews... but....

This whole thing just sucks.

Ok. Done feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Because I like to make things MORE complicated...

I went on a job interview Sept 8th. It went well. They called me back & I went for a 2nd interview -- just this past Thursday. I can assume that went well too, since they asked for my references.

Great, right?

C'mon guys, this is me -- you know things can't just be simple! You know I can't just NOT think and NOT over think and not THINK some more.

The position I went in to interview for originally was for a social worker position. The position I interviewed for at the second interview was a social work supervisor position. I knew the supervisor position was available, but specifically did NOT apply for it. I didn't (don't?) want it. I have enough going on in my life, I have to have a flexible schedule -- I can't do this now.

So, when the Director of Social Work started to tell me about the job I said "This is the Social Worker position?" And she replied "no - it's the supervisor. The other one is already filled."

(Cue internal panic.)

But, as she was telling me about the job I actually started to get excited. I started to think: "Hey, I could do this. I could enjoy this." PLUS - the salary would probably be a good 10-20 thousand more than I made before. Think about that. Ponder it. Let it stew. (Disclaimer: Before you think that this will be a huge salary -- remember: I. Am. A. Social Worker. There's no such thing.)

Then she says "Well, there might be one or two late days.... if there is an emergency or some thing..." And I panic again. I can't do that.

She asks for my references. I tell her my supervisor is not allowed to give a reference -- only HR -- but that I have co-workers and others who will give references. She looked at me, I felt, somewhat askance.. but what could I do?

I now find myself in the strange, and yet not so unusual for me, position of worrying that I will get the job AND worrying that I won't get the job.

It's hard being me, no?

Monday, September 08, 2008

So Now....

I'm a stay at home mom.

This is a new thing. I mean, I've been at home before, for vacations, when I was at school and off for the summer.... but there's always been a sitter in the background -- one that we could NOT let go even though I was off... because you KNOW how hard it is to find a good sitter....

But now it's solo mio.

And the place is a mess.

It's actually more than just a mess, it's dirty. And I know what it is: I feel like I have all the time in the world to do it. If I don't feel like cleaning today... no worries -- I'll have time tomorrow in between sending out resumes and studying for the licensing exam. (Yes, I'm finally doing that.)

When I worked I didn't do too much around the house - only the bare minimum. "I'm too tired" I'd tell myself. Or "I should use this time to spend quality time with the boys, not cooking in the kitchen." BUT - now I'm home all the time and I'm not cleaning and I'm sure as shit not cooking. So I've totally blown that excuse! I have the time now! Too much of it! And I'm STILL not doing it!!

Also, because nobody is coming into the house... no sitters... there's really nobody to clean up for. So this is it. This is me. The real dusty, dirty, toys all over the place, chicken nuggets, fish sticks me.

Nice that I'm able to use this time for some useful soul searching and personal exploration.

And, please allow me to discuss the Playground. Now, I've taken my kids to the playground before, of course I have. But honestly, I guess... I haven't been there alone with the two of them when they've been this old. We've gone with friends. Play dates. Whatever.

So. Friday after school the kids asked if they could stop at the playground right near the school. Most of their friends were there. I said sure. We go up & the first thing I notice is... all these kids running around but there seemed to be no supervision. Parents sitting, talking and kids running! Wild! Wild I tell you!! (Deep breath.)

So. I park myself right near where my kids are hitting tennis balls against a wall with a bunch of their friends. One of the boys runs down to the ice cream truck and comes up with five boxes of candy cigarettes. All the boys circle the one with the cigarettes. He hands them out like a dealer. Then, a la The Sharks and The Jets there are these gangs of boys with little white cigarettes hanging out of their mouths.

So. What did I do? Did I look calmly over at them and think to myself: "I ate those when I was a kid."? Pah! You know I didn't.

"BOYS!! BOYS!! I do NOT want you standing there with those... those THINGS hanging out of your mouths!!'

(Blank stares.)

"NO! REALLY! BOYS! If you must have them, then chew them! I don't want to see those things hanging out of your mouths!!!"

(I'm SO cool!)

I call my friend. "Am I a freak?" She confirms that yes, I am. But I say: "How can I sit here and look at them with these fake cigarettes hanging out of their mouths! And WHERE are all the other parents?!?"

They are wisely NOT looking.

The kids co-opt scooters and are now literally all over the playground. So, I (kind of) give up and sit on a bench.

We leave. I mention the cigarettes to them as we're walking back & Max stops and looks at me: "Mom. I would never smoke. This is just candy. I know smoking is bad, and stupid... we were just having fun. And besides, you told me that you ate those when you were a kid!"

This parenting thing. Unfortunately there is a huge learning curve.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

September begins...

... with a migraine. What's that all about?

Brought the kids in for their first day of school - they were nervous but not too bad. (Not sure if I should be admitting this, but....) we did next to nothing academic over the summer. I don't know, I feel like they have so much over the school year that the summer is just the summer... But I think it started them off a bit more anxious this year; so I might re-think it for next.

Nathan has the same teacher Max had for the past two years. Not so sure how I feel about that, since I wasn't so crazy about her -- but Nathan was happy... so....

I waited over an hour to find out bus information, only to find out I didn't need any information. It was the same as last year -- that's why they didn't send me anything. Oh. I see. And you were going to tell me this when?

Called X. Told him about my job. His contract ends the end of this month -- so if neither of us find anything we will both be out of work. That's comforting. Relaxing. Calming. Soothing, even. (You can't see all the hairs on my body standing on end!)

