Fresh Mommy

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Enough about Me, Let's Talk about ME!

Hello. I'm still here, dear readers. Sorry for the long break. I've been, you know, busy. But I'm back now.

Hello? Hello?! Is there anyone there?

It's been so long since I've blogged that I nearly forgot my password. My fingers typed the letters with a question mark at the end. Is this it? Maybe. Let's give it a whirl and see.

Well, I'm not even sure what I was going to say here.

Let's see. It's fucking cold outside. How's that for starters? I just looked at the thermometer outside the kitchen window and it's zero right now. Which probably means a "real feel" temperature of, what, negative something or other, right? I don't know. I'm not a weather woman. I'm not a, a, -- what the hell are they called? A forecaster? A -- Jesus, my mind is gone. I can't remember the word.

I should mention that I've recently switched to decaf.

Anyway, they say we're getting a foot of snow tomorrow. And even though I'm not a winter person, I have to say this: Bring It! I live in a ski region, and we've had about two inches of snow this entire winter. It's a little freaky. Al Gore and I are concerned.

Otherwise things are peachy. I don't know what the hell we've been doing lately, but somehow we've kept busy. I had all these great plans for V Day -- I baked cookies that I was going to decorate and deliver to all of the Fresh Girl's friends in the neighborhood (because I like to be Martha Stewart sometimes) but then I lost my momentum and just decided to eat them all instead.

I did manage to buy some Valentine treats for my darling daughter. A pair of dress up shoes and a tiara from the Dollar Spot at Target, because, even though it's unpopular to dress your child like a princess, I think she looks damn cute strutting around the house in heels and jewels, and better that they're her own and not mine. She maneuvers my shoes well on the carpet but kitchen tile + stiletto size 7 boots = a swift fall to the floor.

Plus, I need something to distract her from Play Doh, which I excitedly introduced her to at Christmas thinking it was going to be SO GREAT! but the obsession is wearing me down. Everyday: "Mommy, play Play Doh? Mommy? Please? Play Play Doh. MOMMY????" And those little pieces of Doh all over the place? For the love of God, I find them EVERYWHERE.

Better yet, I discovered our town has this cute little Art Lab. Monday mornings at the firehouse! Somebody puts out finger paints and clay and all kinds of artsy fartsy crafty things and then later somebody puts it all away again! All I have to do is keep my kid from eating the supplies but even if she does, it's non-toxic! And it's FREE! And there's no Play Doh on my floor afterwards! It's genius, I tell you.

Yeah, so we did that yesterday for the first time, and we will be back, yessiree.

So that's what we've been doing. How about you?

Hello? Is there anyone there?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Merry Christmas Part 2: The Ambulance Arrives

I know, I know. Christmas was a million years ago. We're on to Martin Luther King Day, Valentine's Day (is it me or is there once again chocolate at every turn?). But for some reason (cough! laziness!) I was unable to finish the Christmas Story in one post and I actually thought I could get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Well, it's still January at least.

When last saw our heroine, she was knee-deep in in-laws and wrapping paper...

Presents were opened, lasagne and hand-tossed salad were eaten. Dessert came out and we all made gluttons of ourselves. It was everything Christmas should be.

FIL left around 6:30 (With vigor: So long! Farewell! Auf Weidersehn! Good night!). MIL always has a burning desire escape any of our homes as soon as possible so rather than stay over and get a ride home from G. and T. the following morning, she begged a ride over to the train station on the other side of the Hudson River from J. and L., forcing them to leave early.

So now we're left with Fresh Daddy's older brother, G., his wife, T., and their two year old, T-bone. Let me start by saying that if you've ever seen The King of Queens, you pretty much know G. and T. And they even live in Queens! On the show, Carrie's father lives downstairs, in real life, T.'s mom lives downstairs. I love T. and I also consider her to be crazy. Not certifiable, just wacky. And she's a tough Queens girl. Don't mess with her. She'll kick your ass, Sea Bass.

