Thursday, October 28, 2004

I don't believe in curses!

The Boston Red Sox won the world series last night: the first time since 1918! I am no sport's fan as I have admitted before but even I watched the game last night. I also watched it in 1975(?) when my junior high school teacher told us all to go home and watch the game because if we won, we would be seeing history! I stayed up way past my bed time and.....we lost. I cried. I am too sensitive to follow sports.

People have been mumbling about "the curse" that has plagued the Red Sox all these years. Apparently this has been the reason they haven't been winning. I don't believe that for one minute.I was glad to hear the players say that they never believed in the curse. The reason this year was different was because they believed in themselves! They didn't take anything for granted until that last out was made and they realized they had done it. They won.

I believe that in order to win, the right combination of players had to be there. The team had to be in sync with one another about their attitude and their strategy.
If you watch any of the interviews you will hear them all say the same thing, "We believed." That is really quite a powerful message to all of us. What could we all do if we just believed in the positive things: in ourself, in our ability, in our dreams?

I don't believe in curses because I think the idea of a curse, plays on our fear, that we can't believe in ourself!

What do you believe?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Red Sox day at school

When Lillianna got out of school on Friday she told me that Monday would be Red Sox Day. Everyone would be wearing Red Sox hats or t-shirts to school. I didn't think that would be a problem since Rich already had a Red Sox hat.She could wear that.

During my lunch break yesterday, I called home to see if Lillianna had her bath yet. Rich said he would do that when they got back. I asked where he was going. He said they were heading out to buy a Red Sox hat for Monday since Rich's hat was kind of disgusting and he didn't want Lillianna to wear an icky hat.

I tried to explain that we didn't have the extra money this week to buy a hat just because it was Red Sox day in school. I am trying to figure out the rent money for next week and I didn't want any unnecessary spending to go on. Lillianna began to cry. Rich sounded disappointed. I felt like the worst mom ever. I wish I could run out and buy a hat just for one day but we work our butts off and still struggle with money. We are doing our best.

I got off the phone and felt an anxiety attack coming on. I hate that feeling of having no control over a situation. Just then Julie asked what was wrong and I explained what happened. She smiled and said,"I have a Red Sox hat in my car if Lillianna wants to borrow it......and it's pink." Wow! She had just solved my problem. What probably seemed like a little thing to Julie was actually a life saver to me.I gratefully accepted her offer and brought the hat home to Lillianna.

When Lillianna saw the beautiful pink hat she was overjoyed. This morning she wore her overalls, pink shirt, pink Red Sox hat and socks!! She said she was the only one who wore red socks today. What spirit! I pulled her hair up in a pony tail and pushed it through the opening in the back. She thought that was funny.

When I pulled up to the school to let her out she spotted all the other Red Sox hats on the students entering the school. Her face lit up when she said proudly,"Well, you can tell it's Red Sox day today." She patted the pink hat and walked happily into school.

I walked up to school to get her this afternoon and noticed all the students and teachers in Red Sox gear. I was glad Lillianna was able to participate in supporting our home team. She held my hand,smiled and said, "I wore the hat the whole day, Mom." I smiled back at her.

Thank you, Julie!!!! You're a life saver!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

What song takes you back?

There are certain songs that when I hear them, they take me back to one particular place, one moment frozen in time. I don't mean a large time frame like when I hear Whip It, by Devo,it does take me back to my high school days and my Dorothy Hamill haircut, but I mean one song-one place.

Whenever I hear the original version of Lean On Me by Bill Withers, I am immediately swept off to Pompanesset Beach on Cape Cod the summer when I was 9 years old. I can see the jetty where I used to go and sit and watch the waves crash against the rocks. I can feel the warmth of the sun and the spray of the ocean on my face. Every time I hear it I see that picture in my mind.

Precious and Few by Climax, immediately puts me in the front seat, in between Mommy and Daddy, on my way to the reception for my cousin Richard's Bar-Mitzvah. Mom's friend Bevie was singing in the back seat while that tune played on the radio. No matter how many times I have heard that over the past 32 years, that's where I go when I hear it.