I told him that this Sunday is the first day of... say it with me now... Hebrew School. Yes campers - we're back to that time of year again. And of course, for their first day (they both go this year) X has them. Dontcha know that's the way things always work out. I'm so sick to death of this whole thing. So, I said: "It's their first day." and ever reasonable and willing to talk about things he said: "They're not going." (Should I just re post my post from last year?) I said "It's the first day - they need to go... it's when books are handed out, kids meet each other..."

And he goes (and get this - it's good) "well, I like to take them on day trips over the weekend. I love my time with them." I asked him (trying not to sound too incredulous) if he really takes them on THAT many "day trips"? (Day trips?!?!?) He conceded that he didn't , but "what would the kids rather do? Sit in a Hebrew School classroom or play with their Dad?" You of course know that I did not even dignify that with an answer! Of COURSE my children would rather sit, read, learn Torah, Hebrew, sing songs, do art projects... than go outside and play!! Who wouldn't?!? (Banging head on wall.)

So, the end up was - as usual - I'm not going to fight him (too much) re: Hebrew School... I'll just talk to the kids' teachers & in the end they will have to say to him "Dad - I can't miss that much - I have to learn for my Bar Mitzvah..." which will hopefully happen. Or else they'll have to make up the work elsewhere. BUT - I told him they have to go this Sunday. I mean, come on.

He's all about wanting to spend time with them -- he was away for a week & doesn't contact them. Doesn't call them last night before their first day, or this morning?!? I mean, it's great to want to play with them every other weekend... but... talking to them about their first day of school nerves? That's the real stuff.

Ok. Enough. Off to get another Advil...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just another day

Scene: My parents' house. I'm downstairs on computer, kids upstairs watching tv.

Max: (comes into computer room) Mom, you know too much computer is bad for you.

Me: You know too much tv is bad for you.

Max: Touche.


Touche!!! My son said touche, in an appropriate and funny context! It's so cool! I love how they develop these senses of humor..... and I can laugh at jokes my kids make!

So. Cool!

touche! Hee, hee!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I wake up every morning with butterflies. Anxiety. Nerves. Sometimes anxiety is good: It gets you motivated and moving. And some times... it's not. You sit. Stare. Your kids call you. You say: "Just a minute." and you sit & stare. They start counting to sixty... "59... 60! A minute's up! Come on!" (Who taught them to be so literal?)

I'm doing stuff. I mean, I'm not entirely immobile -- catatonia has not entirely set in -- but given my druthers? Sitting. Staring. Curled up in little ball under covers in my bed.

I've sent out three resumes and have had two phone calls back. One is for a position in Far Rockaway... and while I'm sure it's a great job -- the commute is about two hours. I've been playing phone tag with the woman... but honestly I'm not even sure I want to go out there just for an interview! I have a job interview on Friday. (I know, you're saying stuff is happening -- why is she so anxious?)And, this place actually offered me a position about three years ago. A position for a lot of money (relative to social workdom) but I really loved my job... so... didn't take it.

I emailed the supervisor when I saw the position was available & they called me back. So, I suppose they're not too upset I turned them down before.

So why am I so anxious? I don't know. I really don't.

I went suit shopping today. With Nathan. (Max is with J @ the US Open -- J had an extra ticket!) He sat outside the dressing room playing with my flip flops & his toy dragon head (don't ask) & complained constantly.

But you know -- I've felt like I've gained so much weight & I'm still a 6 petite skirt at Ann Taylor. I am, certainly, the heaviest I've been since pregnant. And yes, I used to be a size 2 or 4... But. It was good to put things in a bit of perspective & kind of be forced to see that I'm not as big as I think I am.

Now back to the space staring.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where I'm at.

That's a good question. Not too sure. I know I'm at a better place than I was three weeks ago.

The vacation was -- at risk of exaggeration -- one of my best vacations ever. Our Brady Bunch situation worked out perfectly. All six of us in the three bedroom apartment... and we all worked. I'm sure it's made easier by the fact that J's girls are so much older than my boys -- so there's no direct competition. But still. They disciplined my kids when and where it was needed & not once did I hear my boys say: "You're not the boss of me!" But accept it & move on. Comfortable that it came from a good place. AND J's daughter even once referred to my kids as her "Step-brothers." (!!!!!!!!)

J came with me back into NYC -- to my office - to clean off my desk. I have to say, I was a mess. It was not a good day. BUT - I got to see some of my co-workers, and get more affirmation that they felt the punishment far, far out weighed the crime... so that helped a bit with the processing.

We had people over almost every night, went kayaking, biking, I did lots of reading, am the tannest I think I've ever been... and ate well.

We had the ultimate luxury for an apartment dweller: washer/dryer and dishwasher. And, let me tell you - the amount of clothes, dishes, and food used by six people? NOT insignificant. So in that sense, those appliances were NOT luxury items!

Between J and his girls we had three lap tops there -- and while it felt strange to me to have a computer on vacation (I've historically left all that behind when I've been away...) it was comforting to have -- to apply for unemployment, to start the job search, etc.

I have begun the job search -- although I have to get a new "interview outfit". My old one (you know, black skirt, white shirt, black jacket....) probably does not fit anymore & honestly, I've worn it so much I'm just kinda sick of it. (Like I never ever ever even want to look at it again. Even thinking about it gives me the willies!)

I'm a bit panicked about health insurance. I know I have cobra -- but that will be about $800 a month. (EIGHT HUNDRED A MONTH!!) I talked to my mom & when she asked if I needed help with anything I mentioned that. I might be able to play the Cobra waiting game (where you're covered even if you don't pay for it -- then pay retroactively if you need it) but it's comforting to know it's there if I need it. I'm behind the eight ball financially -- since X has been contributing less due to his changing job situation.

