Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How do they do it?

I decided to conduct an experiment, and now wish that I hadn't.

I am sure that almost - if not every - woman can relate to this. There are certain jobs that one would consider essential to the normal functioning of the household, and almost inevitably they fall on the woman of the house. The funniest thing is, no matter how essential and/or easy these tasks are, if you, the woman, don't do it, it doesn't occur to anyone else to do.

So this was my experiment. I have noticed one morning that both toilet paper and tissues were finished in the bathroom.

I wondered how long would it take for someone to do something about it? To my shock and dismay, no one had bothered to change the roll, asked me for help or simply mentioned anything. So BY THE END OF THE DAY I gave up and changed the roll and refilled tissues.

All is right in my universe now.

And then I had a nagging question - how the heck did they manage all day???

I am afraid to ask.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

She's got it

My parents took the kids on Sunday for a few hours. As part of the treat, they all took a bus. DD sat with Mom, and DS sat with Dad. At some point during the ride, DD asked Mom, "Grandma, do you have a baby inside?" Mom, already immune to DD's remarks, replied that she didn't have a baby inside. To which DD replied, "Bub Mommy does! She told me." Mom kept her composure, and once everyone got off the bus, Mom asked DD to repeat the entire thing to Dad. Dad must've turned a shade of green shown less restraint than Mom because all of a sudden DD said with a giggle, "Just kidding!"

Ok, one kid got a sense of humor. Two to go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day off/relaxation the SubWife way. Don't try this at home...

7.30 - wake up. Discover that the baby has a 101.5 degree fever. Ugh.
7.30 - 8.15 - Get the kids, who woke up half hour before us and are already wild, ready for school all the while juggling whining pre-Tylenol baby. DS has a Chanukah play, so I need black pants and white top. Something I completely forgot about yesterday. So I settle for brown pants, blue shirt and blue/white vest.
8.20 - Last minute decide to get a ride from SubHub to the supermarket, so dress myself in 2.5 minutes - not bad for winter, huh? - though do have for some time a nagging feeling that I forgot to brush my teeth.
9.10-10.05 - food shopping
10.00 - 11 - driving class (Yes, you are reading this right, I was 5 minutes late)
11.00-11.30 - go to the bank/additional food shopping
11.30 - 1.15 - DS's Chanukah play
1.15 - 2.00 - went to the liquor store and pharmacy with DS on the way to home. Must've repeated the line, "No I can't buy it for you, please don't touch anything" 50 times. Had to distract DS from tiny liquor bottles as he reasonably thought those were for babies.
2.00-3.30 - feeding DS, unloading groceries, cleaning up.
3.30-4.00 - walking to pediatrician with the baby and DS.
4.05 - reunited with DD and SubHub at the pediatrician's office.
4.00 - 5.30 - at the pediatrician with all 3 kids and - thank Heavens and SubHub - SubHub. The main reason for the visit is to give all the kids flu shots and catch up on baby's other shots.
5.15 - Informed that due to baby's fever she won't get ANY shots and thus the visit must be repeated preferably sooner than later because who needs flu shots in the middle of January? (Why couldn't she spike the fever tomorrow? Sigh)
5.20 - Informed that older kids' swine flu shot needs a boost in about a month from now. So the whole, "Please don't destroy the good doctor's office and YES, that includes the very expensive scale, telephone and medical equipment." will be repeated sooner than I would've wanted to or expected.
5.25 - SubHub asks the good doctor for the used syringes, she obliges and this time we don't get the "did you think about rehab" vibe.
6.00 - HOME at last.
6.00 - 7.00 - making supper while juggling supervision of baths, brother- sister fights, doing homework with DD, fighting organized attempts at illegal snacking all the while juggling whining baby whose Tylenol already wore off.
7.00 - 7.30 - supper with whining and at the same time incredibly wild kids.
7.35 - SubHub has had enough and sends the kids to sleep. As long as he gets to be the bad guy, I might as well enjoy...
8.00 - Unbelievable, but they are both asleep.
8.10 - 9 - enjoying peace and quiet, writing this post while eating cold soup.

And the day is not over yet since cleaning up/laundry/tons of other stuff must be done.

I wanted to finish this with the cliche of looking forward to relaxing day at work tomorrow, but towards the end of the post I must admit - it was fun! Tiring, annoying, crazy busy - but overall fun day! I so wish I could stay home with them and have more of these days... (Note to the Al-mighty, please don't interpret this as a hidden desire to be laid off...)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quote of the month - December 2009

Was cleaning up my work email when found an article about some Australian city mayor inviting foreign women to his town full of single male miners. There was one quote there about the pool of prospective mates: the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

I loved the quote and, therefore, promote it to my quote of the month.

However, I still love the quote from Third Rock from the Sun, so I keep it too.

The last - summarized

I have been asked in the comments to yesterday's post to summarize the article about Dr. Hern, the last provider of the late term abortions in the U.S. Initially I said no, but then relented since he probably represents 30% of my audience...

The author of the article describes what it is like to do what Dr. Hern is doing. He draws a very vivid picture of a man, his reasons behind choosing his occupation and staying there despite all the hate and death threats he has been receiving for DECADES. While one might disagree with Dr. Hern's political and world views, one fact remains very clear - he is the last one in his field in the U.S. When he is gone, there probably won't be anyone willing to replace him - because of the death threats he, his employees, and family members receive on a regular basis and because of contempt from colleagues and even patients(!). While I am the first one to admit that I do not agree with the reasons some of the women choose to abort late term, BY LAW these abortions cannot performed on a "whim" or for the woman's convenience after 24 weeks of gestation. Something MUST BE WRONG either with the fetus or the mother. Those are not the cases where the woman wakes up one day and decides that she no longer wants to be pregnant.

The articles leaves off on the following questions: if a woman's life is endangered by pregnancy and the last late term abortion provider is gone, where will this woman go?

(This really is not the best summary and I would highly recommend reading the article itself and do more research on the subject. There are other options available in critical situations, but discussing them is well beyond the scope of this summary.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The last?

It's strange how sometimes many things will come together in a string of co-incidences and, when put together, give you that eerie feeling. I don't think I am making sense, but I will elaborate. For the past week I have been working on and off on the post about abortion, mainly about extreme views on both sides of the debate. I am not quite sure whether I will post it, but for my own reasons I want to finish it. Hence no other posts.

And then I keep on seeing abortion debated again and again in the news, Congress, and pretty much everywhere one looks because of the whole health care reform business. Today I got a poll asking me to identify myself as a pro-Choice or pro-Life. For the record, I refuse to answer as neither describes my views.

Then yesterday I found an excellent article about the situation with late term abortions in the U.S. This is sort of a portrait of the last doctor in the U.S. (for some reason I though there was another one, even after Dr. Tiller was murdered) who is still performing this procedure. While I don't agree with everything he says, I definitely think that the article raises very serious questions and issues. So here's the link for those interested.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On playing G-d

Very bone-chilling. A patient in persistent vegetative state actually had normal brain activity all along. Can read about it here. As a side note, those whose feeding tubes are removed die of dehydration, IMO very far from dignified death, even if not slow and painful as some doctors claim.

Thanks to Moshe for the link.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Klingons don't lie

Maybe because it was a really good parody, or maybe because the original I watched was really bad (I do not recommend) or maybe because it was 3 a.m., and everything is a lot funnier at 3 a.m. than during normal hours. Regardless, I found this absolutely hilarious.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

On teaching Hebrew first

Found this among DD's scribbles on Friday - bold big red letters.


Then I remembered that she had asked me to spell "park" the night before. Phew. just to think that the child of mine wouldn't know how to spell such an important word.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

With friends like these who needs a climate change?