We Built This City by Starship, takes me to the kitchen of the kibbutz in 1985 when I was peeling potatoes. The first time I heard it I loved it. I was bopping all around dancing to this kicky tune at 6am much to the surprise of my overtired co-workers. On the rare occasion that I actually hear this song on the radio, I laugh and remember that moment in the kitchen.

Cross My Heart brings me to Bowser's restaurant parking lot in 1994. I was just about to park my car and go inside to meet Mom and Kara for dinner when George Strait's beautiful voice came over the radio. I immediately pulled in to the parking lot and listened to this song as tears streamed down my face. I had found our wedding song. Up until that point I had decided and Rich had agreed we would dance our first dance to Longer by Dan Fogelberg, but Cross My Heart was "it" for me.Sometimes this song takes me to our wedding but mostly I return to Bowser's parking lot.

Do you have a song that takes you back to one moment in time?

When no one is looking......

I was driving to work at 6:30am this morning and I was the only car on the road for about 10 minutes. It was dark and the fog was as thick as pea soup. Ok, it really wasn't but I always loved reading that expression and wanted to add it in!! I like to think that I am the only one awake at these crazy hours on a Sunday and I probably am! Two thoughts popped into my head during my 30 minute commute and I thought I would throw them out to you.

1) If there is no one in front of you or behind you when you are driving, do you still use your directional? (I do. I am not sure why, but I do.)

2) If you are home alone and no one is expected home any time soon, do you still close the bathroom door? (Yes! Definitely! But again I am not sure why!!!!)

How about you??

Friday, October 22, 2004

The power of toast

People are always searching for the key to a happy life. Some think the key is money or sex but they are wrong. In order to have a happy life you must have a good working toaster.
I grew up with a toaster oven for as far back as I can remember. I think my mom's theory was that if we had something small to bake we could do it in the toaster oven and the big oven would never even be turned on. I can see that being a valid point in the summer but who cares about the heat in the winter?

When Rich and I got married I never thought twice about choosing between a toaster and a toaster oven. Clearly the toaster oven was the way to go. We have had several "top of the line" toaster ovens over the past 10 years and they never seem to toast as well as we would expect. Oh sure it bakes and broils but why doesn't it toast? Our last toaster oven was only a year old when the toast started doing odd things. Out of the 4 slices, 2 would be white, 2 would be black, one side was toasted, one side was raw as if it was on broil but it wasn't!! It was on TOAST!

Rich would look up with his sad puppy dog eyes and hold up his burnt/raw toast and sigh. I didn't know what to say. What the hell was wrong with this damn toaster oven????? He suggested we buy a regular 4 slice toaster. You would've thought he asked to bring another woman into the marriage by the way I reacted. What was he thinking??? A regular TOASTER?
What if I wanted to make two fish sticks or heat up chicken nuggets for Lillianna? Would I have to use the regular oven? What kind of insanity was this?

After the millionth piece of disappointing toast, I headed to Wal-Mart and invested in a 4 slice toaster. I didn't want to spend too much just in case it didn't live up to our expectations.
How could a toaster be better than a toaster oven?
The first morning that I made toast with our breakfast, Rich's face lit up with pure joy. Sounds of, "Mmmmmmm, yum....good......mmmmmmmm, golden brown........mmmmmm," was all I could hear through his happy sighs and butter moistened lips.

Our life has changed drastically since the purchase of the toaster. Who knew that a happy day was one that started with a perfect piece of toast? See, toast is the key to a happy life!

Do you own a toaster oven or a toaster? What made you choose one over the other?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Not a fan of violence

By now you all know the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees last night. Yay Red Sox.
I am not a huge sports fan. I think I can only name two of the Red Sox off the top of my head much to Rich's horror! I am proud that they won. I think we learned from them that nothing is impossible. What an uplifting message to receive.

When I turned on the news today I saw the "fans" pouring out into the street from the bars they had been watching the game in. I guess I am delusional because I believe you can be happy for your team and support them without destroying the opposing team and it's fans.
It seems some fans set an s.u.v. on fire, which was parked on the side of the road. "Why?" you might ask. Because it had New York plates. The cheering fans in the background that were interviewed were so excited that the car was on fire.
"The Red Sox won and we're going to the World Series. We are setting cars on fire and nothing else matters!!!!" was how one enthusiastic fan explained his actions.