I haven't told X yet. He's in a bad place. When I last talked to him his affect was flat. He's overwhelmed. He's worried about his own job, feels like he spent too much on his wedding.... etc, etc (You know, X stuff...). But I know the signs. It's amazing how when I hear him talk like that *I* get nervous. I tell myself, I'm not married to him anymore... but when he gets into these moods it's when he gets mean.

X and his wife came over for the day --to Long Beach -- bringing the kids back from a weekend with them. I like his wife. I feel for her. I asked her: "You grew up religious, did you not want to have a religious wedding? " She talked about not wanting to do the pre-cana... (sorry, not sure how that's spelled!) & I could hear X's voice. The same with how she kept saying "Well, you know, I'm too old for a big wedding, I didn't really want one...". You know that expression: Methinks thou dost protest too much? Yep. I so wanted to say to her: "It's ok. You can be a good, a caring person -- you can be nice & still have your needs! You can advocate for yourself and for what you want/deserve too!" (Who says therapy does not bring results?!?) But I can't. I will offer myself, though, if I notice her seeming unhappy. Sisterhood.

So, I'm waiting a while to tell him -- probably once school starts. He has had four interviews for a great job (please, keep your fingers crossed!) and if he gets that things will be much easier for all of us. (Financially and mentally.)

So, I guess that's it for now. I'm going out to my parents with my kids from Thursday through the weekend - then school starts. Another year.

And I leave you with an updated Plankton slide show. The fun never ends.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Travels of Plankton

Or should I say the Travails! My sister got me a Plankton doll about a week ago -- since I always say he's my favorite Sponge Bob character. Since then I've taken him with me everywhere.... And documented it.

And had way, way too much fun!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Left unsupervised...

Last night I had a dream about visiting this woman who lived down the block from my parents. She was a senior citizen. She was somebody who meant a lot to me. I was telling people they should visit her. Meet her.

I woke up, suddenly remembered the dream & started hyperventilating.

Good morning, world!

I went to my shrink today & she gave me some really good perspective. We talked about the woman I took the video of, how I felt about her.. the whole process that led up to my posting her video. I told shrink how it was almost like I was in another world -- until somebody kind of woke me up & said "Hey - you're not supposed to do that!" I just didn't see it.

I told her how that last visit had meant so much to me. How I had told my supervisor how I wanted to visit this client on my own. How I had told J that I want us to visit her. How I had these kind of day dreams about visiting her with my kids... introducing them to her.. And Shrink said: "She became family. Your supervisor should have caught this transference. It's really very common for social workers in their first five years of working. When you said you wanted to visit her your supervisor should have focused you back to that. WHY do you want to visit her? You lost perspective. Got carried away with your caring. You took her video, posted it - like she was a member of your family - you thought of her like that & lost the client/sw perspective"


My therapist is a social worker. She understands what I did was wrong... but she can see it from the "clinical" perspective. She said to me "Your supervisors did not. They saw it from the "administrative" viewpoint." She understood why I was fired, but thought the punishment was much more extreme than it needed to be. "They were just looking out for the agency." She said.

And I talked about how I was so involved with this case... I was the only one. The only one who cared for her, paid her bills, followed her medical care, was trying so desperately to get her to be able to live at home... And really -- what I can see NOW is that yes -- I needed MUCH more supervision with this. It was a lot. I'm not that seasoned. I needed somebody to pull me back & give me more perspective.

So it was good. Today. I really want to get away from blaming myself for this. THREE people -who are unrelated, do not know each other, talk to each other, etc, etc - said to me: "Stop beating yourself up!" When the third person said it I stopped. "Oh. You're the third person to say that to me.... Hmmm...." Don't need to tell ME something four times! Oh no! Three is quite enough, thank you!

So, this morning I grieved for the clients I won't get to see any more. The ones I didn't get to say good-bye to, the ones who will wonder what happened to me, worry about me, and... dare I say it... miss me.

I am going to be aware of all this from now on. My boundaries. Transference. And hopefully just grow from it. I'll allow myself a bit more time to process, to feel the loss, to regroup... but then I'll (hopefully be able to) move on.

Stuff just always happens, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Surreal Life

When my alarm went off this morning.. I couldn't open my eye. Not that "I'm so tired, I can't open my eyes" feeling -- but physically. I could not open them. They were swollen.

Then I remembered.

Was it a dream?

A nightmare.

I was fired.


It still seems so unreal to me... I came into work yesterday, got busily to it since I'm going to be away on vacation from Friday the 8th until Monday the 25th. My supervisor calls: "New situation. People upset. Agency upset. We have to meet.& talk about this video. "But, but" I said "I thought you said you understood? That mistakes happen. That it was good that I rectified it..." And she was all "yes, but I was distracted when I was talking to you -- and I told my boss... and now it's gone all the way up the food chain.


And then I knew. I told the woman I share an office with & she says: "You won't be fired. You made a mistake, you owned up to it - you might get a suspension." I talked to an old co-worker -- "You won't get fired... maybe just a suspension..." But. I knew.

So, fast forward to 3:30 yesterday. Meeting with my supervisor, division head and Director of HR. I told them: "Yes, I made a mistake,but... explained how I had been so involved with the client, so happy to see she was doing well, wanted to save the moment, naively thought that other people would see/appreciate it the way I did. That they would see it/take it in the same sense as I did. That I felt that you could not see the client's face, and I used no identifying information. (As I can tell from the comment on one of my earlier posts... that's not the case.) and once I 'snapped out of it' took the video right down. There was absolutely positively no malicious intent.