Last week I did something I normally don't - I bought kids chicken nuggets. They were on sale, kids don't eat normal chicken anyway, and it would make dinner preparation for a few nights much easier - so why not? Well, I THOUGHT I was buying chicken nuggets. Instead I picked up a pack of chicken cutlets shaped like dinosaurs. How I have made that mistake is still a mystery, but really, who cares because it was really for the best.

As I was baking those cutlets, DS, who is currently in love with all things dinosaur and at that particular time very antsy in anticipation of eating a DINOSAUR, picked one frozen cutlet out of the bag and started playing with it. I had done something else I normally don't do - I let him play with food. He was very cute about it, but got bored after about 10 minutes or so. He came over to me and said, "Mommy, I don't want to play with him any more. I will put him on my plate. But I will not eat him because he's my friend." Yep, once you play with DS, you are pretty safe from being eaten. At least that night.

Well, it would be funny in itself if were the end, but... As DS and DD were settling down to eat the finally cooked cutlets (and DS repeatedly reassured that he wasn't eating his new friend), DD pretended to bite DS's dinosaur. DS took his cutlet, mumbled something about "tail booboo", kissed his dinosaur's tail "to make him feel better" and within seconds bit off dinosaur's head.

Well, as long as it wasn't his friend, right?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peculiarities of the toddlerese cleaning

I have come up with the list of pros and cons of teaching your 3 year old the basics of tidying up the room.


1. It teaches the 3 year old how to tidy up the room. Better him than you.
2. Hopefully, since you are starting early, it will develop into a lifelong habit. Unless you have done it all wrong, pushed too hard, nagged too much and he started despising cleaning at a very early age thus developing a lifelong hatred towards this activity. But we are discussing pros.
3. Maybe he will think twice before trashing the room if he knows that he will have to clean it up. Maybe not.
4. Few things warm up this mother's heart like her son's offer to clean up the mess he didn't even make. True story! It could happen to you too!
5. He actually does a decent job doing it.
6. Even though you don't really know what happens to half the things he picks up (trash can? laundry hamper? some forsaken drawer? the space between the wall and the crib? - stay tuned, the answer might surprise you!), at least they are not in the plain view and no longer an eye sore.

There's only one con on the list, but for most it might outweigh all the pros:

1. Unbeknownst to you, the cleaning genius in training decides that the best place for all of the dirty clothes he can get his little hands on is your purse. You discover this little factoid upon trying to pay for your morning java at the coffee stand and must rummage through a pile of dirty socks and underwear that includes a pair of your own undies in order to get to the wallet, all in front of the cashier and 37 people standing in line, 7 of whom are your co-workers... Not that it ever happened to me, just saying... But it could happen to you too...

Monday, November 9, 2009

To brie or not to brie - Update

I know, you folks couldn't sleep at night without knowing what happened to my brie. Hence I present you with this update.

As of the time of this post, I still have a square inch of brie left in my refrigerator. No, I did not enjoy it in the least, but I have a thing about throwing out food. Brought up by grandmother who had survived an artificial famine in 1930s and the World War II, I simply cannot throw out food that is at least somewhat edible. To be eligible for trash can, food has to be unquestionably poisonous, resembling science experiment, covered in fungus - or preferably all of the above. (Before I scare off some potential guests and such, 1) I do not serve or consume food that hasn't quite reached this awful state; I patiently wait for its inevitable demise. I know, I should just toss it once it becomes questionable, but it's a psychological issue over which I have little control. 2)I do take poetic license.)

The problem with brie, though, is that it will never satisfy my strict requirements for being tossed because it already satisfies them. I know, confusing, but bear with me. As far as I am concerned, brie in its fresh state already resembles a food experiment gone terribly wrong, tastes poisonous (and unlike Windex doesn't have a warning or a Poison Control phone number printed on the back). And, unquestionably, it has already grown fungus, which Google advises us not to cut off. The only way to get the darned brie out of my refrigerator was to eat it.

So I did. And did not acquire that elusive taste for it in the process.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To brie or not to brie

For some time I have been passing by fancy cheeses that all of a sudden appeared in our local kosher supermarket thinking that I should give them a try. I am fairly adventurous when it comes to food; as long as it's kosher I'll give it a try. Unless it has carrots in it. Or sweet potatoes. Or it's waaay too spicy. On the second thought, I guess I am not that adventurous. But for someone who grew up on meat and potatoes diet, I have come pretty far (read: tofu).

But back to cheeses. A few years back SubHub and I have been talked into buying some blue fancy cheese by the store owner. Once we came home and unpacked our precious (very, very precious might I add) cheese, we ended up both looking at each other and wondering whether we have to eat THAT or eat around it. On the second look, there was not eating around IT. We both concluded that if we had an ear infection, pneumonia, syphilis or any other ailment requiring penicillin, we would be immediately cured upon tasting that cheese. We both bravely took a bite, both spit up in unison and swore off trying food that had the word "blue" in it.

Fast forward a few years, and my adventurous spirit was taking the better of me once again. These fancy cheeses, inconspicuously thrown in between mozzarella and a strange concoction commonly known as American cheese (an oxymoron, really), were calling my name. A few times I reached for them, but the price tag stopped me. Eventually I remembered that upon my untimely (it always is, isn't it?) demise I would be held accountable for every permitted food I could, but haven't tried. Could I possibly go to hell over not trying some stinky cheese? I couldn't think of any other reason that would cause this unfortunate turn of events, and I was not going to let this happen. Next time as I was passing by the cheese section, I decided that while paying kids' tuition is a noble ideal, it is definitely not noble enough to miss out on the wonders of heaven. So I took the plunge and bought brie.

I couldn't wait to open it and give it a try. Once the kids were asleep and the house in reasonable order, I opened the brie. Upon inspecting it and not finding anything blue, I noticed that it had rind. I immediately called my parents for advice and was given their standard response, "Google it." While I was searching for the answer, Mom said that they were told to eat the rind. She eats it, but Dad refuses to. Finally Google confirmed that Mom was right, I hung up, cut myself a wedge and took a bite.

What came next cannot be described in any words normally associated with food. I can assure you that I have never participated in urinotherapy. Nevertheless, I felt absolutely certain that what I had just eaten tasted and smelled like very concentrated urine. Or maybe Windex, mixed with urine. The mushroomy goodness promised company's website was neither mushroomy nor good. The released ammonia was so strong that I felt as if I was punched with it in my nose.

"It's an acquired taste," said Mom. I am persistent, so I tried again and again, with and without rind. The feeling that I was eating urine did not go away with subsequent consumption of rind-surrounded cheese. Without rind, brie tasted like bad cream cheese. SubHub wisely refused to even try.

But I do not give up. Next week, Camembert!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My masterpiece

Last night I read Hannah's post and found out that November is a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Basically, one has to write a 175 page novel in 30 days, with quantity, not quality being the prime objective. Since I spend most days wondering how to keep myself busy, I got very excited at the prospect of actually doing this. They (the organizers and I wonder who they are) even expect you to do a bad job, so what's there to lose?

The excitement was very short lived, and very soon I became preoccupied. I was thinking about my future novel all night and the whole day today.




I told you, got nothing better to do.

And now, 24 hours later, I came to a sad realization - I have nothing to say to the world. I just don't know how I can possibly fill those 175 pages. I am too young for memoirs and too blah to write anything else. I would love to write something - anything - just for the heck of it, but - goodness gracious - 175 pages??? Even if I write pure cr4p (I am using the words from the introduction letter), I still can't fill up 175 pages with it unless I introduce a lot of beans to my diet . Of course, I could go the Tolstoy path and describe my breakfast in four pages, lunch in two, afternoon hunger pangs in seven, all in excruciating details, but I might die of boredom doing this, I am just too young to die.