During the week before our holiday celebration, T. and I were on the phone dishing on the in-laws and discussing logistics for the weekend. Apropos of nothing she says, "Dude, I have a doctor's appointment on January 8th." (Between T. and my FIL, the "dudes" are flying all over the place.) Which doctor? "Gynecologist. Dude, I think I'm pregnant." She tells me that her period is three weeks late. I ask if she's taken a pregnancy test. She says no. "Dude, I can tell. My boobs are sore, I'm tired..." Well, why don't you take a pregnancy test? "Well, that's why I made the appointment. I'll take one in the doctor's office." Did you tell them that you think you're pregnant? "No, I just made it for a check up but when I get there I'll tell them my period is late." Um, why don't you just go out and buy a pregnancy test? "I'd rather save the 20 bucks and just take it at the doctor's office."

Is it me or that totally absurd? Who waits to see the doctor to take a pregnancy test? See what I mean? Wacky.

So when she arrived at my house that Saturday, the first thing she did was pull me aside and say, "Oh my God, can you tell? I'm totally showing." If her calculations were correct, she was 5 weeks pregnant. The little bugger was what, the size of a grain of rice? A raisin, maybe? I tell her she's crazy. (By the way, when I forget to suck in my gut I can pass for a good 5-6 months along myself). So all day long she's very dramatic. Lots of sighing and making a big production out of sitting and needing to put her feet up (mind you, at this point, the in-laws aren't supposed to know).

Now the evening comes and everyone else is gone. The brothers all drink WAY TOO MUCH when they're together and my BIL is stumbling and drunk and passes out by 9:30. Fresh Daddy, T. and I are sitting around talking. T. is getting worked up about having another baby -- there's not enough space in their apartment, what are they going to do about day care, how much maternity leave can she take, etc. And then she says her heart is racing. And she's drenched in sweat. She's not feeling well. I wet down a towel with cold water and hold it on the back of her neck. I'm rubbing her back. Fresh Daddy is drunk but conscious and won't shut up. "It's okay, T. It's okay. Just relax."

Take deep breaths, I say.

She's better. We back off. She drinks some water.

And then she passes out.

Her head just drops into her chest. I'm back at her side and holding her up in her seat. I'm smacking her face. "T. Wake up, T." smack. smack. smack. "Wake up, T.!" Now her arms do a funny little convulsion and she makes some weird gurgly noises. Her eyes are rolled back into her head. I tell Fresh Daddy to call 911 and the idiot goes and wakes up his brother. Not the worst idea but let's call 911 fiiiiiiiiiiiiirst!!! So I'm yelling at him to call 911. ("Just fucking call 911!!!!"). Now he's on the phone with 911. And he can't even tell the story right. Oh, just give me the phone already. I'm on with the operator. I tell the guys to get her on the floor. Then to put her on her left side (of course Fresh Daddy thinks her left is her right and there's a lot of shoving her around on the floor). Put her feet up. Put a blanket on her. We check her breathing. The ambulance is coming. Now Fresh Daddy is like a maniac, throwing furniture this way and that (his defense was that he was trying to clear a path for the stretcher). Seriously throwing chairs aside. Hi, we have an unconscious woman on our hands, can we please not wake the children, because that's the last thing we need.

My brother in law is strangely calm the whole time and just keeps repeating some form of this over and over again: "Whatsamatter T? You don't feel well? Wake up, T. C'mon. What happened? You didn't feel so good? Wake up. C'mon, wake up." She comes to before the ambulance arrives which is a relief. The ambulance arrives (it took a little under 10 minutes which is not the greatest but unfortunately we're a few miles from town). The EMT guys are great. I was very impressed. They run a whole bunch of tests. They ask T. a lot of questions, how are you feeling now? do you remember what happened? Fresh Daddy keeps interjecting and adding comments (slurred comments, I might add) and I have to tell him to shut the fuck up. I'm trying to help, he says. I pull him aside and tell him he sucks under pressure. He is thoroughly insulted and acts all sensitive. Oh, for crissakes, take it like a man.