I am appalled. Can't you cheer for a team without this kind of destruction? Rich asked me, "What if that car belonged to a family that had to travel to Boston for medical treatment for a child? Now their vehicle is gone." He is right. No one knows who that car belongs to and no one cares. It's from New York so it must be destroyed?

Rich said, "The majority of the damage is being done by out of state kids who come here for college. They wouldn't dream of doing this at home, but because they are away they feel that they can get away with it. It's a nice way to spend your tuition money: on bail! And you wonder why parents are hesitant to put their kids in competetive athletics. Because you see this kind of crazed mentality all the way down to Tee-Ball. And I know all about this because I used to coach basketball, hockey and girls softball back in California."

When did this become normal? Why do people think this is perfectly ok and why are they proud of these actions?

What do you think of this kind of behavior? How do you show support for your favorite team? Has your support ever prompted violence?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Happy Birthday Kara

Thirty years ago today at 10:49am my sister Kara was born. I was the happiest 11 1/2 year old child when I heard the news from my dad that it was a girl!!! Nana and I had been secretly praying for a girl even though we told other people, "Oh, we don't care as long as the baby is healthy." What the heck would I have done with a brother?
This past Sunday, my mom threw a surprise party at a beautiful restaurant for Kara's 30th birthday. We all had a wonderful time. I read the following letter to my sister after dinner.

October 17, 2004

To my dearest sister,
In just 3 days you will be 30. That seems amazing to me. It seems like only yesterday that I wished for a baby sister to love.

Somehow I thought you would turn out to be exactly like me but you asserted your independence early on.
When you were about 6 months old I couldn't wait to dress you in frilly hats. You were not as thrilled about this as I was. Every time I tied a pretty little bonnet around your neck you spit up on me. Even at that age you had your own sense of fashion and nothing that I did was going to change it. Needless to say, there are very few pictures of you in a hat.

I believe the first sentence you ever spoke was directed to me in a nasty tone, with your hands on your hips,"I don't have to listen to you. You're not my mother!" Okay maybe that wasn't the first one but it's the one I heard most often.

I think I spent a lot of time trying to make you more like me instead of just letting you be yourself. I realized my mistake when you were in high school.

When you were 15 or 16 your date for the semi-formal hadn't called you all day and never showed up to pick you up. I was visiting a friend in Boston when Mom called to tell me this news. All I could say was, "Oh no, my poor sister! Is she ok?" I was on the verge of tears picturing you in your beautiful dress, crying in your room while eating junk food to help soothe your pain. That's what I would've done and I couldn't imagine any other reaction to this kind of situation. Mom said, "She’s fine. She went to the dance without him. She said no one was going to ruin her good time and she would have fun with her friends."
I was stunned. I would never, ever, ever have thought of going to the dance by myself. I hung up the phone from mom and I clapped for you. I thought you were brilliant for having taken control of the situation. I was so proud of you and so grateful that you didn't handle things the way I would have.

The summer that you were 15 and I was 27 we went off for 4 days to Florida. After 3 days in Disney World you said you wanted to go to a waterslide park. Immediately I said no because I had never been to a water slide park before and it didn't sound like fun to me. NOT AT ALL! You glared at me and told me not to be a big baby (ah, always the compassionate one!) and just try it. Reluctantly I agreed to go even though I was convinced I would hate every minute of it. I couldn't believe how much fun we had. I don't know what was more surprising: the fact that I enjoyed the water slides or that you and I had fun doing the same thing! I had to admit you were right.

The only thing we had in common was cheerleading. I was so honored when you asked me to help you with the cheers for your try-outs that first year. I felt like you finally needed me for something. When you asked me to watch the try-outs I wanted to say no because I would be too nervous but I went and made you smile and I was so proud when you made the squad. Not only were you a great cheerleader but I thought it meant that you were like me.

It has taken me 30 years to realize that you and I are never going to be the same and that's probably a good thing after all. Who could stand two of us?
The important thing is that we are sisters who love each other with one goal in mind: to drive mom crazy.