This is a sad day in the life of SubWife. Those organizers (really, who are they?) weren't lying - one will find out something about oneself at the end of the process, even if one doesn't get to finish the novel or write full 175 pages. Only the end of the process for me came on October 26 and I discovered that I just ain't no writer. (Something all of you already realized, and I am the last to know...) So you can all breathe a sigh of relief - my 175 page novel will not be on the summer reading for your kids. And I am going back to my beans.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Captain Noah Morgan's table

Once again, all that effort DS's teachers are putting into his education is paying off. When I got into the car today, DS proudly announced that he had made a pirate ship as part of his pre-school project. That seemed a bit suspect, and I could barely contain my laughter when I realized that the pirate ship was actually Noah's Ark.

In related news, DD refuses to accept the harsh reality that Noah is not known for building furniture or that she could be wrong, and persistently continues singing "Noah built a table, a table, a table" (instead of teva, "ark" in Hebrew).

In other related news, DS actually knows that Noah built a teva, not a table, and continues correcting DD. His negligent parents, however, refuse to cooperate with the educational process and set him straight about the true nature of the ship DS has built. With persistence, matched only by DD, they continue believing that having a happy with his pirate ship 3 yr old is more important than having a 3 yr old who knows about Noah and his Ark.

In even more related news, not out of principle or because of their views on child rearing and education, both parents would love to be there when DS refers to his Ark as a pirate ship in front of his teacher. We would love to have the picture of her face as well. We are even willing to pay for that, but not much.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

With a little help from my neighbors...

I just shocked my neighbor, profoundly. No, I did not run around the neighborhood in my birthday suit, set anyone on fire or robbed a local grocery store. I had done something much, much stranger. I decided to be nice.

About two years ago the house next door to ours was sold and new neighbors moved in. According to my husband there are at least three families living there. Whatever, they don't disturb us and we don't disturb them. As a matter of fact, they seem to be of the rare species in our neighborhood - the ones that actually use their garage and driveway and don't take up precious parking space on the street. And that seems to be about all we know about them. They could be some cult leaders, practicing polygamists, a band of psychopaths or the latest most popular reality family on TV - and we would be the last to know. Well, turns out that they know about us even less than we know about them.

I was taking out garbage tonight when I saw neighbor's daughter pulling into the driveway. As good manners dictate, I made my way to open the gate and save the girl trouble of getting in and out of her car. All of a sudden I heard honking, then again. I stopped opening the gate and heard the girl telling me, "Hey, I live here!" I asked her if she wanted me to open her gate. She repeated about what she and I and now you already know - that she lived here. Finally I said, "I KNOW. I am your neighbor! I just wanted to help."

It finally dawned on the girl that she was not heroically stopping the robbery of her house. She started thanking me, still rather surprised that anyone would actually do something nice for people she doesn't know well. Then she said something that shocked me even more than my good will gesture shocked her. She said that she had never seen me around, but she probably had seen my daughter. She went on and on and turned out she wasn't referring to either DD or the baby, but my college age daughter. In a nutshell, she was mistaking me for my landlady, who is 1)the mother of TWO college age and still living at home daughters, 2)is 5 inches shorter and 3) is at least 20 years older than me.

Once again, SubHub found the whole age thing quite amusing, but left me wondering whether marriage had aged me THAT much.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We are family

I have this huge rant post about loyalty to one's employer hovering in my head for the past two years, and I can't quite capture it on this blog. This unfortunate circumstance is mainly due to the lack of time at home since I don't blog/write posts from work out of loyalty to my employer, and not because I have been drowning in work and Blogger is now filtered out anyway .

So this is a shorter version/preview of the rant brought on by the staff meeting that took place today. Every time we have a staff meeting, our boss takes out our department's mission statement, makes someone read it aloud and reminds us about all the reasons why good G-d put our accounting department on this Earth. This mission statement is a product of a brainstorming session, which took place before I came on board. So today, in addition to reviewing, the boss reiterated that teamwork is a major part of our mission statement and how it is so important, how we all are one team, work for the same department and agency, we all have the same goals - to serve and protect, how we are all judged as one department and not individually (thought at different pay rates, obviously), blah, blah, blah - in essense, we are all one happy family and should strive to help each other.

And while all this political correctness was dumped on me, I couldn't chase away one thought: that out of the ten or so people who came up with this mission statement, three were let go, of which two were let go within six months of coming up with this magnum opus.

Yep, oooooone happy family...

Friday, October 9, 2009

This is a joke, right?

Once again the Nobel Prize for Peace shows how meaningless it is. I am neither pro nor anti-Obama, but Nobel Prize for Peace???? You have got to be kidding me. Then again, he is in the company of Yasir Arafat, so I am not sure whether it is such a complement after all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy birthday to me!

I got a real birthday gift today, somewhat belated, but from a complete stranger. So it all kind of evens out. Ready? I was carded when trying to buy beer. I ran out without my purse and only had a credit card and old expired driver's permit on me. (Why I had an expired permit in the pocket of my coat is the whole different story not worth mentioning. Unless you click on the link.) I presented my expired ID to the check out girl, and she asked, "Do you have any other form of ID? This one is expired." To my, "But it's still me, same face, same name, and I can assure you that I did not become any younger simply because my ID expired!" she simply said that she couldn't accept that as proof of my age.

When I got back to the car and retold hubby the story, he laughed, for a rather long time might I add, at the thought that someone could have mistaken me for a 20 year old. Well, I still got the last laugh because he didn't get his beer.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

With fellow filmmakers like these, who needs prosecutors?

I just read this. Whatever your feelings are regarding the Polanski case and arrest, I am sure you will agree that having Woody Allen on Polanski's side doesn't really build up his case. If I were Woody and really wanted to help, I would butt out and distance myself as much as possible from this petition.

Ironically, I haven't seen Steven Spielberg among the signatories for Polanski's immediate release. It might have something to do with Spielberg's being a father of a few teenage daughters. It might not, but who knows for sure?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How capitalism doens't always produce the greatest public good

I was reading article on swine flu this afternoon. One comment after the article caught my attention. It said something like: Why would people go to work sick and send their sick children to school? Hmm, I thought. You are reading this article and writing a comment in the middle of the work day: you must either have a cushy office job, work for yourself or stay at home. Therefore, chances are you wouldn't understand. So let me explain to all those who might have the same question.

Employers in the U.S. are not obligated to provide paid sick leave to their employees. As a matter of fact if employee's sickness or disability results in too many absences or is negatively affecting his/her performance, that employee could be fired. Jobs that pay the least tend to be the ones that give no paid sick time off and part with their workers the easiest; and because these jobs pay so little, people working there tend be the most dependent on every penny they earn and not be able to afford missing a single day of work.

Well paying jobs are not that much better, but for different reasons. Ever missed a critical meeting/deadline/project due to sickness? No? I have. I was out two days during the "critical time" with 103 degree fever. Even though my employer at the time encouraged everyone sick to stay home and provided sufficient paid sick leave, I still got "the look" from the manager upon my return. You know, THAT look that makes you think, "Shoot, I should've crawled in that day just to show them how sick I was. And maybe thrown up for good measure during that important meeting, just for illustrative purposes." THE look that makes you think twice before calling in sick again. THE LOOK that you worry might be the kiss of death.

When it comes to keeping kids home when sick, employers tend to be even less sympathetic. "Couldn't she just get a sitter?" is a common thought or comment. Take my case for example, if I kept my kids home every time they exhibited signs of cold or flu, I would have to keep them home anywhere between 20-80% of the time, especially in winter months, and no employer would put up with that. Add to this whole mess the current state of the economy, when jobs get cut left and right and employers can easily replace you with someone willing to do your job for less and without family dramas, absences count against you, frequent absences (more than once a month) are guaranteed to cause problems.