T. is fine. It could have been a panic attack. Maybe dehydration. Or some weird side effect of her possible pregnancy. The EMT workers tell her it is up to her if she wants to go to the hospital but if she doesn't go tonight, she should see a doctor very soon. She declines and says she will go after the weekend.

The ambulance leaves and we all go to bed having had enough excitement for one day.

The next morning she takes a pregnancy test of mine that I have in the closet and it's confirmed -- she's in a family way. We clap, hooray, we hug.

A few hours later they pack it all up and head back to Queens. We wave goodbye from the doorway. So long! Farewell! Auf weidersehn! Good night!

And that was the Fresh Family Christmas, the Saturday before Christmas. On Christmas day we stay home, the three us of, and have a nice quiet day. No shitshoes. No ambulance. No drama.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

You've Got a Thread Hanging Off There...

Well, it had to happen I guess. After all the running around, visiting people here and there, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, unwrapping, planning, shopping, prepping, etc. etc. etc., I am falling apart at the seams.

Nasty throat infection. Thought it was strep. I've never had strep but I thought this was it. Horrible, horrible throat pain. Every swallow felt like daggers were ripping apart my throat. You have no idea how much saliva you produce until you become aware of how often you swallow it. I'm here to tell you that it's a lot. A lot of saliva. Buckets. Gallons. I'm not sure exactly how much, but it's a lot. Trust me. I tried spitting most of it out, but it doesn't work. You still have to swallow. I actually could not sleep for two nights because of the pain from swallowing. (Getting sick over a holiday weekend totally SUCKS, by the way.)

Then yesterday morning I woke up with both eyes crusted shut. Happy New Year! Why, that's a lovely shade of pink, Christine!

So now I'm on antibiotics and a regular schedule of prayer that my daughter does not come down with either affliction.

Hope yours was happy and healthy (oh, to be healthy! health is wealth!).

Next week (I think): Merry Christmas Part 2 (why did I even think I could do a 2 part series? Oh, the pressure of it all!)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas! Quick! Someone call 911!!!

I started this off thinking I could get this all down in one post but as I started telling the story I realized this could be a 2, 3, maybe even 4 part series. So here's the beginning.

Part One: in which you meet my crazy father-in-law

Yesterday we had the Fresh Family Christmas (the Fresh Family being my husband's side) right here in our house. It was a mostly happy gathering of my divorced in-laws (each utterly insane in their own way), my two brothers-in-law and their wives, and my nephew).

Fresh Daddy was in the city earlier this week and made a pilgrimage to DiPalo's on Mott and Grand for some of the finest cheesiest this side of Italy. It was a mob scene but worth the wait, and, as everyone filtered in, we all enjoyed some delightful parmesan and pecorino cheeses. I had also made a couple trays of lasagne and Fresh Daddy made his meat sauce, and I had made a couple of pear pies and a chocolate mousse pie for dessert. And everyone else was bringing a little something to nosh on too.

I asked my father-in-law to bring a salad because he became anorexic about two years ago and (supposedly) ended his life-long love of bread and pasta. Okay, he's not really anorexic. But he's become obsessed with Bikram Yoga and now claims to only eat fish and vegetables and soup and subsequently lost a lot of weight, probably more than he should have (I'll probably weigh more than him after the holidays). He made a big stink a few months back to both Fresh Daddy and J., his younger brother, about how we always serve pasta when he comes to visit. "Dude, man, what's with the all the pasta? You guys are giving me, like, pasta poisoning." Yes, he says, "Dude, man." All the time in fact. He has called me "dude" and "man" on more occasions than I care to remember. Imagine Christopher Walken if he played a stoner or a surfer or, better yet, a stoned surfer. That's his voice. Now imagine him looking like Larry David, but a little shorter and thinner. There. You got it. That's him -- my FIL.

FIL considers himself a real gourmand and loves to cook and feed people, all the while playing International Man of Kitchen Mystery.

