Monday, June 18, 2007

A Week Full of Dread

I have been nabbed. Caught without a good excuse not to have dinner at the SIL's house this coming Sunday. She called Friday and invited us for that night. Luckily, because they eat so late on Fridays, I had an easy excuse - Jack goes to bed kind of early. But Sunday, Oy, Sunday will involve the entire mishpocha (family for all you non-Yiddish speakers out there).

Oh yes, the Detroit Crazies will be in town. This is my nephew, who is my age, his wife, and three kids - ages five to newborn. They are also devoutly Orthodox in their Judaism. My nephew has taken it to a whole new level. Fanaticism is what i choose to call it. He calls it something else altogether. Either way, being raised Catholic, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable to know that he thinks I am the devil incarnate.

I consider myself a fairly open-minded person. So radicals or extremists of any sort make me extremely uncomfortable. I try to open my mind to many different points of view. I know that these people believe their way is the only way - with no room even for discussion - and that makes me twitch. I am unsure how I became related to one of them. I shudder at the thought of sharing a meal with one of them (the wife and kids aren't as bad...yet) on Sunday. I don't believe in that kind of single-mindedness. I don't want to be around it and I don't want J exposed to it. How do explain that to your family? Especially when they'll see it as anit-semitism when it is actually anti-single-mindenessism.

That's a toughy.

It's Monday now. Is it too early to call in sick for this shindig?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Slushee Addiction

I have developed a truly unhealthy addiction to Sonic. The food is relatively tasty and reasonably priced. The tater tots are pretty divine, if they are fresh. But let me get to my particular obsession: slushees.

Not only do they have regular slushes, but they have cream slushes. These do not seem to entail any ice cream or any added milk product, but I am TOTALLY committed to further research on the topic. Now, on top of the regular flavors, you can add flavors like vanilla or cherry to your slushes. Today I had a Blue Coconut vanilla slush. Man, it just sounds good, doesn't it?

When I say I have an unhealthy addiction, I mean that we ate there for dinner last night and I went through the drive through for lunch today. I actually thought about making another run this afternoon just for a slushee. Sad, isn't it? It is hot and they are frozen sweet, nectar from the gods, man!

As a final shout out to the goodness that is Sonic, America's Drive-in, it is incredibly cranky-toddler friendly. J had a long day of running errands and swimming pool goodness yesterday and was waaaay done. However, he was happy as that proverbial clam strapped into the ol' Graco Snug Ride in the back seat being fed popcorn chicken and frenchy fries and listening to Marc "the Marvelous Toy" Rossio on the CD player. Mommy and Daddy get to eat out and Jack is quiet. All hail Sonic.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sitter Situation

Oh, how I long for the carefree days pre-baby - of just picking up and GOING wherever it is you wanted to go. It isn't even the amount of stuff that Little Dude comes with - we've managed to get that under control - it is the Sitter Situation.

I am going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to use it to your advantage or pass it on to any of your other Mommy friends. Because if you do, then my Sitter Situation will worsen. And you don't want that, do you? Because you and I, we're buddies.

The secret is this:

There is a FANTASTIC sitter service in Ohio called The Sitter Connection. I believe they started in Dayton, but now have franchises in Columbus and Toledo. Now, I get no money from promoting this service. Just the satisfaction of knowing that I may be helping other moms in my situation. Seriously, check them out.

The Sitter Connection uses local college gals, usually nursing or education majors, as contracted sitters. They do fingerprinting and background checks. I couldn't be that thorough if I were looking for a sitter myself! We've had excellent experiences with them and we've been using them since December.

If I have one gripe, it's that they don't have enough sitters to fill the demands of all of the hard-up Mommies like us out there. So, when they have no sitters for me on a Friday night, I am up the proverbial creek. That's how heavily I rely n them.

It is so difficult to find a good, caring, engaged sitter. All of the sitters we've used through the Connection have been just that. I recommend them. But, you know, not too highly, 'cause I'd like to leave the house once in a while too, you know.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Toddler Translator Needed

I frequently joke that J is the toddler that all the other mom's compare their kids to in order to make themselves feel better (or superior). I have also frequently said that I have awesome friends so none of them, surely, would be comparing their little darlings to Jack, developmentally, would they? Oh, I sure the heck am. Here's what I've come up with: Jack is the last to do everything.

Osi chalks it up to the fact that he was premature and also that, by nature, J seems like to sit back and take things in. While he is the last to start everything (crawling, walking) it takes him very little time to actually master it.

I'm not particularly worried about J being the last in his group of little buddies to talk, but it sure would be nice to have an affirmative answer when MY peer group's mothers ask "so is he saying anything yet?" I actually purchased him a t-shirt reading "I heard Einstein was a late talker" in order to get the theoretical last word in.

Right now, the nonsensical word "bup" seems to be the key to his universe. It started out meaning "up." I was thrilled that we seemed to finally have a word. Nope. It means everything now. It means up, down, open, close, dog, Cheezits and bink. Frustrating to us both. It reminds me of the Romanian acrobats at the circus. The ones that, to cue their partners to begin a stunt, shout "BUP" at one another. Bup is a constant in our home and I am sent scrambling, not unlike a Romanian acrobat, trying ti figure out what the heck it means.

Friday, June 1, 2007

What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?

Many things were accomplished today! I am feeling oh so productive that I almost feel as if I have popped back into actual society.

Curtains were hung, decorative shelves were purchased and driven into the &*%$## plaster walls of this 80-year-old house (have I mentioned I miss drywall?), and a new sprayer nozzle has been attached to the hose because, in case you've missed it, I've become obsessed with not killing Rabbi Barney's flowers. Also, I had a mighty fine Big Gulp Slurpee - man, tasted like college.

So, Jack has officially started the temper tantrums that come with the Terrible Twos. I am impressed with the stomping and vocal range, but what really puts me over the edge is his recent addition to the mix of an "angry dance." (Nothing at all, by the way, like the Safety Dance, for those of you who remember it, but I digress...) It actually looks alarmingly like the Hokey Pokey. Well, the "turn yourself around" part, anyway.

Jack does NOT get that it is impossible to take someone's demands for cookies or Backyardigans or whatever seriously when one is spinning themselves into the floor. I try hard not to laugh, but little dude gets me every time. Let me explain that the dance begins with the customary flapping of arms. That is then accompanied by the "I'm Angry" yell and the Hokey Pokey is actually the grand finale. What can I say, the kid is a fan of the Big Finish. Perhaps it is just a sign that show business is in his future.