Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fair Trade vs. Made in the USA

As I was washing and hulling my $1.38 a carton strawberries this evening, I actually thought about the illegal migrant worker that probably picked them. Thank you, presidential campaign, 2008. So, while this is produce that was, technically, "Made in the USA" as so many Fords with gun racks like to proclaim, why am I feeling all full up on guilt and yuckiness as well as my tasty, tasty berries?

I am finding it hard to figure out how we are supposed to live in this global-economy-green-as-you-can-be-erase-your-carbon-footprint-and-save-Darfur kind of world. It is as easy as the old paper or plastic debate. Plastic - even of you recycle it as a dirty-diaper-holder or trash can liner as we do - still end up in landfills. Paper, well, put my name on the list of people cutting Darryl Hannah out of her beloved trees. There seem to be no good choices.

Yes, I have switched some of my light bulbs to the fluorescent kind. I've switched them in the rooms in which I don't mind being reminded of grade school classrooms or doctor's offices. Yes, we recycle, just like every other good Bexley-ite. But not everything we could. Because that would mean composting and doesn't composting lead to methane production? You see what I'm getting at here?

Oh how I long for the blissful oblivion of my youth, where running the water while I brushed my teeth was not a crime that made my conscience see a scolding Al Gore in the mirror when I popped back up from spitting. Oh to eat from a paper plate, with - gasp - plastic utensils! Seriously, are picnics so 1989 or are they all just biodegradable now?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Run, run reindeer....

I am running back and forth to Starbucks today. Not for an out-of-control caffeine addiction, but to interview many, many sitters for the Sitter Connection gig, which I failed to cut myself completely loose from a few month ago. These gals can;t meet all in a block, noooooo, so I had 2 at about 11 a.m., another one at 12:30 and, thankfully, another block starting at 2:45. If I could just get them all one right after another, it would be a lot easier. The fact that I am only paid $6 an interview is not helping.

On the upside, we are going to Cincinnati this weekend. Looking forward to that. Also, I found out a week ago or so that I am Sisterhood's Volunteer of the Year. How kooky is that?

I need to read everything I can get my hands on by some nutjob named Ekhart Tolle. Apparently he is making millions off of my knowledge that you are NOT the voice in your head. My mom thinks I am NUTS (literally) because I acknowledge the Voice In My Head. The VIMH is very negative and mean-spirited. Apparently Ekhart knows this and is very zen about the whole thing and has a whole following. I need to find out if old Ekhart has found a way to shut the voice up. Short of going all "Fight Club" on myself. Now THAT would be very helpful (shutting the VIMH up, not going "Fight Club.").

OK, well, I am off to the next interview (and get all hopped up on a latte). Maybe I'll sneak in some Target time in between the 12:30 and 2:45 interview. Target may be my Happy Place. Isn't that sick?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Team Jack Meetup

So we met with Jack's teachers, the early intervention specialist and the (waste of carbon matter) director of the Early Childhood Services at the JCC yesterday. Sadly absent was Nili Tallis - Fantabulous Infant/Toddler Coordinator at the JCC and all around Super Cool Chic. Seriously - if you ever have your kid in the JCC, deal directly with her.

It was a surprisingly positive meeting. Both the Early interventionist (Shara) and the teachers (Jamie - super-fantastic) and Leslie (also fantastic, but not very vocal) have seen improvement in Jack's communication skills and his interest in playing and interacting with other kids. There has been a little less interest in the doors, but when he wants to play with the door, the redirection is working a little less well, as he is developing a little bit of a temper. He comes by that honestly. Helloooo. Have we met?

So we explained to them that we do not want to have Jack tested for anything right now. We also explained that in the last two weeks we have seen major strides in verbal skills and a lot less door fixation at home and hopefully that will carry over into school soon. We all agreed to keep communicating and, if in six months we don' see the kind of progress we should be seeing, we will revisit the testing issue.