FIL: "Would you like some dessert? Have some dessert."
Me: "Well, what is it?"
FIL: "Oh, don't worry. You're gonna like it. You're really gonna like it."

Can you just tell me what the fuck it is? Why do I have to be surprised? He does that for everything. One year he made fish for Thanksgiving. Surprise! We're having fish! It was the most disappointing meal in the history of the world.

Also, his handling and preparation of food would get a big fat "F" from the Department of Health. They'd close his kitchen down faster than you can say "health hazard" if they got a look at it. I once saw him wipe the butter off a knife onto his shirt and then use it for something else. He keeps his cutting boards on the floor which are covered in dog hair. And he has to touch everything with his greasy hands which he doesn't wash as often as he should. His friend once said that he doesn't see dirt and truer words were never spoken. The lightswitch plates in his house are filthy, cabinets and knobs are literally stained with grease and chocolate and dirt.

But he was fishing around for something to bring and I knew he was going to have a fit over the lasagne dinner so I asked him to bring a salad. What can I tell you -- it's Christmas. I was trying to be generous.

My sister-in-law L. offered to make a warm spinach and artichoke dip which sounded heavenly to me so I put the kibosh on the spinach dip I was going to make (you know, the one in the bread bowl?).

Now, FIL lives in the Hamptons and we and J. and L. live upstate (G., the oldest brother, and his wife T. live in Queens). FIL decided to make an unexpected stop at J. and L.'s house for breakfast and to try to get L. to wrap his gifts for the kids. So here he comes at 8:30 in the morning, barreling through the house, dog in tow, in dog-shit laden shoes across several rooms of carpet. By the time anyone realizes, there's mounds of dog shit smashed into the beige carpet. J. is running around opening windows saying, "Dad, you've got to take your shoes off." FIL has some weird ankle thing and claims to need to wear his shoes at all times. So he takes them off and starts washing the dog shit off his shoes in the kitchen sink. Where L. has been draining spinach for the spinach and artichoke dip. Merry Christmas! Have some e.coli! Spinach goes into the garbage. Say good-bye to the spinach and artichoke dip.

He then proceeds to drive my SIL crazy by demanding wrapping paper and asking her to wrap gifts and demanding cards and insisting she had to have more cards, even though she said she didn't and wanting golden raisins for his oatmeal, not the other kind (apparently oatmeal is an acceptable carbohydrate). He's also one of those people that is just incredibly in the way all the time, and probably no more so than in the kitchen. He's always looking for something and needing something and asking you for a million different things and getting in the way and turning on appliances.

And he's a real klutz. For someone who considers himself Mr. Yoga, he needs to work on his balance. Or better yet, stop working on it. You could be standing around talking politics and he'll strike a pose. He's constantly stretching, leaning, standing on one foot, balancing on his heels, you name it. So yesterday in the midst of opening gifts he completely toppled over -- crash, bang, boom -- feet in the air, I don't even know what happened. I can't even tell you how many times he practically tripped over the kids. But thankfully nothing was broken and the gift opening continued.

As expected, he tossed his salad with his hands. He made a big show of washing his hands first (thank God) and declined the tongs I tried to offer him.

We all somehow managed to squeeze around my dining room table and I even ate some salad, trying not to think about the dog shit shoes and the hand tossing. FIL actually ate the lasagne and about 12 slices of bread. He's probably cursing me right now for ruining his pasta-free streak.

Next up: The Ambulance Arrives

Monday, November 27, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Belated Thanksgiving Greetings!

Just back after a week in Florida with my parents. Boy, it's good to be home. Before we left I was really looking forward to our "vacation" but let's face it -- a week at your retired Floridian parents' home is not exactly vacation. It's a week with your parents. If you're me and your parents spend all their waking hours bickering (that's one way to put it) then it's a week spent referee'ing the arguments while also rolling your eyes and wondering how you could have ever imagined that this might be relaxing.

