Filed under: Things that get my gi all in a bunch, Uncategorized
On Friday, November 23rd, I went to Ann Taylor Loft, trying to find an outfit for two holiday parties I had this past weekend. I found something I liked, but the pants were a bit too short, as they always are unless I order a tall pair online (They do not carry tall sizes in stores). I figured I could tuck the pants into some boots and “make it work” Tim Gunn style. However, when I brought them home and started thinking about it, I realized that it is ridiculous for me to own a pair of pants that I can only wear with boots. I went online, found a similar pair of pants in a tall size and ordered. Standard shipping takes 5-8 days. So, I paid $14.95 for shipping so that I’d have them on the third business day. I didn’t want to be without pants for the party, and thanks to my nursing-for-a-year body, I’m a rail right now so there are no pants that fit me in the house.
Let’s review. I ordered them Friday, the 23rd of November, at about 4 p.m.
I emailed Loft on Tuesday because when I clicked on the tracking number, it gave me a message that said a label had been printed but that the package had not yet arrived at the UPS facility. I was concerned. Their customer service person told me I’d have my pants by Wednesday at 7 p.m. She told me if I didn’t, to call back then.
Guess what didn’t show up by Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Because I’d had the day from hell, I asked Mr. BBM to please call customer service and find out where my damn pants were. He told me it was unlikely they would talk to him because he isn’t me. I told him to tell them he was me, but with a head cold.
The phone call basically went like this:
Mr. BBM (in girl voice): “Hello, this is Jessica.”
Loft Person: “Um sir, you don’t need to do this.”
And then they pretty much told him they have no idea where my pants are. They’re pretty much Osama Bin Laden, circa 2004. While on hold with Loft’s customer service, Mr. BBM called me on my cell phone. I was en route to another mall with my Mom to try to find different pants. I answered the phone via my bluetooth van connection so my Mom was privy to the conversation. Mr. BBM started to tell me I wasn’t going to have my pants, and what happened next was an adult-sized temper tantrum of epic proportions.
“You tell them to OVERNIGHT ME a NEW PAIR of PANTS!” I told him.
“Yeah, they’re not going to do that. It’s past 3 p.m. so they couldn’t overnight until tomorrow and they don’t deliver on Saturday” he said.
I flipped out and said a lot of things my PG blog can’t handle and I’m pretty sure my Mom was wondering how she had ever given birth to this spawn of Satan who was spewing out F-bombs about pants. But I was completely done with the day and the whole situation and I just couldn’t help myself.
While Mr. BBM negotiated a refund on the $14.95 shipping and a $10 gift card (not e-gift card because I had sworn to him I would NEVER EVER get back together with Loft online-yes, Taylor Swift style), I decided to stop at White House Black Market, where they actually have pants with at least a 33″ inseam IN STOCK.
I found a new outfit there for the party and came home.
Rewind to Monday. . . I was hoping to find a stocking holder that matches the other two I have for the girls for Little Man. I happened to find one online that a woman in Virginia was selling for $2. I paid her via PayPal and took a chance she was not a serial killer or thief when I gave her my address so she could mail it to me. It arrived on Wednesday. . . before my promised pants. A random Craigslist person is a more efficient and trust-worthy shipper. Seriously.
Today is Monday, December 3rd. This morning, my $10 Loft gift card, the “apology” for not sending my pants on time, arrived on my doorstep. The apology arrived BEFORE the actual pants. If they don’t arrive tomorrow by 7 p.m., Loft will launch an “investigation,” comp my pants and send me a new pair, which, you know, if I’m lucky, might show up by July. Velvet pants are so in during July.