Happy 30th Birthday to my favorite sister and Lillianna's favorite auntie!

I love you!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My Very Reasonable Daughter

Lillianna and I went shoe shopping last week. Lena and Bella had on platform shoes when we had Rosh Hashanah dinner at my mom's house last month. They were cute shoes and I had intended to buy Lillianna the exact pair. As she paraded up and down the little rug in the shoe department of Sears I started to have second thoughts. I didn't love them. They looked too grown up for my 7 year old daughter.
"I can get them, right Mom???" Lillianna asked anxiously.
"Uhm, well, let me look over here a sec," I replied. I was hoping to see something more appropriate.
I found a pair of black patent leather shoes that had a little heel (not the high,thick heel of the platform shoes). I asked her to try them on and she did without one word of protest. As she modeled them for me I was thinking of the conflict we would have when I told her I didn't want to buy the platform shoes.
"Sweetie, I'm sorry to say I don't love these platform shoes and I don't feel like they are practical . For one thing the brown leather doesn't go with as much as the black does and the heel is bigger than I want you to have at this age. I would prefer that we buy the black ones and then come spring time I will buy you something with more pizazz."
Lillianna didn't hesitate when she answered, "Ok, Mom. That's fine with me."
I just love this child!!

Update on Frannie

To my co-workers:
Bobbi and I went to see Frannie tonight. The first thing she said was that I should have the breast reduction surgery too. It was a piece of cake, apparently! She said she felt pretty comfortable. She came through her surgery with ease and said her doctor was wonderful and comforting. She is on the pediatrics floor which struck us as funny but the doctor told her he didn't want her on a "sick" floor. She is scheduled to leave there tomorrow.
Leila was with her and taking excellent care of her. Bobbi and I brought her the chocolates that we had made yesterday and Lillianna drew a picture of a pumpkin for her and we tacked it on her cork board on the wall.
As always Frannie was cracking jokes. Before we left she laughed and said, "I hope I will make it on one of your blogs!" Of course, Frannie! Happy healing!

Monday, October 18, 2004

It ain't over til it's over!

Rich was watching the news this morning when he gasped, "The Red Sox won last night!!"
We had been at my sister's birthday party and ran around all weekend and by 9:30pm we went to sleep. It was a huge surprise to hear they had won.
I am not a huge sport's fan but this is quite a turn of events.

It ain't over til it's over!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Red Sox Fan

I walked Lillianna to school today. As we approached the main entrance we noticed Lillianna's friend, Kyle chatting with his friend. We went over and greeted them. Here is their conversation. Keep in mind, we live in Massachusetts.

Friend: (pointing down the walkway) Hey! Did you see that kid? He's wearing a New York Yankees' hat!

Kyle:(looking around) Where? Where?............Oh, there he is. You're right.

Friend:(getting ready to show the Yankees' fan who is boss) Come on....let's go beat him up.

Kyle:(taking a step back and evaluating the situation) Ya, well maybe we should wait until after tonight.

I had to laugh. I just love Kyle.

Go Red Sox!

I'll Take It!

I got an honorable mention in the Blogging For Books competition from The Zero Boss. I was never brave enough to enter any type of writing competition before this so I am actually quite proud of myself.
Go on over and read the winners but bring plenty of tissues.

Monday, October 11, 2004

A different light

It's funny how you can know someone in one context and then see them in another setting or exhibiting a talent you weren't aware of and it changes you.

When I saw Brian and Pete singing back in July, I was amazed that these young men that I had known for many years were such talented performers.

Today was a day just like that. I went to see my very first soccer game at the local college. What made this special was that one of my co-workers was playing in this game. Michelle is a star soccer player and I have always wanted to watch her play. Her sister, Kim, was also a star on the team but she could only play for 4 years and this is her 5th year since she changed majors. Everyone said that Kim and Michelle were incredible to watch. I regret that I never saw them play together.

Lillianna and I got up to the field a little bit before one o'clock and we spotted Michelle right away. I know nothing about soccer so when Lillianna asked me questions, I was stumped. Luckily Kim walked over to see us so she answered our questions and then we walked over to Kim's mom, Lois who was standing down the end of the field.