One might say that people coming to work sick are acting selfishly by thinking only about themselves and paying their own bills, but I would counteract with "isn't that what capitalism is all about? Acting in your own best interest and not worrying about the society as a whole? And thus creating better public good?" In this case everyone is acting in their best interest. Employers protect their profits by not offering paid sick leave, employees protect their money by showing up to work sick and sending their children to school with runny noses. The result, however, is far from the greatest public good: more sick people and the possibility of an epidemic that would be hard to contain if sick people don't stay home.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Something in the air

We were all in the car this morning on our way to drop the kids off at their destinations when all of a sudden DS said, "Papa, do you smell something?" To which DD immediately replied, "It's not me!" After a bit of uneasy tension and us shifting in our seats, DS said, "I think I smell donuts." (And yes, we were passing Dunkin Donuts.) The sigh of relief and laughing ensued. Ahh, good times.

Friday, September 18, 2009


So I have been tagged by Hannah of Ink Stained Hands for the superpower meme. Normally I do not respond to memes for various reasons, but I liked Hannah's reasoning for tagging me ("I am tagging Subwife, because she sounds pretty stressed in her posts about work, and I would like to see if she wishes she could make people just disappear") and my holiday cooking is not done, so I am in, but insist of being flexible with the rules...

The rules are as follows:

Rule number 1: Read the rules.
Rule number 2: Write one superpower you would like to have and what you would do with it.
Rule number 3: Write why you chose that super power over everything else.
Rule number 4: Tag and link 7 people, and write why you think they will have an interesting meme.
Rule number 5: fix your broken links.

Okay, so reading rules wasn't so hard, though I admit I don't quite understand what #5 really means, but moving on. I have to pick one superpower, only one. Hmm. Would I like the ability to make people disappear, as Hannah suggested? I admit there are times when I would love for people to disappear, but wouldn't that be like a murder? Nah, I am not a murderer, though some people are doing their best to challenge/change that statement. And is this really a superpower? Just read Agatha Christie; it seems like making people disappear could be accomplished by literally anyone.

The next ones I thought of were Wolverine-like abilities. How I would love to have those, but dude, those sideburns and hair look good only on Hugh Jackman (because frankly everything looks good on Hugh Jackman). So let's keep that one as a "maybe"...

And then I had a thought. What I really, really, really would love is to have a complete understanding, a way to know the reason behind everything. Not just why people suffer, but why this particular person is suffering. Why the world is filled with so much pain and violence. Why we are here. I think I have considered the basic answers, but I just want to KNOW, TO KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT. Would it limit my freedom of choice? Probably. Would this ability make me lose my mind? Most definitely, but frankly not a huge loss as I am more than halfway there any way. Regardless, this is not for real, and I refuse to think about it too hard.

In any case, if anyone tries to talk me out of this superpower, I am going back to Wolverine's. Really, any superpower will do. At this point, I would settle for the superpower of making my food cook faster and cleaning up apartment without really trying or at the very least the superpower to hire a cleaning lady.

Ok, it's a free world, so anyone wishing to do this meme could consider themselves tagged.

Shana Tova to everyone!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's check out time. Do you know where you MasterCard is?

1. Time needed to organize one's purse: 15 minutes tops
2. Time needed to return the credit card to its designated spot: 5 seconds tops
3. Time rummaging through three sections of my purse in the busy pre-holidays supermarket while hopelessly trying to fish out - ironically - MasterCard, because the store doesn't accept Discover, but instead pulling out various coupons/receipts/box tops/random pieces of paper all the while trying to avoid looking up - because my rabbi's wife is unloading her groceries at the adjacent register - or to my left - because DD's teacher is standing behind me waiting for me to pay so that she can proceed with her groceries - eternity.
4. Realization that doing EITHER #1 or #2 (not even both!!!) would've saved me from #3 - priceless.

P.S. Time wondering why the heck I cannot get organized - oh about thirty years or so...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

With future like this who needs Democrats?

I don't know about you, but I am getting a bit fed up with the constant barrage of news about Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin this, Sarah Palin that, blah, blah, blah. She's becoming the Paris Hilton of politics - lots of media coverage and little achievement.

When McCain announced his running mate about a year ago, I was rooting for her. I really wanted to like her. She was a successful career woman with a big family who somehow managed to have it all. In a very short time Sarah Palin proved to be one big disappointment to anyone for whom moose hunting is not a necessary skill in a vice president. By the voting day, Sarah Palin made me seriously doubt my choice to vote for McCain. I did anyway. And anyway they lost.

One would think as a loser, Ms. Palin would keep a low profile for a while, run her State of Alaska and regroup. No such luck. Palin never left the spotlight and seemed to care about her day job less and less with every passing day. And she proved to be a sore loser. I have read maybe 5 interviews with her since November, and she never missed a chance to blame McCain campaign staffers, liberals and media for her not so stellar public image. For a while one of my favorite Sarah Palin complaints was that seeing how badly her first interviews went, McCain's staff still insisted on doing more. Really, how dare they subject a politician to interviews and expect her to be able to coherently answer! After all, she was only communications major in college. Well, this favorite was replaced by a new one I read in the online magazine for joggers few weeks ago. Prepare to be shocked by the atrocities inflicted upon this woman by McCain staff - they didn't allow sufficient time for her daily jogs! Yawn.

And now, after abandoning her state and moving onto more important things like her political career than the people of Alaska, the most common thing we hear about Ms. Palin is her diva-like behavior: time after time organizers of some Republican event are waiting with baited breath whether Ms. Palin will grace them with their presence, and time after time Ms. Palin refers to some misunderstanding between the organizers and her staff. Funny this should come out from the same person who claimed that McCain's staff didn't know how to handle her or anything else for that matter.

Yet despite her inability to express herself, being unreliable, despite her whining and complaining, this woman has a huge following and is hailed by many as the future of the Republican party. Well, in this case I think that future is rather bleak.

Monday, August 31, 2009

11 Reasons Why I don't Facebook much

1. DD, who requires my attention.
2. DS, who requires my attention.
3. The baby, who, believe it or not, also requires my attention. Babies these days.
4. I work and those IT people filter out FB
5. I am a working mother of 3 kids under five. Yeah, I know I mentioned working and the three kids separately, but believe that having three very young children deserves special mentioning. Plus, in just a few short weeks I won't be able to say that since DD will turn five. Gotta milk this while it lasts.
6. SubHub and his crazy notions that a) I should pay attention to him and b) that our home should be at least somewhat neat and that's somehow my responsibility and not only his. Men these days, I tell ya.
7. Do I really need another virtual addiction?
8. My first virtual addiction, this blog, has been neglected for some time now. Got to make amends.
9. My memory is going, and I would have to remember what I posted on the blog and what I mentioned on FB. It just seems like too much work.
10. It really creeps me out to have so much personal information directly connected to my actual name out there for everyone to see.
11. I am a working mother of three children under five. Did I mention that already? I don't remember... See what I mean?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Do you remember?

Our company instituted the new email retention policy, and now everything over 18 months old is automatically transferred into the "trash" folder and thereafter permanently erased in 30 days. Anything that we want saved must be either printed or saved elsewhere. So now every week or so I peruse the "trash" folder just to make sure there's nothing that needs saving.

Last week I found an old emailed sent by yours truly to her co-worker. It said, "Why am I not a lesbian? Why??? Why????" I wonder what precipitated this, but most likely I don't really want to remember. Ahh, memories that I don't have.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is one of the funniest and most ridiculous things I have read in a while. The toy does seem to be on a creepy side, but the Conservatives' objections are even freakier. These objections are probably made by the same people who demand that nursing mothers stay at home with their offspring until they wean or retreat to dirty bathrooms to nurse. And they give all the other Conservatives a bad name.

Where SubWife admits that she needs to grow up, but refuses to.

