Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Mommy, What is Rich?" Dr. Karen Monroy

I have been fortunate enough to be allowed to read a yet to be released children's book. "Mommy, What is Rich?" by Dr. Karen Monroy. There are some excerpts and colorful illustrations, from the book on her website. This book ,written for small children, is perfect for my three kids ages 2-5 years old. The simple language conveys a very powerful message about the real value of wealth.

The young boy in, "Mommy, What is Rich?", asks his mother a series of questions about the definition of wealth, and how he can increase his. His mother's answers at first are obvious: family,friends, food, shelter and love, are all the richness you need. But the answers that I really loved, are less obvious. She took the time to point out that he is rich because of traits he already possesses: kindness, thoughtfulness, even his playfulness. What an excellent lesson to teach your child, that their innate positive personality traits are worth more than what is in their wallet.

Through the voice of the boy's mother, the author continues to explore the feeling of desire, as in acquiring more wealth. That the desire to acquire things is not a negative feeling, but it needs to be balanced with your love of life.

I look forward to actually owning this book when it's released. With the holidays approaching and the inevitable over-consumption of food and the gift exchanges, exploring the topic of real wealth, with my children, becomes even more relevant.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I seriously can't think of a title

Last Saturday Erik and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary with a day in Calistoga. The drive was amazingly scenic because of the fall colors. (Yes we do have fall colors in California!) I discovered one down-side to having a husband who does not have to commute to work; Erik has forgotten how to drive.

I kept slamming on an imaginary brake-pedal and eventually leaned back and closed my eyes. I wasn't resting ,I was praying, "Holy shit don't let him kill us!". What's even more amazing is that Erik's sister, Auntie M., is the best driver ever! I think she missed her calling as either a bacherlorette party planner or driving instructor.

Anyways we made it to Calistoga alive and had an awesome lunch at this place. This restaurant was at an actual resort which we decided we would stay at after we won the lottery. Totally not in our budget, but damn, it was gorgeous.

We walked around Calistoga a little bit and then went to a spa for bath treatments and massages. Erik went for the Volcanic Ash Bath and I chose a Lavender bath. These were done in a private bath-house for two. I am so immature that I can't say bath-house without giggling. And then we both got 60 minute massages.

I felt relaxed for the first time in weeks! This woman was really skillful and I felt great! Only thing is that she was a little small in stature with gigantic boobs. When she stood at the head of the table and went to rub down my upper back, well her boobs rested on my head. I opened my eyes in alarm and stared at the floor ,but the massage felt so good I quickly got over it.

Then I drove to Walnut Creek, where we met Auntie M., Uncle Chrissy and one of my several friends named Julie for dinner at Va de Vi. Excellent food and wine but towards the end we felt like we were being pushed out. For the amount of money I spent that day, they are lucky I didn't take off my pants and get really comfortable.

Weekend ended on a high note when Auntie M. calls the next day and asks if she can bring over a chicken enchilada casserole and if I can make a salad.............duh. Who would say no to that?!

I am not going to bore you with the details of my doctor's appointment, I am improving that's all.

I will also not give you all the details of my firstborn's horrible week at school. I will ramble on about that on my private blog. Just in case he does decide to run for president someday, I don't want people to not vote for him because they read on this blog that he was a complete spazz in Kindergarten.

And as of yesterday, all of us are vaccinated for the swine flu! I haven't felt this safe since Erik got his vasectomy. I feel like going out and licking shopping carts!!

H1N1 still struck close to home though, one of Erik's coworkers got it and now Erik is on call all weekend. Leaving me to do the solo mom thing. In fact I am writing this from our gym. I worked out, got to shower by myself, and am now enjoying the free WiFi. I have 15 minutes left before their time is up in the daycare. And roughly 3 hours before I can start drinking.

Thankfully I have a Raiders game to look forward to tomorrow. Raiderrrrrrrz! Hopefully Erik won't be too tired. Knock on wood is on call isn't too crazy tonight and that he can whip through his rounds in the morning. I am not a huge Raiders, or even a football fan, but nobody goes to a Raiders game to watch football. Oakland Raiders' games are all about beer, nachos, and fistfights. Raiders fans will even fight with each other. I have never been to a game where I didn't see somebody being led away in handcuffs. I went and saw the Raiders and a football game broke out. I crack myself up. Seriously, that's why I don't bring my kids! It's just going to be Erik and myself. My oldest would love to go but I told him he has to wait for his 18th birthday.