Michelle and I used to work together on Sunday mornings and I got to know bits and pieces of her life. She was always sweet and funny and I enjoyed my mornings with her. Nothing could've prepared me for today. Michelle took the field with the confidence of an athlete who knows she is someone to be reckoned with. She wasn't arrogant in any way, just confident in her ability. I gasped when she bounced the ball off her head and off her stomach. Kim assured us that it looked worse than it felt. I'll have to take her word for it! Lillianna said,"ouch" everytime she saw someone do that.

I was in awe when Michelle took control of the ball and ran down the field with it.What footwork! She made it look effortless. A few times she was pushed by a player on the opposing team and she tumbled on the grass. I was appalled but the refs didn't seem to notice this at all. I would've taken the ball and gone home which is why it is a good thing I don't play soccer.

The game went into over-time and ended in a tie: one to one. Michelle came over to say hello and Lillianna got to meet her. She was quite thrilled about that because she had been so excited about going to our first soccer game and meeting Michelle. I got the chance to tell Michelle how happy I was to finally watch her play and how amazed I was that she is so talented. I was so pleased that Lillianna and I got the chance to watch this shining star.

Have you ever gotten the chance to see someone you knew in a different light?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Are you a good cook?

My friend Lorrie is an awesome cook. She can throw together some of the most unlikely combinations and still come up with something absolutely delicious. She knows how to make each item compliment the others. I have looked at her lunch with envy and thought, "Why can't I do that?" We don't all have that special talent. Oh sure, I can make a tasty meal but not like she can.

Unfortunately, just because someone isn't a good cook, that doesn't stop them from cooking or worst of all, pretending they can cook and trying to do it professionally. You have to know when you are out of your league. At some point you have to admit defeat. Throwing a bunch of vegetables and meat into a pot does not guarantee that you will produce a brilliant stew. No matter how much you believe that all it has to do is simmer and let the ingredients find a way to work together, that still doesn't mean you will create something edible and utterly delicious.

If you are truly delusional you will go one step further and add something like cinnamon to this stew and still insist it can work if only the ingredients would co-operate. As a wise cook, you need to discover the reason that certain foods and spices don't go well together.Then be open to learning and really listening to how the change would benefit the entire meal. Maybe you need garlic instead of cinnamon ? Then taste it to see if that made the difference. Is that better? Ah, job well done! Now the stew is perfect!

Are you a good cook?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Happy Health Update!

Today was my 6 month check up with Dr. B, my pcp, to follow up on my blood pressure. I have been on medication for about a year now and hopefully once my blood pressure is completely under control, I can go off the medication.

Dr. B was very pleased with the numbers although I am still not where he needs me to be. He said it is much lower than it was last year and hopefully in 4 months, I can be finished with this medication completely. I was very excited to tell him that I had been walking Lillianna to school 3-4 mornings a week which is a 30 minute trip because he encouraged me to exercise at my last visit. Then I gave him the big news.......I lost 30 pounds.

He nearly fell off his spinning stool when I told him that. His face lit up and he said, "That is fantastic. Congratulations!!" We spoke a bit more and I told him I feel healthier and happier and definitely more energetic than I did before. As I was leaving he shook my hand over and over as he said with a big smile, "You have done a great job, just great! What a good example you are for your daughter. The two of you walking together is fantastic! Keep up the good work."

I left his office feeling like I could fly. I realized I did feel wonderful and proud of myself too.
Today is a really lovely day!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Lesson learned

Well, here is my assignment from Jay at The Zero Boss
For this Blogging for Books, write about a time you were pushed to the brink of insanity (figuratively or literally), and how you lived to tell the tale.

Lesson Learned

I walked with apprehension into the spacious communal dining room of the Kibbutz to begin my first morning of work in the kitchen. I looked around hopefully for a familiar face. People were rushing back and forth looking busy. I didn't recognize anyone and no one made any eye contact with me. I scanned the room again and noticed an Israeli guy, 6'4", dark and serious, looking straight at me. His stare was frightening but I couldn't look away. He slowly walked towards me and gave me a curt, "Hello," as he nodded his head.