I need to call the pediatrician after they reopen from lunch this afternoon and bring her into the loop on our decision. The people listed above, plus our pediatrician, Dr. Davies (could not possibly ask for a better baby doctor) is who we refer to as Team Jack. Probably Grammy and Grandpa, too.

In other news, my sister and two cousins that I thoroughly enjoy have FINALLY scheduled a girls' weekend in - of all places - the great oasis of Wadsworth/Lodi Ohio. The plan is to drive to Wadsworth to stay in the lap of luxury (i.e. The Holiday Inn Express) and drink ourselves silly and gossip about all the relatives that are not there. Then get up on Saturday and shop the Lodi outlets. Mostly, it is about hanging out with the people we are related to that we actually enjoy. Since we are the offspring of 9 brothers and sisters and there are only 4 of us going, that says something, doesn't it? The rest of them are kind of certifiable. At any rate, I am totally looking forward to it, and that is something, baby!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Surviving the Seders

For all intents and purposes, I have survived another Passover. Even though the rest of the Jewish world is in the middle of the 8-day festival, for me, it is over after the completion of the two Seders on the first and second nights. Seders, for those of you that are not in the know, are festive meals after the retelling of the story of the Jews exodus out of Egypt.

It is my favorite Jewish holiday. Although, with a two-year-old, sitting through the entire exodus - plagues, parting of the Red Sea, mountains skipping like lambs and hills like lams (my personal favorite), evils bands of angels and The Four Questions - well, that can be a lot for a toddler to take in.

Both nights were spent at the Coopers. The first night we left Jack with a sitter so we could enjoy the Seder as it was meant to be. The second night, as is to be expected, all hell broke loose. The Coopers, God bless them, abbreviated the ceremony so that we hit the highlights (barely). Both Jack and their granddaughter Chelsea, also 2, spent most of the evening running around the house, up and down the stairs. Their other granddaughter, Emily - 3 months - spent a lot of the evening wailing. Thinly controlled chaos. But I am glad to have shared it with my boys and with Jason, Mel and Barbi Crabill.

I am also glad that I don't have to do it again for another year. By which time I may be well on my way to being a Jew myself. Who knows?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Flipping Exhausted

Mel's baby shower is tomorrow. I just finished her cake. It is 12:15 a.m. The cake is in the shape of the book and is decorated like "The Lorax."
Emotional roller coaster today. Jack was the perfect picture of The Terrible twos, just when I thought we were on our way to kissing them goodbye. Every redirection and flat-out "no" was met with an instant meltdown. Some of them of epic proportions.

Also very long, difficult conversations with the nurses at Dr. Davies' office. We're going back and forth with the behavioral health folks at Children's and trying to get to the bottom of where Jack should be tested and for what. I am terrified that we may be starting down a life-altering path for Jack unnecessarily. What if he gets a diagnosis of the latest "fad" disorder and that sticks with him for life? Should we just wait it out to see if it is a phase? I need, NEED to talk to Erin to see how she handled things.

Have I mentioned yet today how thankful I am for the Cashmere Mafia? Erin, Mandie, Naomi and Cristal - you guys can be counted on for anything, anytime. Mandie talked me off a ledge (damn near literally) today. Erin, I know, will have advice and words of comfort and understanding once this ball chooses a direction in which to roll. Naomi - well, she's a fierce advocate and I am glad to have her on my side. All the friends in he world, however, cannot stop the feeling that my gut is disintegrating every time I think about the possibility of what faces us.

Oh, and have I mention I am hosting 11 people over to celebrate Mel's impending birth tomorrow? Where is the ginormous bottle of "uppers" when you need them? Ah, if only I could bottle the Cashmere Mafia and wash them down with a stiff drink when I need it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bexley Oddities

So we've lived here for 10 months now and I have noticed a few things about my neighbors that strike me as odd, or at least funny.

First, people in Bexley almost never close these blinds, curtains, shades - whatever window coverings may be adorning their windows. Clearly those coverings are just for show. Driving through Bexley at night is like being an unwilling Peeping Tom. It is as if everyone here wants to show off their latest possession, screaming "My big screen is bigger than YOUR big screen!" They DO have some fascinating choices for wall colors, though. I'll give them that.