But - in the end - what it came down to was the Agency. Protecting itself. I took an agency client, took her photo, and put it on the Internet. No matter who - if anybody - saw it or not. That's a liability. Period. End of story.

I said "But I always thought, was always taught, that if a person makes a mistake - that if there was no malicious intent.. that it was forgiven. A mistake." Nope. I said "What about all the good I've done? I love this job. I love this Agency." Nope. I said "You know, this agency has no soul. What about the people? I thought we are a social work agency?" Nope.

They gave me a letter. They took my ID. They took my keys. They told me my health insurance will last until the end of the month. (Which is when I lost it - I cover the kids X is on Cobra....) and I'll get paid for my vacation days.

My supervisor walked me back to my desk - to clean it out. But when I got there I realized I have too much stuff. I said I'll have to come back another day. I thought I would go back today.. but you know.. I can't. I'll go back. With J. Next week.

And J. J.... I know some of you remember other times I've lost a job.. or been job hunting.... and how X was. Yelling. Berating. Even after we split. Even though he's been fired from more jobs than I can count. But J. Calm. Supportive. Came over last night. Took one of my bills to pay. (Took one of my bills to pay!) "We will get through this. Together. You will be fine." I've never had that. I've never had the luxury of really being able to feel sad & voice it. To feel... supported.. taken care of... I mean - ok - I have my parents who are always there & I've always felt their support... But this. Being in this team. The way it's supposed to be...

So I had a pretty bad night last night. Cried a lot. Walked around like a zombie a lot. Today I'm here by myself. Kids at camp. They are over at X's tonight & tomorrow X gets married & we leave for Long Beach. I'm feeling pretty down... and I know that's normal. It's funny 'cause it used to be my regular state of being - with X. And I realized I haven't felt this way in a really long time. (Can't say I've missed it!)

I'll get through this.

And my kids. You know, my kids are my saviors. They make me smile. They're doing so well.. they make me feel so good. Today is their last day of camp & it has been such a summer of growth for them. You know, Nathan began the summer not wanting to go into the pool at all -- now it's his favorite activity. AND -- he wants to take swimming lessons over the school year! And Max doesn't! It's the First Time Nathan wants to do something that Max said No to. The first time. He always follows his big brother...

Ahhh... so - this coming year (because, well, I always seem to count the years from the start of the school year...) will be good. Different. But good.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I guess I'm just to open and honest in general. When I post about mistakes I made I guess I don't expect to be told that yes, I did. I know that. I've gone through it. I ruined my weekend because of it.

But I understand - if I put my life out in public I will get opinions.. and they are that -- opinions. It's up to me how I react to them.

I have to think if I feel up to putting my real life mistakes out there -- especially ones I already feel so crappy about.

Post is down.

Gotta think.

I made a mistake

OK - I'm putting this back. With the disclaimer -- with the feeling -- that I have to explain myself a bit more. Only about 10-15 people saw the video, and most of those were people I know or know the client. I understand that my intent in showing that video is/was not clear to some people... and I just have to say that that is the kind of person I am. I show videos of my kids. I share photos. Things that are important and meaningful to me -- I like to share.

Yes, I made a mistake - it happens. I learned.

Not sure if any of you saw... but last week I had posted a fifteen second video of one of my clients -- taken with my phone while visiting her in the nursing home. I felt that you couldn't see her face - so that it was safe to post it. I had uploaded it to YouTube, emailed it to a few people who knew her - and posted on facebook.

I figured - about 10 people (more or less) look at this blog every day & it's only my friends on Facebook. So it's closed.



Friday morning I get into work & there's a voice mail message from one of my co-workers who I had emailed the video to. "It's a HIPPA violation. It's a confidentiality violation. You could be fired!" I took it down.

I called her up. She was all: Client can't give consent to have picture taken because doesn't have capacity, it's exploitative, it looked like you were doing this art project on YouTube... don't you know people can take the video, change it - email it... client looked disheveled. Why would you do this?

And I was in shock.

It so was not my intention.

I went to the NH & saw this client there.... and she looked so good... was doing so well -- and I wanted to remember her. I wanted to share her. I took these videos that showed her personality - and wanted to share it here because it was important to me. Meaningful. The same reason why I wanted to email it to these people.. who I thought felt the same way about her. I thought they'd be so appreciative... to have the video... to see her - to have the memory of how she is/was.

I felt awful. I felt awful that collegues would think this of me -- that it was construed this way. And I felt awful that I really did breach social work ethics. And I was worried. What should I do? Tell my supervisor? What if somebody else had seen it? Did something with it? I went through this blog and deleted every post having to do with clients/work... Because you know, I work in a very very close community. People all know each other & each other's business. They have grown up here, known each other & their families all their lives. If I mention anything & somebody from down here reads it -- chances are they will be able to figure out who it is I'm blogging about.

Could I really be fired?

I was a wreck.

I texted a woman I used to work with. We had shared an office & became very good friends and even though she's younger than me, has been a social worker a good deal longer. I told her what happened & the first thing she said was "Anybody who knows you knows you have a good heart and would never do anything intentional to hurt a client." Which made me feel good. And made me wonder why these other collegues who had seen it had automatically thought the worst. (They explained it as "feeling protective of the client.....")

I talked to her & she said that everybody breaks ethics every once in a while. It's a learning experience. I did this with my heart, not my head... And that she really doubted I'd be fired. She reminded me that , the co-worker I had originally spoken to had a bit of a history of hystrionics...