I had never heard such a deep and sexy voice in a guy my own age before. He was unlike the boys back home, that was for sure. In that moment, I knew there was something special about him. Somehow we were going to be important to one another. I willed my brain to come up with the proper response to his greeting. I was proud when I managed to regain my composure and mutter, "Uhm, ya, hi!" He must have been dazzled by my brilliant command of the English language because he half laughed when he said, "Ah,..... you are American!"

We introduced ourselves. I told him I was 22 and had only been on the kibbutz for one week. Due to my severe hayfever I had been transfered out of the cotton fields and into the air- conditioned kitchen. Ofer was 20 and he spent 6 months on the kibbutz and then 6 months in the army until his 4 year of army duty was completed. He had just arrived for another 6 month stay on the kibbutz so I would be seeing a lot more of him over the next few months. That was just what I wanted to hear. Ofer escorted me to the kitchen. With a wave and a wink he said softly, "I will see you later." Later seemed like forever and I wanted to rush after him and say "Please don't leave me. I just found you!" But we both had our jobs to do.

I worked in a haze of dreams and Air Supply love songs that first morning. I wanted another chance just to look at him, talk to him, be with him. I was assigned to work with Nourit who was in Ofer's army group. Once I found out that tid-bit of news I tried to casually pump her for more information about him. Who was he? What was he really about? Nourit looked at me with pity in her eyes as she said, "He is no good. You need to keep away from him. He will hurt you. How you say in English......F****** Asshole!"

I learned that Nourit and Ofer had dated for a few years. She had broken up with him but he never got over it and still continued to pursue her. She wanted nothing to do with him. Why didn't I listen to her? Why was I so sure that I knew more about what Ofer needed and wanted than the girl who had dated him? I thought, 'She just doesn't understand him. I am very kind and sympathetic. He needs me! I will be so good for him.'

For the next three months Ofer played a cat and mouse game with me.
On the "good days", Ofer would catch my eye as I entered the dining room for our morning break and wave me over to sit with him. We would talk and laugh and get to know one another. He would tell me how pretty I looked or how sweet I was or how happy he was that we were spending time together. I knew he felt what I was feeling. I could see it in his eyes and in his smile when he allowed himself to relax and be happy. After work he would sit outside his room and wait to see if I would walk by. He would call me over to have coffee and listen to the Israeli music that he knew I loved. We would listen for hours as he patiently translated the music into English so that I could truly appreciate it. He flirted outrageously with me and I flirted right back. Even though I was quite innocent at 22, I didn't mind the flirting. In fact, I enjoyed it. He made me feel so special when we were together. He would hold my hand and look deeply into my eyes and my stomach would flip. What a wonderful feeling that was.

On those "good days" I would look in the mirror and think I looked beautiful. My eyes were bluer, my smile was brighter, my hair was prettier. Ofer made me feel cherished. It was a new feeling and it made me feel so free.

On the "bad days", he would make sure that I saw him looking at me and then spin on his heels and walk away without a backward glance. That always meant no acknowledgement from him at break time either. That was the time that he would surround himself with his friends and completely ignore me. Once I got my morning snub I knew what to expect, but, it still hurt deeply when it happened. I was always surprised when the scenario didn't change and I wondered why I continued to put myself through this. I couldn't understand why he would try to hurt me. It didn't make any sense at all.

On these days I would look in the mirror and see a hag. Of course Ofer ignored me today. I was ugly and dull. Who would want to spend time with someone like that? I would lie on my bed, punch the pillow until my hands were sore and cry for hours. I would think up ways to change myself so that I would be prettier and sweeter and a good candidate to be his girlfriend.

One day Ofer saw me walking with a Danish volunteer named Anna. The following morning he asked me what I thought of her. I told her, "Well, I guess she is ok but there is something I don't really like about her. Why?" He said he was just curious. That evening Anna asked me if she could borrow one of my favorite shirts and my perfume. I said she could and then asked her why. "Oh, this boy asked me to go into town with him tonight. Do you know this boy......Ofer?"