DD's last year teacher was a very nice woman and no doubt good at what she does. She put a lot of effort and creativity into her work, which did not go unnoticed by us. For example, every time she would introduce a new letter, the teacher would dress up as a certain character to get the kids' attention.

However, we didn't always see eye to eye on certain things. One of the complaints the teacher had was DD's lack of maturity across the border - her language skills, her cutting, even the way DD played was scrutinized and considered below her age level. I found the whole thing ridiculous. Nevertheless, DD was evaluated, teacher was proven wrong on pretty much all accounts, we had relived a few panic attacks about the future of our firstborn, and so far had moved on.

DD's school was on my mind recently when we were reviewing Aleph Beis. I asked DD if she missed that Aleph Beis character her teacher did because next year she wouldn't have it. DD laughed and very firmly said, "No!" I was surprised. "How come?" I asked. DD looked at me and said, "This character was so silly and doing all the silly things. I really didn't like it, it was just too silly." I knew the teacher meant for this character to be fun, but I am sure "silly" wasn't part of the intention. I knew I should be a bigger person and all, but all I could think was, "How's that for immature? Hehe."

A girl can hope

I went to a wedding recently where I saw people I haven't seen in ages. It was a lot of fun to catch up with old friends. However, in the process I discovered that due to my careless commenting activity, I am not as anonymous as I thought I was. I must tell you, losing my illusion of anonymity was rather disappointing. It limits what and who I can write about because you never know who can be reading posts and if that person knows who SubWife really is. Anonymity gave me a certain degree of freedom - not only to badmouth anyone I saw fit, but also some freedom from worrying about having so much personal information out here on my blog, that is easily traceable to my real life persona.

Well, it is what it is and this new discovery means that 1) It's a good thing I didn't blog about my evil neighbors, 2) I probably should not have blogged about my noisy neighbors (I know, linking to the old post shows real remorse) and 3) I should stop blogging about my job. At least if I want to keep it. On the other hand, what kind of bad things could I possibly write about? With the exception of no-free-coffee policy, which was of course enacted to prevent over consumption of caffeine and not because of penny-pinching, this job is pure heaven. People are extremely nice, especially in the higher positions, and never ever drive you crazy with unreasonable demands. Co-workers never do anything annoying, like shaking their ice, clicking their pens or eating fish at their desks. And the paycheck is ginormous, I am not sure why because frankly I would pay to work there!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to vomit from all this sarcastic butt-kissing that, hopefully, no one from work will read. A girl can hope to remain at least somewhat anonymous, right?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

SubWife in Pink, Floyd that is

Saw this on inkstained hands and Res Ipsa Loquitur and liked the idea better than finishing half a dozen posts in my "drafts" folder. About half way through realized that I had another psychotic episode and Dazed and Confused is actually Led Zeppelin, not Pink Floyd. Talk about dazed. And confused. I need more sleep. And less blogging. Then again I haven't posted in almost two weeks.

Answer these questions using song titles from only one artist, try not to repeat titles.

Pick your Artist:
Pink Floyd

Are you a male or female:
What Do You Want From Me

Describe yourself:
Another Brick in the Wall

How do you feel:
Comfortably Numb

Describe where you currently live:
Welcome to the Machine

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?:
The Dark Side of the Moon

Your favorite form of transportation:
Interstellar Overdrive

Your best friend?
Lucifer Sam

You and your friends are:
Keep Talking

What's the weather like:
Fat Old Sun

Favorite time of day:
Late Night

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Lost for Words

What is life to you:
Learning to Fly

Your relationship:
What Shall We Do Now

Your fear:
Two Suns in the Sunset

What is the best advice you have to give:
Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert

Thought for the Day:
Shine on You Crazy Diamond

How I would like to die:

My soul's present condition:

My motto:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spoiled goods

Truly heartbreaking. Poor girl. The most sickening aspect of this is her family's reaction: they are more sympathetic to their daughter's rapists than to their own victimized child. What is wrong with people? And no, I don't want to hear politically correct arguments about cultural differences and validity of different societal norms. This is just wrong. Plain and simple.

Got milk?

We have been long time Ikea patrons. As a matter of fact, most of our furniture at home is from Ikea. For the longest time our living room looked like a page out of their catalog (that is before kids started ruining it). We were very happy when they opened their store in Red Hook, which meant we no longer had to travel to New Jersey if we wanted to go to Ikea. What we discovered very quickly though was that the staff in the new location is less than friendly. Security guards reminded me the Soviet era customer service and why exactly everyone hated it. A few times I had an argument with guards when they insisted they knew better than me where I needed to go in a store and whether or not I can take a shopping cart there with me. Whatever. Ikea in Elizabeth is so much friendlier. And sales tax is only 3%.

So I am not surprised that a nursing mother in Ikea, Red Hook got a less than stellar treatment. Thankfully, such an incident never occurred to me, but now I wonder if I should continue patronizing this location. If not as a matter of principle, then simply because I don't want to be herded asked by a rude security guard to nurse in their bathrooms.

P.S. the article has a very comprehensive guide on the rights of nursing mothers. Some things might come as a surprise even to seasoned moms. For example, did you know that employers are OBLIGATED to provide breaks for pumping? I only found out a few months ago, and this guide has this info.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First tooth!!!

I saw it yesterday, but wasn't 100% sure because the baby didn't want to cooperate with inspection. Today it's cofirmed!!! We got first tooth, barely four months of age. Spoke to Mom, and she asked me why I was so happy. As far as she can remember, that usually means biting while the baby nurses. And I had to concur.

Still, first tooth!!!

The milk thief strikes again

Our company, one of the biggest health care providers in the country, is the only company I have heard of that doesn't provide coffee for its employees. Well, maybe in some other departments they do, but I somehow doubt that. Since they don't pay for coffee, they, of course, don't pay for the milk either. Therefore, from time to time I bring milk from home. I use it mostly to lighten and sweeten my coffee, so I don't really mind sharing. As a matter of fact, I tell a few people I am friendly with that I have brought milk and they are more than welcome to partake.

The problem is that today I have found my bottle of milk 1/3 empty. I had only used it once and knew for a fact neither I nor the people I have offered my milk, took it. (I did not conduct an investigation, they have simply been out of the office either on vacation or training.) And that's not the first time this had happened. Almost every time I bring in milk, someone takes quite a big chunk of it. And that, frankly, ticked me off today, big time.

As I was standing in the kitchen making my coffee, visibly upset, one of my co-workers came in and asked me what happened. I told him, but then the pushover in me started feeling like a cheapskate for complaining about something so small. And I started going on how it's not about the money (it really isn't), but about inconvenience (I can't just run out to Duane Reade to replace it for several reasons) and me being left without breakfast on several occasions because someone decided, for no good reason, that their bowl of cereal is more important that mine.

And now I am mad at two people. The first person is,of course, the person who has been taking my milk. Honestly, what gives? You know it's not yours and you know that the company doesn't provide it, so why the heck would you feel entitled to it? Seriously? That's stealing, pure and simple. And if you are hungry and desperate, all you have to do is ask. That bottle literally has my name on it, for goodness sake!

And the second person is myself. Why was I so apologetic about my feelings to another co-worker? After all, I am the one who has been wronged, no matter how insignificantly. I didn't do anything wrong.

And then it got me thinking. In any office, there is one or two individuals who do this kind of thing. I remember in another place I worked at, there was a candy thief. During tax season the junior staff would take turns bringing in chocolates and sweets. And those sweets would go suspiciously fast. Other people on the floor complained that their candy would disappear from their desk drawers. One night while staying in very late, one of us found this candy thief. It was one of the senior partners who waited for everyone to be gone to go on the prowl. The guy made more money than all of us, junior staff, put together, and could certainly ask the office manager to supply him with chocolates.

So really, what gives?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Think you are covered? Think again.