So yesterday I called my supervisor & told her: "I made a mistake and I fixed it." And explained what happened. And you know... I pretty much worried all weekend about this (because I never over think or over worry about stuff) and she said: "Ok. You made a mistake. Thanks for telling me. You thought with your people hat - no social worker hat. It happens."


After all that worrying.

But I do have to think about how I'm going to write about work stuff... and it made me think about how with this blogging, facebook, you tube, twitter.. how so much of your life is out there... and it almost becomes second nature. Kind of freaked me out a bit. I like the fact that not a lot of people read this. It's FINE with me. But I like the community of it - I like the people I have met & am meeting...

But I have to think about all of this.

Monday, August 04, 2008


If your favorite baggy linen pants fray in the crotch you're allowed to patch them, right?

But what if those SAME pants become a wee bit threadbare on the left side (where you carry a bag & it probably rubs against it?) And say there's a HOLE on the left hip side? And say your SKIN shows through that hole...

Can you patch them again? (From the inside. THe tailor does it. Same color... [obviously])

Or do you call it a day?

I love those pants.

ETA - And WHAT IF these pants are one of the lucky few that STILL fit due to your explosive weight gain? (Just getting dressed. NOTHING fits! Augh!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A while back I wrote about how I had been feeling cranky - PMS'y nearly all the time. Nearly three weeks out of each month. Plus having these awful monthly migraines. Plus numerous other wonderful things happening to this growing (oh yes, growing - but that's another post!) body. I thought that maybe it was the dreaded perimenapause. It can start as early as your late thirties (oh, those lucky, lucky women!) I had gone to my doctor and she said that Prozac was the drug of choice for PMS. I was a bit unsure, but she put me on 10 mg. It made no discernible change, so I took myself off.

Flash forward to June of this year. I'm still feeling it. And J. He's asking me: "Why do you always seem so angry at me?" And it's true. It's like I look for things to yell at him for! "What! You didn't replace the cotton balls! You don't love me!" And I'm telling you, this doesn't just happen the day or two before I get my period -- it will happen two - three weeks before. And J? Hates confrontation. Hates anger. Hates yelling. While I will yell, get it out & move on... it impacts him more. So it was really having an impact (use that word much?) on our "quality of life." He mentions how he's worried that we fight so much. (Personally? I don't see what we do as "fight" more like "bicker" - and that doesn't concern me. But I guess it's subjective.)

I go to my GP again & tell her. This is horrible. I really feel like PMS so much of the month. Can't concentrate, have PMS brain, emotional, cranky (ok, bitchy). She again mentions the Prozac & says that 10 mg was not enough. "Let's try 20 she says." I said that I was thinking of talking to my OB & changing my birth control - maybe the hormones I'm getting are changing my moods... She said: "Let's try both. Start with the 20 mg & call me in a few weeks. If need be we'll raise you to 40."

Then I went to my OB/GYN & talked to her. She said "You're on hormonal birth control. You have an 'artificial period' you should not even be having PMS. You don't ovulate." Huh?!?! But... but... I feel it. I feel my body change. I feel my moods change. Really. Truly. It's concrete. I know my body. She looks baffled. She says: "Ok, let's try you on the Seasonique - you'll get your period once every three months. Lets see what happens."

So. Let me tell you what happens.

I feel great.

I don't know what's in this Prozac. This happy pill. But man. Last month? Just a touch of the PMS feeling, a week before. A bit of moodiness, but deal- able. Regular PMS. And perhaps I should give it another month before I start claiming The Great Cure... but damn. I've just been feeling so good.

And that makes me feel weird.

I mean. I know I wasn't "depressed" before. I'm a social worker. I know the symptoms. So it freaks me out, a bit, that I feel so good now.

And I know it's not just the magic pill. I know it's because it makes me calmer = happier = J happier = my kids happier = me happier. So it all kind of goes in a big circle.

And it feels good to feel good.

And I'm the first person to suggest to a client that it's ok to go on meds - that if it gives relief, improves your quality of life... why not?

But why do I feel so guilty? So illicit? So artificial? Like this isn't a "real" happy.. it's from the pill... and that's not good.


You'd think I could just relax & enjoy finally being a bit calmer & not so tense, irritable all the time... Butcha know. The thinking. The over thinking. The over over thinking.

I wonder if there's a pill that makes people Just Let Things Be.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Like, Omigod!

I've been reading the post BlogHer blog posts.... and... well.... I feel like I'm back in high school! I'm having all these flashbacks, and am finding that many of these posts actually make me feel very uncomfortable. The gossip. The inuendo.

What is it about women? Do we all always have to hyper-analyze everything?

I hope to read something good about it -- but thus far it seems that only the conference about Just Posts was the one thing everybody can agree on.

Just had to get that off my chest. It's all too weird.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Four Hour Tour

Well, it seems that X is really getting married. August 8th. He & his fiance invited J & I to the wedding celebration, but we'll be leaving for our summer vacation in Long Beach that day. (Did I mention we're going on vacation? Two weeks! We rented a house in Long Beach for all six of us!) But, I later found out that .... well... X really just invited me for free child care for the boys.


The wedding celebration is going to be dinner. On a boat. From 7-11 pm. Imagine if you will.... my boys... trapped. On a boat. For four hours. At night. (Sounds like something out of Go Dog, Go!)

But, when I spent the day with X last Wednesday - for summer camp visiting day - we came up with a solution. Nothing like planning your X's wedding day with your X. (Although I have to say, it really did NOT feel at all strange.)