My knees had a mind of their own as they buckled underneath me. I grabbed the railing and sat down on the steps. I couldn't catch my breath. Anna looked at me and smiled, "Are you ok?" No I wasn't ok. What the hell was going on? It wasn't enough that Ofer was playing some mind game with me every day of my life? Now he was going to date someone he didn't even know and who I told him I didn't like? Was he just sitting with his friends dreaming up daily ways to torture me? And if so, for what reason? I didn't like Anna before this happened but now I hated her and wondered if she was in on it all along. Was she pretending to act casual about all this just to torment me too? How many people were plotting against me? I started to become paranoid.

I stumbled to my room and fell to the floor. I grabbed the bedspread and hung on for dear life. I sobbed for the rest of the night. I couldn't understand this. It must have been a mistake. He couldn't be taking Anna out on a date! He liked me! What was all this about?

The next morning brought new hope because I was so sure that Ofer would offer some type of explanation or apology about his date with Anna. I walked into the dining room and I could see that he was waiting for me. I looked at him and willed him to say something first. He made a tsk tsk sound, shook his head and said,
"Poor little girl without a thought of her own."
I spun around to face him. I was suddenly consumed with rage.
"What the hell are you talking about, Ofer?" I demanded.
"I'm talking about you!"
"What do you mean that I don't have a thought of my own? Of course I do, you moron!"
"No. You don't. You think what I want you to think."
"That is absolutely a lie and you know it!"
"No it isn't. Think about it. When I want you to be happy I talk to you and smile at you and make you feel special. I make you believe that you could be my girlfriend. When I want you to be sad I ignore you and I date a girl who means nothing to me just because I know it will hurt you.You feel whatever I choose for you to feel. I control all your feelings!

I wanted to argue with him but he was right. I had given him permission to manipulate me. The craziness had to end at that moment. I deserved to be treated with kindness and respect not be controlled by Ofer, the master puppeteer! How did I get myself into this type of situation? Was I so insecure that I needed some guy to validate my very existence?

I closed my eyes to hold back the tears. I took a deep breath and slowly walked away. Ofer was cruel for doing that to me but I was even more at fault for allowing him to have that much control over my feelings and my life. He taught me that sometimes people are hurtful, spiteful and downright cruel just for the pleasure of seeing someone else in pain. I made a promise to myself that I would never give anyone that kind of control again. I realized that the only person responsible for my happiness was me! Over the past 19 years, that realization has served me well. Lesson learned!

Monday, October 04, 2004


Explaining a public service announcement about racism to Lillianna was not easy for me to do. You can read about it at DotMoms.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

4:59 am........Happy Birthday, Lillianna

Lillianna came into our room last night at 12:20am and couldn't sleep. I was in bed so she cuddled in with me. Rich was busy on the computer playing Scrabble Blast. I rubbed her head and told her that 7 years ago at that moment I was so busy huffing and puffing, I could've blown a house down! She giggled. Is there anything better than the sound of a giggling child?

My alarm went off at 4:30am and I realized that Rich had left Lillianna in our bed and he went off to sleep in her bed. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and checked the clock. It was 4:56am.....4:57am..... at 4:58am I snuggled beside Lillianna and whispered in her ear,"One minute until it's your birthday." She grumbled, "Ya, right mom, whatever." I waited and watched the clock, "It's almost here....just a few more seconds." Lillianna opened her eyes and stared at the clock with me.......4:59am, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LILLIANNA! Oh my gosh. You're seven!!" Lillianna smiled and said, "Wow! I'm seven!" With my hair still wet from the shower (I couldn't take the time to dry it. I was too excited about the presents!) I asked, "Are you ready for your birthday basket?" She said, "Ya ya ya ya!"

I scooped up her birthday basket and had her sit on the bed. Rich groaned. I tried to explain my enthusiasm to my exhausted husband, "Sweetie. I know it's early but I couldn't wait til 5:30am so I woke Lillianna up at 4:59am since that's her official birthday......Rich?.......Rich?.......Can you wake up a minute?" Rich opened one eye which he shielded with this hand. "Huh?"
I said, "It's time for Lillianna to open her birthday basket. Can you wake up, please?"