Yep, I am at it again. Whining about our health care system. Here is something to put a human face on a serious problem. And lest you think this is liberal imagination gone wild, at least one woman mentioned in the article testified in the House subcommittee.

But hey, so many celebrities are dying. Why mention some cancer stricken nurse and our little health care crisis?

***Note: the link has been updated. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rhetorical question.

Purely rhetorical question for the audience.

What would you do if you came home and found children's clothes hamper empty? Because your husband washed them all. Without pre-treating stains. Or sorting, of any kind. And dried it all on the highest setting. Shrinking your son's favorite gray and black wool sweater. And assuring that baby's cute new outfit now will forever be adorned with the yellow spit up stains? Purely theoretically, would you yell? Would you cry? Would you politely smile and thank the perp because he was just trying to help? Or a little bit of each? You see, I wouldn't know what to do. Which matters not because it didn't happen to me. No, no, no. All purely theoretical.

Completely unrelated question, does anyone know if the wool can be unshrunk?

Sing for a laughter, sing for a tear - part II

You can call me a recidivist singer because I have done it again. And so did DS.

DD and I were singing something last shabbat when we overheard DS giving us his own version of Police. He was singing, "I can't, I can't, I can't stand music; I can't, I can't, I can't stand music..." for the full five minutes. This time I wasn't speechless. I was literally grasping for things not to fall on the floor from laughter.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blogging and such

Yours truly has been featured by Suburban Correspondent, in all her might and glory. I have submitted - in the comments - a mangled version of My Heart's in the Highlands and inadvertently have entered the contest for the best appliance poetry. Don't ask. Just check it out. And in case you want to vote, the poll is on the left part side of the site. Left side. Left. Not right. Or center. Unlike some other contestants, who are heavily lobbying their blog readers to vote for them, I am simply mentioning this little factoid, for no reason whatsoever. Though I am not above begging, you know. You see, it's not about winning, it's about enjoying your blogging experience. And since I now have received two votes (I have a sneaking suspicion that both of them were cast by Suburban Correspondent herself out of pity), I am not even worried about getting no votes at all. But please, please, please don't let me come in the last in the voting! It's an honor to just be nominated. Oh, c'mon, go vote for me, pity votes count just as much as the real ones!


Few days ago I read a brilliant post on the recent news coverage by SuperRaizy. I highly recommend. If you are in the mood for more on the topic, then you can reread my take on some other very important news announcements of the past: Dumbledore's coming out, news coverage of this earth shattering news, and Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy. I know, both of these events made such a difference in our lives! (if Jamie Lynn's mom is reading my blog, I apologize. On the second thought, nah).


Oops, forgot to include the title in the original version.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On wearing big sister's hand-me-downs

Ooh, ooh, new pajamas! Yellow with pink flowers - a bit girly and babyish, but after all that's what I am.

Wait a minute, they look worn! Don't tell me it's another big sister hand-me-down. Ugh, such is my fate. OK, OK, put them on me. These are still preferable to the one I spit on. Careful with those tiny hands; fingers, fingers, phew, disaster avoided.

What do you think you are doing? Stop tickling my tummy. I will not smile, not with those hand-me-down pajamas any way. MOM, stop it! She is not giving up. OK, there, happy now? OMG, she keeps on going; serves me right for encouraging her with my smiles. Goodness, it's finally over. Just snap up those pj's and let's move on.

Hey, what is this? Oh. My. God. There's a hole! There's a hole in my pj's! Why is no one noticing? It's huge! Look, I can stick my entire big toe through it! See? See? Hello, anybody looking at the baby? Looks like I caught their attention! Car seat? They are not taking me to public dressed like THAT! I will not go anywhere unless they change me. I simply refuse. Bwahhhh!

Where am I? I must've dozed off for a bit. Ooph, what a nightmare. It was a nightmare, right? Right???? Nope, big toe is still sticking out. I must've tried to block this out of my memory. They are pointint at my toe, looks like they've finally noticed! Why is he laughing? She's laughing too. They think it's cute! Oh, no, now they'll never change me. Look at those two - I think they have been entertaining themselves with this for hours. They are so easy to please. Let's throw them a bone - I'll wiggle the toe. They are squealing with delight! Let's try again. Wiggle, wiggle - squeal! Wiggle - squeal, wiggle - squeal. This is down right Pavlovian! Parents are so weird.

Ahhh, home sweet home. Where are you going? Aren't you going to change me? Camera? No, no, no, no, no. You are not taking a picture of me looking like that, oh no. She insists. Gotta move so that she won't be able to focus. Move those legs. Bet she regrets teaching me that bicycle move. Move those legs, move those legs, move 'em. My tiny chubby body tires too fast, I can't keep this up for much longer.

Does she ever give up? I must distract her. I got something up my sleeve, well, not per se, but that should catch her attention. There's a reason why they are called explosive diapers. Ugh, flash. I think she got it.

Hope she won't put this on her blog, there must be some decency left in her, right?

Phew, finally changed and in different pajamas. Aren't you going to pick me up? Yes, you are! You are so warm and nice. You are the best! I love you, mom. Yes, that's a real smile, not just gas. I think I am dozing off again...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sing for a laughter, sing for a tear

As I was cutting up vegetables for a salad, in walked DS and started munching happily on something. Upon realizing that his mother was softly singing, DS put his little hand on mine, looked straight into my eyes and told the woman who carried him for nine months and subsequently gave birth to him, "Mama, don't do this. Don't sing. I am eating."

And once again, I was left speechless by my child.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 Signs your husband is addicted to Home Depot

10. Your husband makes at least 4 trips a week to Home Depot, and he's not a contractor.

x 4

9. When asked why he goes there so often, your husband replies, "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name..."

8. You got an electric drill for your birthday, partially because the first two SubFamily's drills were getting lonely and needed a sibling. Or so he said.

7. A full year after your Lake George vacation, SubHub your husband is still morning and kicking himself for not visiting the local Home Depot. Sometimes he contemplates the four-hour one way drive just to see the one that got away.

6. You have seriously discussed the possibility of direct depositing your paycheck to Home Depot's bank account.

5. Your children, ages 4 and 3, know all the tool names. You and any other normal human being refer to those as "thingy", штучка, загогулинка or simply хрень.

4. When you need to unwind, your husband enthusiastically offers to drive you to Home Depot and genuinely does not understand why this does not appeal to you.

So ***not*** you.

3. Your husband has lobbied your Congressman to add a certain plainer to an Endangered Tools List.

2. You have made a video of Home Depot isles. Upon showing it to him, your husband chokes up, throws himself at you and mumbles through manly tears that you have "never made him happier" and "you finally understand". Your husband then watches the aforementioned video over and over again for relaxation and meditation all the while wiping the aforementioned manly tears. You don't know how to respond because a) it was a gag gift, b) you bore this man three children and would hope that at least one of them made him happier, and c) frankly, you do NOT understand.

1. You overheard him muttering under his breath, "My name is SubHub and I am a Home Depot addict..."

Oops, you just outed them...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You are stressing me out!

I am in one of those moods today - everything is annoying me. The source for these feeling is obviously coming from work. No one expected me to come back as early as I did even though I came back exactly when I told them when still 7 months pregnant. I shudder at the thought of what would have awaited me had I taken the full three months of maternity leave. I am swamped, actually I am more than swamped - I am drowning in work. I have so many high priority projects - my regular monthly work, which needs to be finished extra early and "taken to the next level" whatever that means, then some IS/Finance joint projects, then bank recs, system upgrade testing, and of course the new and improved tax form - I literally have 5 number 1 priorities, unless I am forgetting something. The fact that having that many "extra high" priorities defeats the purpose of calling them "high" does not deter my bosses from thinking what else they can throw on my lap. So that's the cause of stress which in turn causes me to be annoyed at everything and everyone.