Over the weekend, Mr. BBM, his dad, step-mom and I went to see “The Hunger Games.” It was premiere weekend, so I should have known better. The first premier weekend movie I went to, back in the day, was “Evita.” Mr. BBM and I were dating at the time and we were fashionably late. We ended up having to sit in the front row of a crowded theater. That wasn’t the worst part. By far, the two old ladies who were sitting behind us took that honor. They felt it necessary to question everything about the film, as in “Why are they singing everything?” Seriously? Did they not know the premise of the movie and that it was a musical? They also talked with their mouths full. I know this because during one of their little outbursts about why Madonna was singing constantly, one of the women choked on popcorn very loudly. The noise wasn’t the problem though. The problem was that when she finally cleared the wet offending piece of popcorn from her throat, it ended up being hacked into my hair. It was a night to remember for sure.
Another premiere weekend movie I attended was one of those awful new Star Wars movies (not that the classics are any better). I was pregnant with Sassy at the time and during the movie, that Amoebagladden character (whatever her name was), was pregnant with twins. After the movie was over, I stood up anxiously waiting my turn to run to the bathroom. A bunch of teenagers were staring at my stomach like I was an alien. “Ask her,” the one whispered to the other. “Ask her if she’s having twins.” Clearly, their mothers had not taught them that you NEVER ask a pregnant woman if she’s having twins. I glared at them with a look of death that would have scared Darth himself and they promptly turned away. I was hugely pregnant and had just sat through a Star Wars movie. Don’t push me.
We arrived at the theater this weekend at a decent enough time that we didn’t need to sit in the front row; but it was certainly crowded. Although the ages were varied, there were many teenagers in the theater. I guess they were all too busy updating Facebook to hear or see the “please turn your cell phones off” message that was played loud and clear; because it wasn’t long before there was a strange glow coming from the floor in front of Mr. BBM. The kid in front of him had dropped his cell phone on the floor and it was sending up a blinding glow. Mr. BBM bent over, committed the cardinal sin of picking something off the theater floor and handed it to the kid. He should have thrown it across the theater. Maybe it would have sent a message.
After the movie started, we had two sets of teenager narrators sitting behind us. Every sentence started with “In the book. . . ” when they weren’t starting with, “This is the part where. . . (fill in what was about to, but had not yet happened).” It continued to happen and finally I sat forward and turned my head sharply to the loudest set of narrators. I gave them a look. They got quiet for a little while. It didn’t last long. Down the aisle, several teenagers sat there with their phones in their laps, updating Facebook play for play during the movie perhaps? The glare of the phones throughout the theater was ridiculous. Mr. BBM actually had to lean in my direction to avoid the glare of someone’s phone several rows in front of us. It was unbelievable. Could they not check out for a two hour movie?
About half way through the movie, both Mr. BBM and I both had to shoot dirty looks at the second set of narrators behind us to the left. There was constant talking in the theater, near constant lights popping on from phones. I was trying to get absorbed into the movie; but it was difficult because I kept vowing my kid would not be one of those kids someday.
I know how it can happen. Mr. BBM and I both have smart phones. Sometimes we find ourselves scrolling through Facebook instead of interacting with each other. Does it really matter what some guy we graduated college with 16 years ago is having for dinner? Is that more important than the here and now in this house? No.
Last week, I was irritated when Swim Girl was mentally checking out all the time and ignoring me when I told her to get started on her homework. She saved up for and bought herself an iPod Touch a few months ago. She can get a little obsessed with it. She doesn’t have a cell phone yet; and she’s not getting one for that very reason. Kids can get themselves into big trouble with phones and iPods.
The other day, I watched a school girl walk down the street staring at her phone as she walked. If something had been in her way, she would have fallen over it. We live in the area where a woman texted herself, head first, right into the mall fountain. In my neighborhood, I was run off the road with three kids in the car by a teenager who was texting while driving. I look at all these people who constantly have their faces in their phones and I think about how sad it is, that they’re choosing to communicate and live life virtually. Are they ever in the moment?
One of my sister’s ex-boyfriends used to sit at our house on holidays with his phone in his face the entire time. He had no communication skills what-so-ever and it was just plain rude.
When you are in someone else’s company, it is rude to be consulting your phone to see what other people are doing. Kids need to know this; teenagers need to realize that they can watch a movie for two hours without the internet crumbling down around them if they are not participating in it for a short time.
