Monday, August 29, 2011

Surviving Irene

Well, we did it. We survived.
For the record, we did evacuate for no good reason. Oh ok, if you want to call the "better safe than sorry" mentality a good reason, I'll give you that. Despite all of my lollygagging and complaining that was my ultimate thought- "better safe....and all that jazz."

So, in a sort of homage to refugee life, I am about to lay out the top few things NOT to do in a hurricane induced hotel stay of 72 hours.

*Do not forget a bag of toys for the two year old in your party. This will ultimately be your Doom. Yes. Yes it will.

*Do not forget rain gear. Because? You know? In a hurricane? It (bleeping) rains.

* Do not opt out of the whole , "Should I pack a cooler?" thing. Trust me, you will end up schlepping around in the rain (with no rain gear) re-buying the exact shit you have at home,  in your fridge.

*Do not bypass that Dollar Store trip that you told the 7 year old would happen. She WILL remember and her lamenting a lack of glo sticks over a 72 hour period is only slightly less annoying than having a completely strung out and bored 2 year old.

*Do not forget your razor. Hairy legs are NOT the new black.

*Do not book a hotel room online until you figure out if it is two doors down from a porn den complete with peep shows. This may be tricky but, the driving around Philly with every other family that is fleeing the storm trying to secure a room experience will force you to research more carefully next time.

And that's it. We are back home now, with some yard clean up and no damage.
And toys! There are toys here! And a few glo sticks rattling about the joint. And pillows that don't dissolve with the slightest amount of head pressure.
Ahh home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I was just saying to myself, "Self don't you want to pack up your family and go sit in a hotel room all weekend?"
And I answered, "No"
But it seems that Irene and the United States Coast Guard and the Governor of New Jersey all had other ideas.
So we are packing now to bug out and sit it out.

Hopefully we will all feel silly come Monday morning.
The alternative is to have evacuated for a good cause which means potential loss of life and property for this area.
Yep. Let's do this for nothing, then.

See you all on the other side of Irene.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Herpetology 101

...or "How Evelyn Handles Snakes"

Step 1 Let your cat flush out a snake. Any snake will do but, psychologically the "gardener" snakes are best.

Step 2 Scream loudly for your Papa to come and rescue the snake from the clutches of your cat.

Step 3 Frantically locate one of your "snake jars" with help from your Mama or your Papa

Step 4 Begin your side lecture to your younger brother. Your topics should include, but should not be limited to: general safety with glass jars, cold blooded reptiles and proper temperatures for them, collection of habitat decor, snake safety, not looking too long at the snake....etc. etc. etc. ...

*Please note that Steps 1 through 4 have left a certain 7 year old with absolutely no actual physical contact with specimen.

*Also note that is completely acceptable to ignore your mother's calls to take note of the earthquake that is shaking the house because you have a freaking snake in a jar. (true story that.)

Step 5 to... whenever your parents have had enough and release the snake before it dies of fright or suffers internal injuries from your brother shaking the jars when you are not looking.
                                                                      Who?? Me??
Some additional tips:
 >You may, at some point, cautiously reach out and lay the veeereee tip of a single finger on the snake. (While Papa holds it of course. A good Herpetologist never actually holds the snake. Are you mad?!)
                                                        Ummmm? Well. No. Thank. You.

                                                              Well....Umm...Still, "No".

                                                       "Aggghh. OK. Just... Hold it ok Papa?"

>Taking time to sit and draw a lifelike portrait of your specimen to be laid along side it's release spot is always a nice touch. A Hostess Gift of sorts.

>Just enjoy your time spent with one of nature's most squiggly members.

This post brought to you by a Papa that has loved snakes since he was a boy with a snake in a jar himself. All those looonnngg years ago.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Please Send Help

Please. Please someone tell me if it's normal for a girl child of 7 to be experimenting successfully with Passive Aggressive Commentary.
I would love to know.
I thought the first PA (passive aggressive) comment was a one off, so I just sort of looked at her quizzically and shuffled off.
The second PA comment was met with a bit of, "Whaaa...?"
The third PA comment was when I had to wake up and smell the coffee.

 Ev's PA Takedowns go along these lines:
Dinner is served.
She makes a slight face (open dissent at the dinner table is prohibited).
She eats while asking a question about your prep, like, "How long do you cook noodles?"
You, in all of your ignorant glory, answer her.
She huffs.
She eats- not alot- but enough.
After she eats, she asks for fruit.
She eats the fruit while happily chattering away about her day so you are lulled into a place of unsuspecting contentedness.
Then, when she sees you are relaxed and enjoying things, then- and only then- just she lets fly The Zinger.
"I sure do love fruit. You know? It's like, you never have to worry about how long you should have cooked it. It's always perfect"

sidenote: apparently al dente noodles are considered "raw" in her book.