Right now I am annoyed at:

1. the neighbors, who are causing my floor and wall to vibrate,
2. the fact that it's only 9 and I can't even threaten to call the cops on them,
3. it's already 9 and the kids are not asleep yet
4. the baby is very cranky and doesn't let me do anything, in addition to soiling three outfits in the past two hours
5. The house is a complete mess and the shabbat cooking has not even started
6. that I overate because of stress
7. that I am still hormonal 3 months postpartum.
8. the babysitting/end of school year/school vacation situation
9. the fact that I have to pump milk at least 3 times a day to keep up with the demand

And this is only the beginning... I feel bad for SubHub who might just bear the brunt of this mood.

P.S. Please do not remind me to count my blessings. I remember, but sometimes I just need to allow myself to be annoyed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our answer to Chamberlain - Part II

Found this while looking for something else.

The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four - of secondary importance is to prepare for being five. ~Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

Courtesy of

Our answer to Chamberlain

I asked DS Wednesday night about what he was doing in the playgroup that day. Immediately, his response was, "I slept." After a few seconds of pondering, he added that he ate too.
SW: Anything else?
DS: I ate. I ate chicken. And then I slept.
SW: Was that it?
DS: Yeah.
SW: Did you learn anything?
DS: (blank stare)

Yep, I can see how all this developmental and education stuff is leaving its mark on my son.

Since then I learned that the daycare owner is planning to add some educational program in the afternoon. I am furious and planning to have a serious talk with her. Not my first one on the topic, mind you. Enough already. Given how much impact the morning "leaning" is making, maybe it's time to let kids be kids?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Whose naise is this any way - Part II

A few weeks into the school year, before I got used to all the names of her classmates, DD and I were talking about school and I heard her say something about "crazy Pollack." Immediately my heart sank. In a matter of seconds, millions of questions were roaming in my mind. Why is this girl called crazy? Where in the first did DD hear such a word? I knew that girls could be cruel, but do they start taunting each other at 4? Why is DD participating in this activity? Did we not teach her better? Are the girls teasing my baby too? Why is the teacher allowing this? OMG, poor Pollack girl!

Something didn't sit right, and I asked DD to repeat the last thing she told me. It went something like, "I want to draw a butterfly like Raizy Pollack."

So who's crazy?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whose naise is this any way?

Yesterday DD asked SubHub for your-naise (твоенез). There's my-onaise (майонез, keep in mind, this conversation happened in a mix of Russian and English, I am just doing my best to translate to those who are not as advanced as DD and only speak one language at a time), so why shouldn't there be your-naise? LOL

Monday, June 8, 2009

How do you like THEM apples?

I have received a comment on my last night's post. Moshe complained about $75 emergency room co-pay. Here's my response to his comment.

About three years ago DD's elbow was dislocated. This had happened to her several times before and overall is very common among toddlers. Though not dangerous, it is rather painful. I remember DD sitting on the couch and whimpering while I called every single pediatrician I or my friends could think of at 8.30 pm. No one was in the office or even at home, so we had to go to the emergency room.

It was about 45 minutes from our arrival until we were seen by a triage nurse. She took DD's temperature, brief medical history and asked questions about the incident. She quickly realized that we were right and the only thing DD needed was setting her elbow. She tried to see if the doctor was available so that we wouldn't have to wait in line to get this simple procedure done. Alas he wasn't, so we had to wait another 45 minutes to be seen by the doc.

When we were called in, the doctor took about 5 seconds to set the elbow, then came back 5 minutes later to make sure that DD could raise her arm, told us not to pick her up by her hands (we never did, but he didn't buy it) and were on our way home. All this entertainment for a bargain price of a $50 co-pay.

The shock came in a few weeks later when we received the itemized bill from the hospital. Even though out co-pay was still only (!) $50, our insurance paid much, much more. How much? $1,335. For what? The nurse spent 5 min on our case, that includes the time she tried to locate the doctor. Pediatrician spent literally a minute and a half with us, 30 seconds to set DD's elbow and 1 min giving us so-called advice. No medical equipment of any sort was used (other than thermometer and some gizmo that DD had to reach to show that she could use her hand). No medicine was administered. What exactly cost $1,385?

It took me a long time to figure out, but then it hit me: the hour and a half chair rental in the waiting room!

Oh, and since then our pediatrician showed us how to do this procedure ourselves, which we successfully had done several times after this incident, all in the privacy of our home and completely free.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Once again on health care

Yet another proof that it's not only irresponsible "it will not happen to me" people who get in financial troubles because of our seriously messed up health care system. Many times it's people with jobs and health insurance. People like me. Again, I am not advocating uprooting the entire system, but something obviously needs to be done.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What are you looking for?

Seems like we are doing a pretty good job at indoctrinating the kids. While at my parents, DD was watching a cartoon (I remember watching that cartoon when DD's age, LOL) where all the animals brought Rabbit all different kinds of delicious food: nuts, fruits, cakes and pies. DD looked at it and told Mom, "Grandma, this is a beautiful shabbos party."

On another occasion, I was reading the kids the book about Kipper and his flashlight. Both kids looked at the flashlight and asked me, "Is Kipper looking for chametz?"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today is SubHistory's Mysteries

Mystery #1.

I just looked over my blog and realized that I have misspelled the title of my previous entry. It was supposed to be "it" not "I". But even spelled correctly, the title still made little sense. What I really meant was ,"She could've been so much worse", but something tells me that even that is not very right, so I am leaving things as they are. Let the title remain a mystery of some sort.

Mystery #2.

When DD still wore size 2 diapers, our pediatrician recommended Triple Paste diaper ointment. We followed with the recommendation and bought a 1 pound jar, which lasted throughout DS's diaper years and was finally finished last week. A few weeks ago, anticipating the ultimate demise of the jar that lasted 4+ years, I bought another one in Target. The jar was exactly the same, and the price, though still rather steep, didn't change since our last purchase. Upon closer examination though, I found that the jar war marked as a 10 oz, not 1 pound. Here's what I find fascinating: the jars are identical and the 10 oz jar is filled to the top and not half empty as I have expected. I was so intrigued, I went on company's website only to find out that they don't manufacture 10 oz jars, only 8 oz and 1 pound. So is Target selling counterfeit butt cream?

Mystery #3.

I am still on Weight Watchers. (How I haven't stopped is a mystery on in itself.) After starving for a week, I lost 3 pounds, only to regain 2 pounds a day of starvation later. How, I ask you, how???? On the other hand, after allowing myself to "live" on Shavuos, cheesecake and all, I only gained a pound. I guess stuffing myself pays off better than starving. And so much more enjoyable!

On that note I am off to solve yet another mystery: is there any leftover cheesecake?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I could be so much worse

Today was the first time I heard about America's Worst Mom, title given to the woman who allowed her 9 year old son ride NY subway by himself. You can read more about her here or simply Google America's Worst Mom. Basically what she says is that today's streets are safer than 30 years ago yet children are not allowed to do many of the things their parents were allowed at the same age. And she attributes this mainly to the fear mongering media.

I have been thinking about this ever since DD started walking. Lenore (America's Worst Mom) has all the facts straight, and statistically speaking children are lot more likely to be abducted/abused by a relative or a close family friend than by a stranger, in their own home, where parents relax their watchful eye. I see the logic behind what she says and wholeheartedly agree that freedom is very important to children. And I soooo much want to give to them as early and as much of it as I was given. However, emotionally I am incapable of letting go because if, God forbid, something happens, I will never forgive myself. No matter how statistically unlikely the worst case scenario is, I cannot ignore the "what if."