After we take BART home from the game then we will take the whole family to Auntie M. and Uncle Chrissy's house, for Uncle Chrissy's birthday party.

Our beloved Dr. Pants is in town with his wife from Madison, Wisconsin. We will see them Monday or Tuesday. Dr. Pants (nickname from his womanizing days) now has a P.h.d. to add to his M.D. I believe his area of expertise is Addiction medicine (wiping away tears of laughter and irony) One of these days he will actually finish school and get a real job. Just kidding! I LOVE his wife, a very cool, laid back chick and a real estate agent. Only bummer isthat they are not bringing their kids!! I understand they need a vacation but I wanted our kids to hang out. Maybe next time.

And next week is Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Family Pictures

I hate to nag you all, but the holidays are coming up. Have you ordered your holiday cards yet? Go here and contact the photographer Melinda Bunker to schedule your family photo session. She has a special holiday promo going on, with very few spaces left. Mention N.E.O. Moms (Charlotte) and I get some free prints, I won't lie.

Here are some examples below:

Trust me, being able to get my kids to hold still for pics was a giant feat.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Almost 1 year Blog Birthday

So N.E.O. Moms is almost a year old!! I am re-posting a blog post from my first blog. The below post is basically a precursor of N.E.O. Moms. It explains some of the drama that led to me creating a forum for moms/women/parents who don't get offended easily by the realities of life. This is review for long-term followers and necessary information for new followers.

So I am in a moms club, that has nothing to do with that other one, and have been since Mike was 6 months old. The camaraderie and support have been a lifesaver. In the 3 and a 1/2 years that I have been a member we have been mostly free of any controversy, until now. As the population of our club increases, so does the variety of personalities. We communicate by an email group, so of course the amount of emails have increased as well. This is where the conflict lies. Some of the moms were annoyed by the amount of emails,and then offended by content. This prompted our dear leader to send out an email that was basically a copy and paste of the bylaws. She is a cool chick and she is just fulfilling one of the roles of her position.

Well this prompted me, and some of my more vociferous friends, to wonder if it was something in particular that we wrote that provoked this smack down. Was it the email thread about penis water bottles, sex in exotic places, discarded foreskins or alcohol consumption, we will never know. So then everyone was on eggshells, sending out emails with disclaimers stating, I hope this is ok, I hope nobody is offended, I hope this is within our bylaws. I of course was one of those people and I sent it out tongue and cheek thinking this silliness would blow over and we could get back to the camraderie I thought all of us were enjoying. Wrong. I received a personal email back setting my ass straight.

This email was long, and swaddled in phrases of support for fellow moms, like respecting other mother's time and being sensitive to other mom's thresholds of offensiveness. But none of this could hide the underlying tone of condescension and control. I don't do condescending or authority very well. After reading this email I tried to sleep on it but that didn't work. I sent it to some very close friends to get feedback and that didn't quell my anger either. Then I sent out a smartass remark about mom's being too tired to use the delete button and that started a shit storm.

An onslaught of emails were posted by women whining about having to wade through a barrage of emails they found to be frivolous and inappropriate. They complained about their precious morning and afternoons being wasted because they had to read all these offensive emails. What ever happened to the delete buttons on their computers? When I am confronted by a boring thread of emails, I just delete them, no big deal.

As for offensiveness, this really gets my goat. We are mothers, we are women, we are adults. To paraphrase my friend Barb, you have to have sex to be a mother, it's kind of a prerequisite of a mom's club. So even if you adopted your child or used IVF, it's most likely that you at one point had sex and figured out it wasn't working like you planned. Even if you are a lesbian mother and have never had sex with a man, you at some point probably had sex with your partner. Considering the level of alarm that some of the mothers have expressed about the content of emails and conversations at our mom's night outs, I am thinking that their children are a result of virgin births or sex through a hole in a sheet. This is just my opinion of course.