He and his fiance really want the kids to be there. They really want to have them join in on the celebration. So. X asked me: "What would you do?" I said: "I'd have a brunch." He's all "no, really - what would you do?." And again I respond - I'd have a brunch. Then he goes: "But [fiance] wants a dinner -- if you had to have a dinner -- what would you do? Would you have the boys there?" And I respond (enjoying this way, way too much) "But I would never get myself into that situation! I'd just start off having a brunch." (Passive aggressive much?) I relent. I ask him: What does fiance want? He said that fiance really want's them there, but then every once in a while wonders what it could be like if they demand a lot of attention...and even though they would hire a sitter to stay with them.... one cranky child can really change a dynamic.

I agree.

So, I help him plan - what I think he might do is this: They are getting married @ City Hall that morning, then going for photos in Central Park. The boys will be with them, definitely for that part. Then I tell him - just all go out for a fun fancy ice cream filled lunch. Go to Serendipity. Tell the boys it's the family celebration. Make it a big deal. Then tell them you'll take them on a boat another time. They don't need to go to the "grown-up" celebration, because it really will be too much for them & fiance should not have to worry about how they'll be...

So, we'll see.

And you know, spending the day with him wasn't too bad. We had one tense moment talking about Hebrew School (Oy.) but that was it. It was nice to see him with the boys, because I never really get a chance to see that. It's good for me to get the other side of the picture, to see how they react to each other - how he really does love them...

BUT - don't think I'd want to do it again any time soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Who says I jump the gun?!?

Yeah. So. Yesterday Max goes to me: "Mom, what if I wet the bed at the overnight?" Aha! My chance! I knew it! I knew he'd come around and be worried! What else could I ask for, right?!?

I said "Well [because I knew you'd be worried I already worried for you and figured it out!] the doctor says there's a pill you can take so you won't." He looks happy. I strain my arm from patting myself on the back.


"But Mom. What if the pill doesn't work?"

Sputter sputter cough cough

"I said what if it doesn't work? I don't want to go."

"But, but -- Max - you don't have to decide right now. Talk to Daddy. Talk to J. Talk to Grandma or Grandpa... you have until Monday/Tuesday to decide."

"MOM! I don't want to go!!"

"I know, I know - and you don't have to... but we don't have to decide right now. How about a pull up?"

(Have you ever seen an eight year old give a "are you friggin out of your mind" look? Imagine that.)

"Ok. So nix the pull up."

"Mom. I know you might not think this is an intelligent decision. I know you say I should try new things, and this pill is a new thing. But I've thought about it and my decision is I don't want to sleep over."

(Pulling jaw off chest.) Ok. Fine. Absolutely fine.

But, I had already put a call in to the pediatrician and one of the other doctors in the practice called me back today. I didn't know the name of the medication, but told this doctor what it was supposed to do. She says: "Oh. They used to prescribe that. Now they do more behavioral modification. I don't even know the name of the medication - we never even learned about it!"

Did I mention that this is the same practice that prescribed the belladonna/phenobarbital for Max?

The doctor told me the name of the medication, told me to research it & call back on Monday if I still want it. The medication is desmopressin. If you read about it I especially like the part where they say do not use if the child is active.

"They should also be very cautious during hot weather or following strenuous exercise that may make them thirsty."

So, I figure using it at a day camp sleep over, where they'll be doing all sorts of sports, in the summer... it'll be fine. Right?


So, he's going to stay for the late night/cook out part & come home by 9 pm with Nathan. And he made the intelligent decision by himself.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


People are still searching for "frustration boob" and getting this site.  I hope it's not too.... errr.... frustrating.

Ok internet people.  Here's the thing:  I know I mentioned in my previous post how Max peed in my parents' bed.  He really hasn't done it in a while.  But he did again last night.  His pediatrician says it's normal for boys to do that until age 12or so.  Fine.

He has a sleep over at camp next Thursday.

Being a Mom I automatically thought of the worst case scenario.  (Does it ever kind of hit you?  I'm a MOM!   Like I"m actually responsible for somebody else!  Gah!  Anyhow....)  You know... what if... he... pees?!?!?

So I say to him.... in an off handed way:  "Wow, you have a sleep over next week!"  Him "Yeah."  Me:  "So what do you think about that?"  Him:  Shrug.  Me:  "No thoughts?"  Him:  "Mom!"

Ok.  So.

Do I:  1) Follow his lead?  He's not concerned so I'm not concerned?  2) Call the doctor to get the medication to prevent bed wetting (Dr. had mentioned it to me before - to be used for "social" situations....;Do I tell him?  Do I just slip it into his peanut butter sandwich? 3) Pull ups?

I don't want to make him self conscious, and I don't want to create an issue where there might not be one.  Maybe he's more in control than I think.  Maybe he knows he can control his bladder.... 

Maybe I"m over thinking this... and just let what happens happen & deal with the after shocks?  I mean, this happens to kids all the time, right?  They aren't scarred for life, right?

But I just want to protect him.

Or, do I sit with him and have a talk?  Tell him I can get this pill and what does he think?

I'm really really at a loss.
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Monday, July 07, 2008

Mouse: Still here. Super will only put down poison or glue traps. I won't allow any more poison since J brings his dog here & the glue traps.. Well. They're useless. I'm going to have to call the management company.

Fourth of July was good. Ruined my parents' king sized mattress and broke their washing machine.

Ha ha. No. Really. I did.

My parents are away (in Israel) so we (me, the kids,J, his daughter, his dog) went to their place to have a suburban July 4th. Usually when we sleep there we all sleep in the den. But, my parents weren't there - so -- I put the kids in their room.

Max hasn't peed in bed in like six months. Really. I promise!

Except that he did July 3rd.