Secondly, these folks refuse to use the perfectly good sidewalks that the City of Bexley has provided. Especially the damn joggers. They will play chicken with you in the road rather than use the provided sidewalks. And God forbid they break their stride at a stop sigh or corner. Seriously. We almost hit a guy PUSHING A JOGGING STROLLER because we were coming through an intersection and he didn't want to break his stride to stop. Just gave us a wave and assumed we would stop rather than hit him or his precious passenger.

Finally, the fine citizens of Bexley will do anything to prove that they are physically fit. During last moth's blizzard, there were people skiing down our street. Some were walking their dogs. Come on.

I will stay indoors, with my blinds drawn. And let me tell you something - when I do venture outside (which is not nearly as often as my nubile neighbors) I will use the sidewalks. I think, perhaps, I should have stayed in Westerville.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Am I Being an Unreasonable Bitch?

I am looking for a supportive community in which to raise Jack. Let me sum up. I am looking for some accepting Jews who would like to be involved in Jack's life.

We have ruled out Osi's family. Obviously. Jewish, but not supportive.

We have a few others who would literally like to be called family. In fact, there was a teary show of affection just after Jack was born about how much we are like family.

Needless to say, things happen, actual grandchildren are born and feelings get hurt. Mine, namely.

So, understanding that Jack is NOT on the same plane as these people's biological grandchildren, am I being a completely unreasonable bitch to feel hurt that these folks NEVER see Jack? It's not that they are never on our end of town, they just consciously make the choice not to come see Jack. And that really hurts my feelings.

When you are in any kind of non-traditional relationship, be it interfaith, interracial, single parent - whatever, you are constantly seeking "same." Looking for a group who can support your choices. Cobble together a family, if yours is not supportive, or just cant understand. I can;t say these folks aren't supportive they definitely are. I just feel so disappointed that the relationship isn't living up to my expectations. I am just really sad about it.

So again I am wondering, am I being a bitch for being upset that they - for all their grand gift buying and bestowing of monikers - don't seem interested in being a part of our cobbled together family unit when they were so on board to begin with.

I guess family - whether biological or in name - is a piece of work whatever you call it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Toddler OCD - Outing My Kid

Several of you have asked about the pediatrician visit, so I guess I really should update you (especially since the previous post says "Update to follow").

Jack's pediatrician has ruled out autism, which we never thought it was anyway. Waaaay to social and "Mr. Charming" to be anywhere on that spectrum. However, Erin makes an excellent point: Aren't we ALL on The Spectrum these days? It's like Autism is the new ADD. If the pediatricians think there is the slightest sign, they seem more than happy to assign a diagnosis of some disease on The Autism Spectrum. But I digress....especially, since thankfully, our pediatrician assures us we are not on that spectrum...

What she DOES think it could be is a little OCD. Normally, she said she wouldn't be worried about the constant door fixation. However, because it is seeming to interfere with his time at the JCC (e.g. circle time, playing with others, etc.) she wants to have the specialists at Children's take a look at him. She said there is a slight possibility that he has OCD, and a greater possibility that he is very determined and very fixated with doors right now. It seems like every toddler has their "thing." Ours is doors. Either way, we're waiting on a call from Children's to schedule a test.

Part of me will be relieved to have answers if, indeed, Jack does have a mild form of OCD. However, the other part of me says "Can't he just b normal until he is old enough to choose to dye his hair blue, wear safety pins through his eyebrow and paint his fingernails black and be The Goth Kid?" If there is going to be something "off" about him, I want it to be HIS decision to appear off. On the other hand (we're back on the first hand, now), if it is OCD, early intervention is key in having it managed so it is not a distraction for him by the time he is in a real school environment.

My friend Jenny has it on good authority that OCD is also a "spectrum disorder." Let's hope we're on the happy, pale side of the spectrum. Not the angry, deep, dark colors side.