The flight was okay. Southwest just started flying direct from Albany to Tampa so it saved us the two plus hour drive to LaGuardia or JFK, and Albany is a nice quiet airport so we were spared the crazy holiday airport scene. But it's really a no-frills airline and when the FreshGirl decided to take a nice messy crap right after takeoff (cabin pressure changes, maybe?) we had to change her diaper on the floor (!) in the back galley. Flight attendants had to stop pouring drinks and stand aside while I wiped her ass. Good times, people.

But other than that, she was surprisingly good on the plane. And really the whole trip. She was a little frightened of my father whom she's only seen three times in her life, the last time being six months ago. "She's afraid of me," my father would mock cry to her. Uh, yeah, you talk nice to her for a minute then turn around and yell at Mom. It's not like she doesn't have eyes and ears. Scary old man yelling at the old lady -- who are these people?

Also, my parents' computer died the day before I got there, and I had to spend three hours (!) on the phone with Hewlett Packard as they talked me through various exercises over and over again ("just keep tapping the escape key") which eventually led to me taking the computer apart and pulling out various pieces from inside the machine (I could not tell you what) and putting them back again. All the while my father is looking over my shoulder and talking over the IT guy. And my mother would pop in every five minutes for good measure and talk over my father to argue about how he doesn't know anything about computers and he broke it. They're like children. FreshDaddy and I have been debating about #2 and now I have to wonder, is that what it will be like? The constant arguing? Having to separate them so they'll just shut up?

Sigh...

On a more positive note (oh finally, Christine, enough of your complaining already!), FreshDaddy and I snuck out during the girl's nap one afternoon to catch a matinee of "Borat." It was so outrageous, so ridiculous, so utterly obscene at times, I think I hurt myself laughing so hard. Okay, I felt a little bad for some of the people who were not in on the joke (but not the rodeo president guy -- screw him -- and not the wacky Christians because seriously, what was up with that?), but when Borat and Azamat were wrestling in the nude, I never laughed so hard in my entire life. Some of those images are burned into my mind. They're disturbing, and yet I enjoy replaying them in my mind. Over and over again.

And that was Thanksgiving.

Hope yours was delightful!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I Can't Even Come Up with a Title

I've got Blogger's Block.

Can't think of a thing to say. Actually, that's not true. I can think of about 10 different things to write about but can't get past sentence number two on any of them.

Tried writing about my crazy family that recently came and went and came and went and came and went through my house. Here's the synopsis: Crazy sister-in-law #1 has me frying bacon at 6:30 am for my nephew. Frozen! From the freezer! If I had planned on cooking it, I'd have taken it out of the freezer. "Oh, bacon! Aunt Christine will make you some!" Really? I will? Can't he eat a waffle and just be done with it? Oh, that's petty, I know, he's my nephew for crissakes. But then she gave him a potato from a bowl of chowder (gave him as in, put in his hand) and watched while he rubbed chowder all over my freshly painted walls. Crazy sister-in-law #2 is just dark and angry, and we tiptoe around her lest she start yelling at us, too. And my father-in-law has forgotten that my daughter has a nut allergy and decided to bring us homemade banana nut bread and oatmeal raisin cookies (hockey pucks, if you ask me) with walnuts. They went right into the garbage (and weighed it down considerably I might add).

But I can't write a thing. The words don't come and, quite frankly, I'm not finding the time. A friend gave me a little side work. A one time deal that I'm thrilled about, because, hey, I can use the money, but I need to do it during FreshGirl's naptime, and so I'm behind on blogging and reading, and commenting. I have to say I'm really impressed with the all you Bloggeristas out there who have kids (more than one!) and jobs and households to run and who manage to blog on a regular basis. Sigh. Time management is not my forte.

So one of these days, I'll have something to say. Coherently, I hope.

But for now, it's naptime, and I better get to work.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Loser

During a commercial break for "The Biggest Loser" I got up and made myself a Pop Tart (frosted cherry).

I totally suck at dieting.