Right?!?!?! The first time I thought, "Wow. That was eerily similar to a passive aggressive volley." Silly woman. Silly unsuspecting woman.
I should have known better.

So then,  how to handle a 7 year old with a perfect and stunning grasp of passive aggressiveness?

No really. Leave a comment, call, e-mail, messenger pigeon, text, telegram, smoke signal. ANY advice would be appreciated.

Friday, August 12, 2011

No Pictures Again?!?

I know! I have been struggling with a terrible migraine- this is Day 5. That's fun. No really. It's eff-yoo-en. Before that however, I have just been in a picture slump. And I need to get my rear in gear as Ev got a new dress from Granmaw and I know The Big G wants a picture of her in it; we are gearing up for Liam's last visit with a Social Worker,and that requires a specific set of pictures; and I just need to be documenting the cuteness that is Ev's toothless smile.  So yeah- I'll try to get right on that whole picture thing as soon as someone takes that ax out of my head...

I also have a question. Why does it seem like folks put in jobs never quite know how to do their own job?!?!?! This has affected my life in so many ways- I am afraid to count it all up. But let's see:
My favorite show of incompetence so far has been when my nephew's Day Care decided it would be ok to out him in the car of a 16 year old girl and transport him from one location to another- with no car seat available. OH! And no one bothered to call my sister either and the only way that we know about it and thus can do something about it, is because my Mom got back to the school before he did.

I also am loving how I had to go through the rigamarole of filing a grievance to the insurance company because of the inability of folks on that end to do their job. No really that was like 5 people messing things up and in reality one mistake was ongoing for nearly 4 years!

I am currently wrangling to get my son the Speech Therapy he needs and simultaneously attempting to get myself in to see a specialist. This means that I am in an  endless cycle of "he said, she said"  between four Doctor's offices and the Insurance Company. It goes like this, the Speech Facility needs A,B, and C done in a certain order but the "Referral Specialist" at the peds office is like "whaa? Huh??? Oh no. I am very good at my job, just look at me being brusk with you. " And I am calling and laying things out for her and the other office tells me that Step B is not done yet and's endless. And this is not the first time that this Referral Specialist has sent a patient to this facility for speech. AAANNNDDD according to the Speech Facility, it's not the first time she has had to be walked through the process. Niiice.
Then I try to get my stuff in order, because It's been like 2 weeks and no Authorization yet. The Insurance says, "You don't have Authorization because we never got a request." GAAAHHHH!!!! So I call the Doctor's Office and SHE says, "Well, I have letters of Authorization already on file for you" and.... I went blind.

No really. I swear to you, I experienced 5 entire minutes of Hysterical Blindness. I am glad it cleared up because I don't know how I would have managed to call 500 people to get in to see a Hysterical Blindness Specialist while Hysterically Blind.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Catching Up

  • Last Monday- Ev lost her first tooth. She was so happy and proud. All of the sudden, however, I have to face the fact that she is growing up way too fast. Now she's got that cute little gap and a slight lisp and she is most definitely a 7 year old.
  • Liam is being stubborn about, what I will loosely term, "potty training". All I need for him to do at this point is just inform me when he poos. Nope. Not gonna happen. He knows what to sign and he knows what is expected- he really does and it's beyond not being interested. He is just being stubborn. I am going to sink to bribery- yes I am. It's driving me mad and making me a bit kooky. I mean why would anyone want to walk around with poo in their pants just to spite someone?!?!?! 
  • Homeschooling. Grade 2 is fast approaching and I have alot to do to prepare. It all feels so overwhelming at this point. It will get easier once we jump in with both feet,  but this stage always freaks me out a bit. 
  • We are settling into Jersey life pretty well. We still miss our old house and all of our activities there sometimes. I guess you could say we are in that twilight between places. The old place is fading but the new place hasn't quite filled in the blanks yet. 
  • Personally, I am still struggling with some things. I feel terrible on the inside about who I am and the ravages of pcos on my body. It's been hard and I don't see it getting better anytime soon.
  • My Dad is going back to work after his bilateral total knee replacement. I can't say that I am happy to see him return to what can be a dangerous job with long, and often unpredictable hours but I am certainly happy that he has mended. 
  • I miss Brevin. Terribly. He is starting Kindergarten soon and I so wish I could be there for his first day. My Puppy- heading off into the world. I know my sister must be a wreck, I am, and I am only the Aunt. 
  • Ev is completely and utterly obsessed with all things Mermaid. She is a true believer, that one. 
  • I am off to shower and get ready for an afternoon in the car- the car that has no air conditioning btw- getting Ev to and from Gymnastics. 
  • Ev's gymnastics is totally worth the time, effort and money- she is doing perfect round offs, bridge kick overs and more beam work than ever.