Yes you heard right somebody complained about the adult conversations at one of our recent mom's nights out, that has nothing to do with any other mom's night out. Once a month we have a mom's night out event, that has nothing to do with any other event, with no children allowed, unless you are nursing. At the last event no children were present and somebody actually complained that we were talking about sex. If there are no children present then adult conversation is not inappropriate. Adult conversation should not be censored from email as well because it is assumed that a child is not reading an adult's emails. It is a parent's responsibility to make sure their children are not subjected to anything beyond their comprehension.

I am not alone in my opinion. I have received personal emails from women not easily offended, who agree with me and are dismayed by the path our club is taking. What is appropriate for adults is not appropriate for children. A successful mother's club realizes that distinction. What the new moms have yet to learn is that you can love and serve your children without sacrificing yourself. It is totally ok for you to be your true self and positively channel that into your childrearing practices. Otherwise you are going to be left alone with your husband, and you are going to be nothing but a shell. I am not talking about a pretty abalone shell, I am talking about an empty snail shell, with cobwebs.

It is absolutely fine for you to still hold onto the interests you had before becoming a parent. You may have to get a sitter to participate in them or even delay those activities for a few years, but you should not give them up. I enjoy cooking, dining out and reading. I can cook for guests while they watch my kids and keep them out of the kitchen. I get a sitter to dine out and I read before bed when my kids are asleep. What I really miss is listening to classical music and doing jigsaw puzzles. I know, I know, I am a closet nerd. I can put on classical music but my kids would eat and/or destroy a jigsaw puzzle so I don't even try. We are working up to camping and hiking. My point is that you don't have to completely give up who you are to be a good mom.

So is this division in the mom's club, different from that other mom's club, from new, inexperienced moms or is it a deeper division of philosophy? I recently went to a new member's house and saw a giant cross hanging on her wall. If I was a vampire or a werewolf, I would not feel safe in this neighborhood. As a Jew, I felt a little squirmy. I had a paranoid premonition that things in the mom's club were gonna change. Turns out I wasn't so paranoid. I really hope that is not it. If this sudden upheaval and outrage over behavior, we have grown accustomed to, is because of an infiltration of conservative christians, then I hope they join a mom's club in their church or I will just hit the road myself.

Well I think I have stirred up enough shit with this particular blog posting, what do you think? I need to watch t.v. with my husband now and go to bed soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I saw my new super fabulous gastroenterologist today. Don't laugh at me for putting a link for gastroenterologist because most people are lucky enough to not know what that is. He gave me the go ahead to eat salad, raw veggies and light dairy (with a lactaid tablet). And I can go back to the gym!

But, drumroll please.................I can start cutting back on the Prednisone, side effects I have experienced:

changes in vision
filling or rounding out of the face
high blood pressure
muscle cramps or pain
pain in arms, back, hips, legs, ribs, or shoulders
sensitivity of eyes to light
swelling of feet or lower legs
mood swings/irritability
trouble in sleeping
unusual bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
wounds that will not heal

I have changed the font on my emails to size 18 because my eyes are tweaky like this chick and I couldn't focus. The week after I came home from the hospital I was dizzy, felt faint and would see stars just sitting on the damn couch.

Unfortunately while I have been taking Prednisone my kids' voices sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. I am grateful beyond belief that my husband is a rock star. He will say, "Hon..." and that's interpreted as, "Hey chick you're losing it with the kids.". And then I say, "Dude seriously, I am trying to hold it together as best I can. ". And then he says, "Hey kids, let's go upstairs/downstairs/outside.".

3o minutes after I take the Prednisone in the morning this is what is happening in my frontal lobes. I like my frontal lobes when they are undisturbed.

The first week after I was released from the hosptial I would burst into tears at the slightest provacation. Then my awesome nurse practitioner prescribed me something for sleep and my weepiness turned into irritability. Except that's an understatement. Irritability is when somebody chews with their mouth open, uses double negatives, orders 5 drinks at Starbucks before 9am when there is a long line. The feelings I have are more akin to like, cutting you off in traffic at a red light, and then pulling you out of your driver's seat and beating the shit out of you. Of course I would never do that.