Rich managed to pry both eyes open as Lillianna opened her presents. He groaned in pain with every flash of the camera. Lillianna was thrilled with all her gifts. "Ok, now we are going in the living room and you stay here til we call you," I said to my excited 7 year old.
I looked at Rich. "You come with me in the living room." Rich got up and grabbed for his t-shirt that was on the end of the bed. "It's not formal. Just get in there already," I laughed. Rich stumbled out of Lillianna's room and into our bedroom. I suppressed my laughter as I helped him, "No no honey. The living room. That's over there."

I sat in the rocking chair as Rich plopped onto the couch. "Ok, Lillianna, come on in!" I called.
She walked in and spotted her doll furniture. Her eyes popped out and her mouth dropped open. "MOM! Oh my gosh!!! Thank you!!!!!" She rain to her armoire and desk and chair set for her American Girl doll, Samantha. She had quite a lot of energy at 5:10am! That's my girl!

She hugged us and thanked us and ran to get Samantha's clothes so that she could hang them up in the armoire. Rich looked like he went to an all night keg party. Considering the fact that he doesn't drink any alcohol made this seem quite me. I told Rich it was ok for him to return to bed. He obediently staggered to the bedroom.

I packed my lunch, got my belongings together, poured a bowl of cereal with milk for the birthday girl and kissed her good bye.

What fun things do you do on your child's birthday?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

'Twas the night before her birthday......

I am so excited. How will I ever get to sleep tonight? I got home from work at 10:45pm and I put the final ribbons on Lillianna's birthday presents. How can she sleep so peacefully when it is only 5 1/2 hours until her birthday? Doesn't she know how excited I am?

Every year I fill her birthday basket and leave it in her room so that it is the first thing she sees when she wakes up on her birthday morning. This basket is filled with wonderful small presents that I know she is going to love. Her two big presents are in the living room with purple and pink bows attached to them. She is getting an armoire and school desk for Samantha. I can't wait until she sees it.

Here's the tricky part. I have to leave the house at 6:15am tomorrow morning to get to work. Lillianna said she couldn't wait until 4:15pm to open everything when I get home in the afternoon so I am going to wake her up at 5:30am so that she can open her presents before I leave. Well, she was born at 4:59am so that sounds about right to me.

Happy 7th Birthday to our precious, funny child.
We love you Lillianna!!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Rescue Me!

Rich and I woke up at 6:00am this morning to clean up for Lillianna's birthday sleep over tonight. He cleaned the kitchen for an hour until it sparkled. Rich stood with his mop at his side and proudly proclaimed, "The floor is so clean that you can walk on it without your feet getting stuck!" Ah, now that's clean.

When he left at 9:00am to go to work, I looked around the apartment. What was I thinking????? There was no way that I could do this by myself. I needed a plan. I immediately ran to the phone and called Kristy. I told her my situation. She said,"Let me jump in the shower and I will be right over." Ya just gotta love a friend like that. Half an hour later she was at my door and ready to work.

We put the goody bags together. We wrapped Lillianna's presents. I made cupcakes while Kristy vacuumed every inch of this place. If you have a friend that enjoys vacuuming for you then you are one lucky person! When the cupcakes were done and every rug was clean, we decorated the dining room and living room with Kim Possible streamers. Ok, Kristy hung the streamers and I occasionally handed her a piece of tape. She had everything down to a science anyway. I think I was just in the way.

By 12:20pm we were done. Finished! It was amazing. Kristy whipped through here like a tornado but she took all the chaos with her instead of leaving it behind. Our apartment has never looked so good. It didn't look this clean when we moved in. That's how Kristy is. She is an organizer. I feel truly blessed to have her in my life. Not just because she totally saved my butt today but because we have been able to depend on one another for the past 14 years. We don't make excuses as to why we can't help. We don't even think of that. We just ask, "What do you need?" and then we do it. I love that!

To Kristy I want to say, "Thank you so very much for all you did. Lillianna thought the cleaning fairies appeared while she was at school. She loved her room. She laughed when she saw her Princess bandana on her stuffed cat, just like you knew she would. You will never know how much I appreciated all your effort today. I could never have done this without you!"
Who can you count on to help you in a situation like this?