On top of the king sized down comforter. His sleeping bag, (see, I wasn't entirely frivolous! I made them sleep in sleeping bags on top of the bed!)top sheet,fitted sheet, mattress pad, mattress... Yep.

So I get to work washing. Wash the sheets. Fine. Put in the sleeping bag & take it out... hmm.... still wet. Well, put in towels (I used them to blot. Ok?) they run... hmm.... still wet. Wait. A. Minute.... The machine is not spinning.


Get J.

Nope. Machine still not spinning.

I go into catatonic state.

J (tries to) calm me down "you didn't break it. This is what happens in houses... things break all the time..."


(Is that a word?)

We see that my parents have a service contract. I call. They will come on Thursday. My sister will be there then. Phew.

We decide to bring comforter to J's sister to wash. But then I realize: down. King sized. Umm.. no.

And that king sized mattress pad? Am I going to risk it? In a machine? I'm feeling a bit jinxed (NO! Don't use the treadmill! It will break! Don't touch the tv! Careful with the refrigerator!!) so decide...

$60 some odd dollars later, the comforter, mattress pad & duvet cover all at cleaners. They will deliver. On Wednesday.

My (supportive) sister: "WHat? You let them sleep in their bed?!? You broke the machine! Great. Just great.) Will (gladly) be there to receive. ("Great. Now I have to stay around the house. Great.")

Did I mention also that it rained all weekend?

Ok. All that happened, but it was actually lots of fun.

How was yours?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Soomer than expected

I just looked (again) at Max's report card & a fresh wave of frustration just ran through my body.

He got an amazing report card. Really. Amazing.

His teacher who does not like to give "4" (above grade level) gave him nearly all fours in reading (the rest 3's) and two (out of four) 4's in Math.

He got threes (meets grade level standards) in everything else. Except one thing. All year he has gotten 2's in "Works and Plays cooperatively with others." Even last year (he had the same teacher) she gave him that.

The first time I was really annoyed that she would give him that grade without talking to me. If he's misbehaving, tell me. Don't just give him a bad grade, let's work on it. Fix it. But now I've learned that this is just how she is. I've learned the type of teacher and the type of student that he is - and well - whatever.

(And I have to add that he twos for past two grades in "Respects class and school rules" but went up to a three for this grading period. So. One two.

X calls me yesterday (you knew this would be about him when I said "frustration", didn't you?) before I saw the report card. "Max got a two." I respond, oh - the teacher never told me there was a problem. He's all "don't blame the teacher..." and I said I'm not - but if she is having a problem with him, it's also part of her job to tell us. We can help. We should know.

He goes on to say that he "talked to Max" and "Max cried." I said I'd talk to Max, too.

I got home & saw this amazing report card. I saw how he went UP in general behavior. And got amazing grades. He didn't want to show me the card. "I got a two." I told him how proud I was of him. I told him how many GOOD grades he got, how he went UP in behavior. I talked to him about NOT focusing on the ONE bad thing, but to look at all the good he did.

X called me later. "Did you see it? Did you talk to him." I said I saw it. I said how he went up in behavior (school rules) and asked X if he told Max how well he did in everything else? Why did he focus on the negative?

X responded that Max is "going to be a man" he has to work on these things.

I told X I had to go and hung up.

We were out for dinner with my parents. They came back & wanted to see the report cards. Max did not want to show his. My parents finally looked & also told him how proud they were of him.

Ugh. X.

(Not to leave him out! Nathan got all threes and two fours in Math!!)
Ok, ok - they went to the barber with my Dad, and got (muffled voice) good cuts. (My mom went to, to supervise!)

It was cool, I guess, 'cause Vinny (barber) has been cutting my Dad's hair for nearly 20 years, cuts my brother's hair... and now my kids. They were all getting into the multi-generational thing.

(My Mom also says that Vinny is "very handsome".)

Done. Finished. Lesson learned.

I'll post more - later on. Things have been crazy at work & I've just been exhausted....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't laugh

 But I'm stymied.  Absolutely and totally stymied.  I have to make a decision.  One of absolutely utmost importance.  I mean, if I mess up on this decision... the repercussions will be endless.  Endless!!

So you get the seriousness of this, right?

You're concerned?

You're in this with me?  How can you help?  What can you do?  What can be done to ease this?

I thank you.  I thank you for your concern.  It touches me.

The issue is:  Haircuts.

I'll wait for a minute while you gather yourselves.  Catch your breath.  Have a seat.  Maybe somebody can bring you a glass of cold water....

I have huge haircut issues.  For myself and for my boys.  Since their first haircut I had brought them to a children's salon out on Long Island - where my parents are.  But the woman who cut their hair.... well... it pains me to say this but she --- left.  With nary a word.  So I was stranded.

Brought the boys to the local Super Cuts and their hair was butchered!  (Swat team was called in.  That woman will no longer be cutting hair.)

Then the next time I brought them to this little trendy hipster place in the East Village.  $60 later they had trendy little hipster haircuts....  AND they still looked the same as the other   haircuts!  Imagine how thrilled I was to spend that much more on haircuts!  But,  now I could say they "get their hair cut in the East Village."  Instead of Long Island.  So you get it why it's worth it for me to pay nearly double the price?  Right?

Yeah.  Me too.


Their hair is getting long & I looked at my calendar... and... as scary as this sounds there's literally no free weekend to get their hair cut until mid July!  So, I started thinking that I'd take the day off after their last day of school -- take them out in Manhattan, have a fun day, get their hair cut at their cool, hip, trendy East Village haircuttery.... but then realized I'd be taking time off two days that week -- so I can't really take that day off.