So before my dear nurse practioner prescribed me something for sleep I felt like these chicks. Now I only feel like them in the middle of the night. After the stuff wears off. Some sleep is better than none. So back in the day I have done some partying. Waaaay back! Have you ever taken acid (LSD) that was cut with a ton of crank? Don't worry I will answer that for you. It sucks. The pretty colors wear off and you are wide awake and it's not good. You can literally drink a 12 pack of beer and run a marathon and still not feel tired. This experience has taught me that I will never have to worry about being addicted to Cocaine or any other drug in that family. Caffiene is the strongest upper I can handle. And an occasional Sudafed, when the air gets bad. Me likey mellow.

I tried to tell my new gastroenterologist how awesome he was today, how grateful I was for the considerate, thoughtful care that he gave me. Then I started to tear up and I clammed up. And this is how awesome he is, he said, "I know the Prednisone makes you cry, I know this isn't you. And it was my total pleasure to take care of you.". Uhm of course that didn't help my condition.I am not one of those chicks who can just cry and move on. When I cry my eyes immediately swell, my face, neck and chest get red and blotchy, my nose runs, my voice gets shaky and I sound like a 12 year old boy going through puberty. It's like I am allergic to tears. So as soon as I shut myself down out of embarassement, my new doc laughed and said, "Some people actually get giddy on steroids. ". Holy shit, giddy?! I love giddy!
Starting tommorrow I get to reduce the Prednisone by 10 mg and will continue to reduce by 10 mg each week for the next 4 weeks. Phew! I will soon feel like the garden below.

Ok not really but that's my goal.

And we forgot our anniversary. Erik and I just totally forgot that October 4th was our 6 year wedding anniversary. So this weekend I nailed down Saint Sarah and we are going for volcanic ash baths and 60 minute massages in Calistoga and some dinner.

Every day is looking up!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bucket Head

I have a couple of numbers to share with you. At least 14 different people have recommended a leash/safety harness for my son Michael. And at least 11 different people have asked me, "Hey, do you remember that movie Parenthood? You know the one with Steve Martin?". And I say, "Yes" (and I know what's coming next.) "Your son Jake totally reminds of that kid from that movie with the bucket on his head!". I totally agree. The blond curls, the disarming smile, his lack of intelligible speech and the missing link qualities of his daily activities.

And I swear to you I did not set up this picture series on purpose!!! The little monkey came up to me with a bucket on his head today and I scrambled around like a maniac looking for my camera, and praying that there was battery charge and memory space. I got lucky!!! (Please excuse the condition of my house we live like slobs)

Ok I added the trailer to the movie Parenthood just in case you aren't following me. And I apologize ahead of time for the length of this trailer. "Dude, what length you ask it's 2 minutes and 35 seconds long?." "Yeah I know but my attention span is about 90 seconds and I refuse to watch videos longer than 2 minutes. And my friends send me videos and I lie and say that was great." And they are like," Really, because it was a snuff film?" And then I have to say, " Oh I must have missed that part. " .
Anyways Steve Martin is a comedic genius and Mary Steenburgen, she's so pretty, like the perfect mom. I hate Keanau Reeves but his role in this movie was quality.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog

So it's final, I need to stop talking about my colon. I had a normal bowel movement and I told my husband and he said, "OMG, are you going to blog about it? Take a picture and put it on Facebook? Are you going to tweet about it? Oh wait don't forget to upload that picture to twitpic.com!". I stood there with my jaw hanging and realized it's time to move on.

And my husband is a mother fucking smart ass.

But first, final shout outs to cool chicas taking care of me and my family.

Valerie= Super yummy casserole and those cookies were orgasmic! Seriously like fist-fight over the last one! And she is so sweet she brought me a mini-pumpkin and Halloween stickers, for me! Do you have one of those friends that are just pretty? I mean I can find beauty in anything but she is just so pretty. She's little with big hair and big eyes, and funny and smart.

Yvette G.= Off the hook chicken pot pie! I will get this recipe to you because you will lick the tin pie pan. And I have to say that the first week I was out of the hospital I could not handle extra monkeys around here, I was not too emotionally stable. But my dear friends who have showed up in the last week, I welcomed bringing their brood into my house. My kids are now more social after recovering from my absence so they welcome their monkey friends with open arms.