Overall, I find the topic extremely sad and depressing. What do you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This is how you remind me of what I really am

SubHub expressed interest in how often I pump*** while at work. "Two times," I replied. Without the slightest shadow of irony or sarcasm, he said, "You know, Israeli cows are milked three times a day. In every other country it's only twice a day, but in Israel it's 3 times!" Long silence ensued. Quite clearly I did not show as much enthusiasm about Israeli agricultural achievements as SubHub had expected. Catching my evil glare, he mumbled, "What? Just thought you would like to know. That's all."

Should've realized (before getting all misty eyed about "Ohh how much he cares") that if a man expresses interest in breastfeeding, let down is imminent. All puns intended.

Oh, and apparently I wouldn't quite fit in with the other Israeli cows. How sad. And here I thought I had something to fall back on if we decided to move. Better stay put, I guess.

*** Express breast milk.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's the same old song

One of my job responsibilities is approving requisitions. For the most part, it's a quick computerized process that doesn't take too much of my time. If everything is filled out correctly, that is. When it is not, then the fun begins.

I receive a requisition today that has errors in it. I call up the woman who filled the form and get an earful about all the details of the project that I don't need to hear. All I need to know is why the item described as "equipment" is coded to software. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less. But noooo, like the Energizer bunny, she keeps on going and going and going. Finally we reach an understanding, and then the woman completes this exchange with her usual accusatory, "Every time I fill out a requisition, there's something new."

I hang up the phone and only miraculously don't yell out, "No, Julie*, it's same old, same old. Every time you fill out a requisition, you make a mistake. Every. Single. Time. You are just not getting it, are you, that there is a difference between hardware and software???!!! Hardware is NOT software, that not a new idea, is it? And how in the world did you become an IT project manager without realizing this rather important concept?? Share this secret with me, will you?"

Part of me wishes I told her this.

*Obviously not Diana's real name.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On importance of being able to count

This is a public service announcement brought to you be a very hungry SubWife. Not being able to count can lead to starvation.

Ever since I came back to work, I started Weight Watchers. I was miserable any way, so why not? Those unfamiliar with the program - 1) eat a sandwich and gain some weight like the rest of the country, 2) all food on Weight Watchers is translated into points, which take into account calories, fiber and fat content of the given food, and each dieter is allowed a certain amount of points per day.

Last night after coming home from work, I was very, very hungry. So hungry I couldn't wait for dinner to be ready, so I made myself scrambled eggs. Together with a dinner roll, that meal was about 10 points. So I subtracted 10 from 29.5 points I had left, and came up with 9.5 points. It seemed a bit low, but hey, it's a diet, you are supposed to starve. To say that I was starving last night is a huge understatement.Long story short, I lost 10 points worth of food for no good reason, other than another psychotic moment involving math, and only discovered the loss this morning. In my boss's office. And made her aware of the tragic loss of yesterday. Repeatedly. Despite important matters that were discussed.

I can feel my promotion is coming any minute now. And by promotion I mean a coupon to a local pizza shop.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back to reality

Unread emails in the in-box: 245
Number of people asking "Back already?": 8
Number of frantic phone calls: 6 (2 to the babysitter, 4 to SubHub)
Attempts to cry: 3 (2 mine, 1 DS's)
Successful attempts to cry: 0
Realization that we all survived my first day back to work: priceless.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On futility of trying to reason with a three-yr-old

I wake up today with a clear idea and resolve to not let the every day minutiae get to me. "I will enjoy staying home with kids, even if it kills me" is my mantra. SubHub leaves, and the minute the door closes behind him, DS goes berserk. He started off by climbing up on a chair that is known to move when DS climbs on it and from which he fell on more than one occasion. This doesn't stop him. Then he proceeds to pull a very heavy basket with an iron and all ironing paraphernalia from atop of bookcase. He is looking for a toy, which name he cannot pronounce. I tell him to stop, and he won't. He keeps on repeating the gibberish, and I keep on not understanding and at this point begging him to stop pulling the basket. (I am all for natural consequences and would've let the basket fall on him, if not for the heavy iron inside.) I finally give up, take out the basket myself, and lo and behold, the toy is not there. Miraculously, nothing else attracts DS's attention, and he moves on to more interesting things.

Two minutes later I find kids' moons and stars all over our living room floor, the floor that was meticulously cleaned a night before. I bought these stars for kids' projects, but for the last three or four days the only project they were used for is messing up the apartment. I tried throwing them out, but DD begged me not to do it, and I wasn't cruel enough to throw out her stuff because her younger brother is doing mischief with it. In addition, she volunteered to clean it all up, and she did. So this is the conversation that sent me straight to the computer:

SW: DS, why did you throw this stuff all over the floor?
DS: (silence)
SW: (very calmly) Well, now you will have to pick it up. Take the box and put everything there. Where's the box?
DS: I don't know.
SW: It was standing here five minutes ago. Please bring it to me.
DS: I don't know.
SW: (after spending ten minutes trying to find the darn box, unsuccessfully) Where is it?
DS: I.Don't. Know.
SW: You just used it, no one used it after you. What did you do with it?
DS: (blank stare)
SW: Where is it, it couldn't have disappeared?
DS: (blank stare)

SW leaves the room because she has achieved her boiling point and knows that blow up is near. She runs to the computer and blogs about the futility of trying to reason with a 3-yr-old. She calms down and proceeds with her day, resolved to enjoy her children, even if it kills her.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

T minus 7

It's back to work one week from now. As the time approaches, more and more reminders of this inevitable fact pop up: papers I need filled out by my doc, making sure I have something that fits and looks professional, frozen breast milk in my freezer. The thought of leaving my child at the age of two months with someone else brings this overwhelming feeling of sadness, so I put the papers away, shut the freezer and don't check my email. I procrastinate as much as I can, but I can't keep up this act for much longer.

One would think that leaving children in care of others somehow gets easier with each consecutive child. While I will say that #1 was extremely emotionally draining, I cannot say that #3 is easier than #2. Maybe even harder on some level. I keep reminding myself how much I hate housework, the social isolation, the feeling of being couped up in the house, especially when it rains for days, like it has been for the past few days. But everything fades in comparison to the loss of ability to pick up my baby when I please, nurse her, look into her face and beg her to smile. Instead I will have to settle for phone updates, picture on my screen saver and frantically looking for an empty office to pump.

Hey, here's another confession. When I say I would go insane staying at home, I believe what I say at that particular moment. I have to. Because frankly I don't have a choice. But deep down inside I know that given an opportunity, I would embrace that insanity.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I am beautiful no matter what they say

The following conversation occurred this Shabbat afternoon in my kitchen.

DS: Mom, can you zip up my pants?
SW: (leaning toward DS) Sure, dear.
DS: (slaps SW pretty hard with both hands.)
SW: (speechless)
DS: Mommy, you are cute!
SW: Thank you ?
DD (with the unmistakable teenage "are you dumb?" theme in her voice minus the eye roll): She is not cute!
DS: (pinches my upper lip) Mommy, you are cute!
SW: Ouch, you don't need to express it that way, but thank you.
DD: She is NOT cute.
(Both exit kitchen with DS muttering "beautiful" under his breath.)
SW: (Deeply disturbed and uncharacteristically speechless once again.)

(two days later)

SW: (Still disturbed and speechless, but finally able to leave the kitchen so that she could blog about the incident)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't worry, eat heartily

I went to pick up DS from his playgroup, first time in a long, long time, and first time ever this early. As I was waiting for him to get ready and say his goodbyes, I met one of the teachers' assistants, a fifty something year old Russian woman. She started out conversation with nodding her head in the direction of DS: "Yours?" This reminded me of an old spy movie, so I decided to be true to the genre, looked around so no on could hear us and half-whispered back, "Mine." She didn't dig the genre though and started talking normally. Basically her point was as follows: DS doesn't listen, at all, oy vavoy, but eats well, so I shouldn't worry. I am still cracking up.