My father offered to take them to his.......




Like with shears.  Razors.  Red, white and blue poles... And... bowl cuts!  And shaved heads!!


I'm making myownself sick!  THe stupid thing about this is I really don't like it when guys go to "salons" - I'm a total minimalist when it comes to grooming and guys... but for some reason... when it comes to my kids.... I'm going through this whole snobby thing...(Said in snooty voice:) "No child of mine will go to a ... a... barber!"  And I'm even entertaining the thought of taking them to my old salon and paying over $35 each!

Am I mad?

I think so.

And I can't even believe this is a "thing".

And I can't even believe I'm blogging about this.

But I do believe in fairies!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Everything old is new again

This and this.
I don't get it.
They're the same, no?
What am I missing?

(Remember that movie? "Number 5 is Alive!")

Monday, June 16, 2008


Nathan. He used to be so quiet. So sweet. So even tempered. Always full of smiles... But lately... I'm not so sure. (Is he signing "I love you" or is that the heavy metal devil sign?)

Last week, at Max's little league game Nathan went off to play with some of the "big kids." I told him he could - if he stayed where I could see him. He said ok. Next thing I know, I look up and he's not there. He is alllllllll the way down the end of the other field! He sees me walking towards him & starts running back. Quickly.

I a
sk him: "What did I say." He says: "I can't remember! I can't be expected to remember everything you say!" (Ok, I'm paraphrasing a bit - but that's the meaning behind what he said!)I responded with a questioning "oh?" And he goes on to say: "Yes! You said to me "blah, blah, blah, blah!' How could I remember that?!?!

I stop. I look at him. I surpress a smile, and take him back to the seat with me, telling him that he can no longer play with the big kids, and maybe next time he will be able to remember what I said!

("Blah, blah, blah!" It's funny! Annoying as hell, but it's funny!)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I have nothing to say.

I was talking to a young, cute, vivacious 20 something girl today. She was telling me about her new boyfriend. We started talking a bit about sex. She said she doesn't like to use hormonal birth control & is thinking of just using the rhythm method. I smiled. Nodded. And said yes, but that's not always the most reliable.

She smiles and says: "Yes, but if anything happens, I have no problem killing it."



I suppose I was expecting her to say something like... "I love him ,we'll keep the baby.."

Now listen. I have to say that I am absolutely 100% pro-choice. No question. And this young woman is certainly in no stage in her life to have a baby. I don't know that I would REALLY expect her to have it. But I sure as shit did not expect her to say that. Like that. (And yes, I recognize it was also part of her trying to seem young, hip & cool... and maybe this really isn't anything you really know until you're pregnant. Until you have kids. Until you know people who have had lost their babies..., But.)

I kind of gulped and said .."well... I guess... but you know -- you really do not want to be presented with that. It's devastating. Really. Truly. You should try however you can NOT to put yourself into that situation."

She kind of smiled, a Yes I Know smile. And knowing there was nothing else I could do or say - because this young woman absolutely and totally knows her own mind... and I made my point very loud and clear. (I'm good like that.)

But. Sigh. It upset me. I'm so pro-choice, but I hate hearing stuff like this... I suppose I've been living in a bit of a bubble - It's not like I talk to a lot of people in this age group. It's either elementary schoolers or senior citizens! I kind of miss out on a whole age group... But it kind of made me want to cart out those "Abstinence Only" banners...
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Friday, May 30, 2008


You know, I really don't know what to say about this - except every time I watch it it makes me laugh.

(My father's joke at the end? Not so much. But that's only because I've heard it about 25 million times. That and the one that goes: "You know why we call the turkey Napoleon? We eat everything but the boneypart. Get it? BONEY part. Yeah.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Will revist at end of summer....

Forwarded conversation
Subject: Max's Hebrew School Report Card

From: Me
Date: Wed, May 28, 2008 at 7:38 AM
To: X

Yesterday was Max's last day of Hebrew School.  He received his report card.

"Max is a bright and enthusiastic student.  Max has made good progress as a [Hebrew] reader but his absences have kept him from reaching the level he is capable of.  Max enjoys working with Bible stories and learning about the holidays."

I talked to Max about this.  We discussed how as he gets older, learns more and more, and gets closer to his Bar-Mitzvah, he will have to get a tutor if he does not attend all the classes.  He has a requisite amount he has to learn.  Like any class, he has to perform and show that he's learning - and the absences are preventing that.  He understands that.  He said he would prefer to go on Sundays.  We talked about how he could stay at your place overnight on Sundays - if that's ok with you - or spend other times with you.  He said he'll talk about it with you.

Of course this is moot for the summer, but starting in September both boys will be going to Hebrew School.  I hope that this coming school year we can work together so that both boys can attend all the classes. It is very important.




From: X
Date: Wed, May 28, 2008 at 7:50 AM
To: Me

Unfortunately it is unlikely that he will be able to stay over sundays. Also wednesday nights might be a thing of the past depending on my new job.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
From: Me
Date: Wed, May 28, 2008 at 7:52 AM
To: X

Well, we will cross the wednesday night bridge when we come to it - and the Sunday stay over.  What I was trying to convey to Max (and I guess to you) was that there are many times that you & he can spend together that will not impact his learning.

I need to know that we will be able to work together with this.

That was it.  He did not respond any further.  I made my point & will let it go until the end of the summer.

I can't even express how many colors of red I saw when I saw Max's report card.  We got it Tuesday but I waited until the next day to contact him... otherwise I would not have sounded as calm as I did.

The idea that his laziness impacted Max's learning... I can't.  I get too angry.

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