Debbie L. = Brought over like 5 days worth of food! And she works full-time! I love this chick because she is just who she is and that's it. I don't think I have ever met someone more secure in their own skin. And you know what's trippy? Her and her husband didn't want kids. And then one day her husband changed his mind and she was cool with it and they had the most perfect son. And I met her when she joined my old Mom's Club that I accidentally blew up.

Jen G.= I have known this chick forever. Our kids have been in the same playgroup since they were 6 months old. Her daughter, and the other baby girls, were all sitting up while the boys were rolling around drooling. Also she is an amazing cook!!! And I was so glad she brought her monkeys into play, even though she witnessed Michael beating the crap out of Bekah in a random moment of violence.

Chicken Pot Pie
Prep: 40 min;
Bake: 35 min
Make putting this all-time favorite together a snap by purchasing a ready-to-use pie crust.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth - I use homemade stock
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey - Rotisserie from Costco or Safeway

Pastry for 9-inch Two-Crust Pie (see recipe) - Pillsbury Pie Crust from refrigerated aisle

1. Rinse frozen peas and carrots in cold water to separate; drain.
2. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken and peas and carrots; remove from heat.
3. Heat oven to 425°.
4. Make pastry. Roll two-thirds of the pastry into 13-inch square. Ease into ungreased square pan, 9 ¥ 9 ¥ 2 inches. Pour chicken mixture into pastry-lined pan.
5. Roll remaining pastry into 11-inch square. Cut out designs with 1-inch cookie cutter. Place square over chicken mixture. Arrange cutouts on pastry.(Yvette made a heart on mine!) Turn edges of pastry under and flute.

* I use a standard pie plate.
6. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

NUTRITION FACTS: 1 Serving (about 1 cup):; Calories 685 (Calories from Fat 425); Fat 47g (Saturated 16g); Cholesterol 80mg; Sodium 1,050mg; Carbohydrate 44g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 24g % DAILY VALUE:; Vitamin A 48%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 6%; Iron 20% DIET EXCHANGES:; 2 Starch; 2 Medium-Fat Meat; 3 Vegetable; 6 Fat My best friends and I have been making this recipe since college. I think it originally came out of a Betty Crocker cookbook.

I still can't hit the gym until my blood pressure is under control which won't happen until I am the Prednisone (evil steroid). So I decided to take advantage of my IV/liquid diet weight loss by scheduling professional family photos. Which means I have spent the last 5 days obsessively looking for the perfect outfits for my family to wear. And pick a location where there is no running water because there is no way in Hell Jake will pose for pictures with any water, anywhere. Even Michael would be too distracted. We are using Melinda Bunker. A N.E.O. Mom of course and a phenomenal photographer.

If you are a reader of this blog who lives closer to the San Jose area I have another N.E.O. Mom photographer to reccommend to you. In high school I knew her as Patti and she once called me, "A walking social disease", but I forgive her because that's a pretty funny line and I was a mess. Now she is professionally known as Patricia Martin Photography. The pictures of the newborns on her website make Anne Geddes look like she works at Sears Portraits.

Ok wow I serioulsy need to get off this couch and get my ass in gear. That laundry isn't going to fold itself. But before I lurch out of here I did pin Saint Sarah down to babysit the kids so Erik and I can celebrate our 6 year anniversary appropriately. I nailed her down for a whole Saturday. So maybe a couples massage and a dinner and a movie. Or maybe a hotel room and some hookers and crack like the good ol' days before we had kids. Any ideas?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Reiki Healing at Bodylines Day Spa

Last week I took advantage of the time I have Sarah to heal. Tuesday I took a nap and did some writing and Thursday I booked a Reiki Healing and massage. Reiki has worked for me in the past to bring me into deep relaxation and to feel spiritually clean. Even if it's a total bullshit placebo effect it doesn't hurt right?

I find out about Reiki from a woman I used to work with at a group home. She was born on a Cherokee Indian Reservation and her mom was Wiccan. She was a fascinating person to say the least. She used Reiki on me once for a migraine and I was sold! I thought she was touching my scalp but I kid you not her hand was 6 inches above my head. I could waves of "energy" coming off her hands and colors exploded behind my eyelids. It felt great! Other times I have enjoyed Reiki I was awake but snoring, weird huh? I was so relaxed I was stuck somewhere between sleep and wakefullness.