For this reason, we are making a new rule in this house. It’s called the “No Screens” rule. When we are all at home in the evening hours, the phone and iPods are being put away. We are going to interact as a family. We’re not going to Skype, comment on the status of someone we don’t even know, or kill a little green pig. We’re going to go family old school, where we sit around the dinner table and look at each other, and discuss our day. At first, it might be hard to feel so disconnected; but I think that we’re going to find that it is freeing. And perhaps, others should do the same, get out there and actually live in the world we live in, rather than experiencing it through what everyone else is doing.
I am determined to have children who use their phones and iPods responsibly and appropriately. I am hell bent on having kids who know how to interact with people in the room with them. And if it means that the phones and iPods go away permanently, so be it.
Most of you know the premise of the movie, The Hunger Games.” As we were coming home on Saturday night, I told Mr. BBM that if the doors had been shut and we were told that only one of us was making it out alive, the odds would have been strongly in my favor, because 90% of the theater would have been too busy on their phones to even know what was happening.
Something needs to change, and we’re starting in this house.
Filed under: Growing Pains, Things that get my gi all in a bunch
This is what happens when your life gets too crazy busy to post much. . . you have SO much to say that you don’t even know where to begin, so you just don’t. Guilty. Let’s see if I can catch everyone up on my cast of characters before Baby Belated wakes up today.
Baby Belated is now 4 months old! How did that HAPPEN? Between months 2 and 3, I didn’t sleep very well despite the fact that he was sleeping just fine. After a two month well visit where we were threatened, “Either get all the vaccines, or get out” we spent weeks trying to locate a pediatrician who would actually respect our wishes regarding our baby and his vaccines. It took many phone calls, emails and lots of awkward interview questions, but we finally located a pediatrician who respects our wishes, isn’t pushy in the least, and actually utters the words, “You are the parents, so it’s your choice” and without that judge-like tone that I expected. Not just once, mind you, but about everything from vaccines to starting solids. Although we chose to leave our practice, upon picking up our children’s records and examining the disk they were on, we found a letter addressed to me (never mailed to me) that stated we were kicked out of the practice due to “no vaccines.”
If you know me and my husband, then you know that we did not receive this news well. I spent two weeks researching AAP guidelines, CDC recommendations, multiple studies (handy when your husband has worked in clinical research for a decade), and laws regarding medical records, and wrote a professional smack down of a letter to the pediatrician regarding their practices and the whole legality or illegality rather, of the fact that they sneaked a letter into our records that was not only inaccurate, but never actually mailed. Tomorrow is the deadline to receive a letter correcting the records and to receive an apology from the rudest office manager on the planet. It doesn’t look likely so a complaint is going to be filed to the medical board. This whole process took up WEEKS of my life, but has thankfully ended with us finding a practice that we really do love. Plus, I got to exercise the whole “pen is mightier than the sword” thing again. That always feels good.
On to the next one. . .
This morning, Sassy woke up and proclaimed that today is the greatest day of her life. “Why” you ask? I have to pick her up from school early today to take her for an allergy testing appointment. Something tells me that when she truly realizes what’s involved with allergy testing, despite me telling her in vivid detail what it was like for me, she won’t be proclaiming this day above all others. “You do know you’re going to the doctor today, right?” I asked her. “Yeah,” she said, “I LOVE doctors.” Uh-huh, we’ll see. I should mention that I am going to this appointment, known to take hours, with a 4 month old baby who needed four outfit changes yesterday, thanks to green diarrhea resulting from a vaccine he received this week. And I got my baby one shot, instead of the required four at our previous pediatrician. Something tells me the office where we’re going will be super happy when our appointment is done.
Speaking of “done,” our winter swim season only has a few more weeks left. In just a few weeks, she’ll be off to Junior Olympics. In the beginning of the season, we were hopeful that she would qualify for JOs in an event or two. When she dove in the water at her very first meet, swam 100 fly for the very first time and got a JO time right away, we were very encouraged, but still kept our expectations in check.