So last Thursday I thought I would give it another try and how about this for cosmic coincidence? The practioner is a colon cancer survivor. I didn't know that when I made the appointment, it's not something I would generally ask over the phone. So here I was just getting out of the hospital from an Ulcerative Colitis flare-up and I get a therapist who is a colon cancer survivor. I am not healed, there was no miracle, but I felt I was in safe and understanding hands.

Friday morning I ate the most solid food in a long time. I had some squishy turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes and it gave me the energy I needed to take the monkeys to a pumpkin patch. My niece Kaitlyn came along as well.

I love hay bail mazes that are only waist high so you can actually see your kids!!! And check out the box below. Instead of sand it's all corn! It was so cool! The kids loved it, they spent at least 30 minutes playing in there.

That's Kaitlyn playing beast of burden to Bekah and one of her favorite classmates. I have to warn you right now that this is my favorite time of year to take pictures of my kids. They have their daddy's olive skin so they look beautiful in fall colors and I love to take them to pumpkin patches and parks to take pictures because the weather is perfect this time of year in the bay area.

I have to give out some more public thank yous. My friend Valerie brought us a yummy dinner last night and she is so sweet she included a mini pumpkin and stickers for me since I really can't eat too many different foods right now. But Bekah got ahold of that pumpkin before I did and decorated it for me. And Mike and Bekah came out of the woodwork to say Hi this time so they are getting over my trip to the hospital.
Another dear mom friend sent me a get well card in the mail with gift certificates to Forbes Mill's steakhouse for when I can eat LARGE portions of beef again! Yummy! Thanks so much Anne-Marie, very cool of you!
And the winner is.............my husband. He took all 3 kids out of the house all day so I can try to sleep. This Prednisone shit that I am on wakes me up in the middle of the night and I feel like I am on meth. I have been snapping at everyone all morning and instead of getting mad at me for it, he is being understanding instead. That takes a real man.
So I am going to try to get a nap if I can.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Post A Day Keeps the Vampires Away

This blog I never heard of called, NaBloWriMo, put me on their blog roll. It is a blog roll showcasing blogs committed to posting everyday. Basically to promote writing, reading and literacy. Always a good thing. Check them out!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Traditions & Thank You Cards

Before my 3 day hospitalization last week ,whenver anyone came to my door, friend or foe, it was like owning 3 Chihuahuas instead of 3 kids. Everyone came scrambling and chattering towards the front door. Total chaos. If you were a friend you were invited in, and if you were a foe I gave you major attitude, while I tried to keep my offspring from pissing on your leg.

Now a week after being released from the hospital, when somebody rings our bell, Mike and Bekah hide because they think mommy is going to leave again, and somebody else is going to take over. That is my theory. Jake doesn't hide, he has now realized there is food involved. this is how it goes:

Doorbell rings or there is a knock on door; Mike and Bekah dissappear and get silent.

Jake grunts and hustles to front door and looks up at me expectedly as I limp and sweat towards the front door.

Mom Friend: (These aren't exact quotes)
"Oh my G-d you look great" ( because we are all sick bitches who want to lost 10 pounds by I.V./liquid diet, don't lie!! )
"My kids are in the car and they are being horrible, so I have to run."
"This food is just awful and it's the best I can do".
"I really didn't cook this, because if I did cook for you then you would end up in the hospital again.".

So basically this is how we were raised right? As women we are to diminish our helpfulness? Like anything short of coming in and raising my kids and sucking off my husband is completely sub-par? Trust me it's not, I am grateful, for everything.

My response at the front door:
"Oh thank you hopefully I can keep up the weight loss momentum with a work-out in the gym when I have more energy.". (Pathetic, but true)

"Oh well I don't want your kids to overheat in the driveway and I am sorry my kids aren't saying Hi, I actually have no idea where they are."

"I totally appreciate any dinners that anyone brings because I know that everyone is super busy with their own lives. I am touched beyond belief by the overwhelming service to my family, and humanity as a whole ,and right now I would give my left tit for a cheeseburger." Ok that's definitely not an exact quote but my left tit is the best thing hanging on this body, so that's damn serious.

After we exchange those American born and raised female pleasantries I gather up the food and head for the kitchen. My plan is to keep food warm until dinner time and fix a plate for when Erik gets home. Jake climbs into his high-chair and looks at me with great expectation. Pupils wide, eyebrows raised, drool. Jake is now averaging 4 meals a day plus at least 3 snacks. This is the best thing that has ever happened to him, he loves food. His dinner was a bowl of turkey chili,with cheese, 3 corn muffins with butter, and a 1/2 can of pears in juice. He only weighs 36 pounds and that was just dinner!

Bekah and Mike crawled out of the woodwork looking for brownies and were thrilled to find corn muffins. A dozen corn muffins are now gone in less than 5 hours.

My diet sucks!! I am eating poached eggs in miso broth, pureed veggie soups, dairy free instant mashed potatoes and anything with a fiber content of less than 1 gram. I have actually ordered poached eggs in miso in a restaurant but it contained udon noodles and tempura shrimp, totally different entree. And the steroids make me nauseous and appetite free anyways. I need to find a physician who does medical marijuana.............because it's so hard to find weed in Northern California..........

Moving right along.

So here is another raised in the United States woman thing that you are supposed to do; thank you cards. It's right, it's polite, it's expected, it's just not going to fucking happen. And here is why; my attention span is ridiculous. If I were to actually send a thank you card on stationary, with a stamp, through the mail, it would take effort that would kill me. This is what happens when I go to send a thank you card for anything: I get a babysitter, I am excited to see another adult so I waste at least 15 minutes boring her to death with details of my life, I grab a huge coffee and go upstairs to my "home office", remove cat and other random shit, open blinds, stare at nothing for 15 minutes, pee, turn on computer, get completely sidetracked by email, Facebook, blog and twitter, gather up all addresses from hardcopy, email, and post-it notes,find $.32 stamps and realize that's not going to get me far, pee, get totally distracted by email, Facebook, blog and twitter, get hungry, eat lunch, find thank you card stationary, address 2 thank you cards, get so tired I can't keep eyes open, remove cat from bed, pass out. Get up, go to bank, pay sitter, feel like an asshole and yell at kids.

So I am going to thank you all here and now, because that's the best I can do at this point in my life.

Merrill= Bringing me mags in hospital and major kid wrangling.
Janice= Kid wrangling, food, visits, cute holiday decorations, laundry, phone calls, flowers, taking care of your son, etc.
My mom= kid wrangling, food, visits, spending the night, taking abuse.
Rebecca= Orchid which I have not killed, card, taking Mike for playdate, anything else you have ever done.
Julie B.= Much appreciated food and my mom was ready to go home with you. I swear you are the nicest person.
Barb= Even though you are completely sick with the first trimester love you came over and took care of my boys. You even did laundry and fed them. I will tell you right now that they so heavily medicated my ass that I barely remember you being here, so it was imperative that another adult was here and I am so glad it was you.
Julie C.= Ladybug card and banana bread showed up at the exact same time poison meds hit my blood stream. That was good because the extra emotiaonality made me re-set my priorities. I totally honor your breast cancer walk thing even though I am preoccupied with another body part right now.
Courtney M.= You seriously crack me up. Talking to you on my doorstep yesterday gave me a great chuckle. You are one of the few people that can understand that even though I am upset my 5 year old dropped the "F" bomb at school, I was grateful that he used it in a sentence. I love your sense of humor, and since your food is all gone it was obviously EDIBLE!!
Pam P. = So you brought turkey chili tonight and corn muffins that are already gone! This is the ridiculous part of me having ulcerative colitis, I like veggies, I like beans, I like legumes!! A healthy colon lives off low-fat/high fiber foods right? Basically my colon should have a fucking cape and fly around the world. Give me your Dal, your split pea, your cruciferous vegetables, your whole grains, a giant pot of 5 bean soup, and a pint of Guinness! No!!!!!!!!!!!! I can live like that until a flare-up and then it's all Wonder bread and whatever................
I took one whiff of your chili tonight and immediately split it in half and put it in the freezer. I can't wait until I am healthy because I will thaw that and put cheese, onions and fat free sour cream and eat it with a high fiber bread.

Love and gratitude