This kid has blown our expectations out of the water! Swim Girl is now qualified for Junior Olympics in 11 events (she’s only allowed to swim a total of 9). In addition to getting JO times, she moved her times from BB to A in every event and even has some AA times now. She’s knocking on the door of more AA times in several other events and is hoping she can end her season with at least one AAA. If you want to learn something about goal setting, you can talk to my daughter. What has been fabulous is that after almost every meet, she has to set new goals for herself, because she is constantly breaking through her goal times. This past weekend, she dropped her 100 fly and 100 back by three seconds each.
On the drives home from practice, she talks to me about the little tweaks she made to her strokes, how she’s thankful for her coaches because they helped her fix something that will surely, she tells me, knock some more time off. She has already broken two of the club records and is aiming to break at least two more. She’s broken her own record three times now in the 50 breast. I am in absolute awe of this child, and have never seen a kid so young, be so motivated to succeed. At Junior Olympics, she knows the competition is tough. Currently she has an overall ranking of 29th in the Middle Atlantic (based on a cumulative score earned by swimming 100’s of each stroke, the 200 free and the 200 IM). And frankly, I feel like she’s just getting started. It has been an exciting year.
I’ve received a lot of questions and emails about when I’m going to return to karate. The short answer is that I don’t know. When the kids were younger, it was easier to get there. I didn’t also have to get them to all of their activities. Now I have two swimming girls who are very busy with practice and lessons AND a baby. Throughout my pregnancy, my joints got really loose and I was worried about my knee and how it would come back. However, because my joints were so loose, during pregnancy and right after, the flexion I regained in my knee was amazing. Unable to sit cross-legged, squat or kneel before, I’m now able to do all of those things. I think the loose joints allowed me to bust through some scar tissue and gain greater mobility.
It also made things feel a lot less stable. At this point, I’m working out sporadically, and not nearly enough to build proper muscle in my leg to support this knee enough to return to karate. I’m almost 10 lbs. below my pre-pregnancy weight now and feel like a string bean. Before I even think about finding time to return to karate, I need to gain some muscle and get my supporting leg muscles stronger. It’s just not easy when you have three other people to take care of and run to their activities. As a Mom, although I know I need some “me” time, right now it’s all about them. I may not be throwing punches and kicks at the dojo, but I’m present for every meet my daughters swim in and that is most important to me right now.
As I finish writing this, Baby Belated is staring at the camera monitor, waiting for me to come pick him up and start our day. For now, it is what it is, a busy house with three spirited kids, and one Mom who never stops running. Honestly, I’m pretty happy about it.
Filed under: Things that get my gi all in a bunch, Uncategorized
I never know what I’m going to hear when I ask my daughter “how was school?” Most days, I hear about the daily drama. Girls who tell her “I hate you.” Girls who tell her “You’re mean.” She is supposed to write something on the board that she did over the weekend. This week, she wrote that she broke a swimming record after working really hard for it, and that is apparently “mean.” The day after she got another Junior Olympic qualifying time, she didn’t even mention it, opting instead to talk about how much fun she had at a sleepover. She’s not the type of kid to brag and rub things in. When you tell her she did a good job with a race, most times she smiles and then stares at the floor. She rarely takes credit for all of her hard work, and she does work hard. After working so hard for months to break that record, she was excited to share it with her class. And what did she get? “You’re mean!” whispered to her across the classroom, then screamed in her face at lunch in front of a table full of girls, and then told via one of her friends through the grapevine too, because the other two methods weren’t enough. Why is the other girl mad? Because she used to beat Swim Girl in that stroke. Not anymore, not even close. I always tell Swim Girl that jealousy and nastiness weigh you down and cause drag, in life and especially in the pool. How right I am.
It’s not just the mean and nasty stuff that bothers me either. Yesterday, my daughter showed me the “status” of some of her friends on Skype. Two of her friends have something that says they are “in a (sic) relashinship.” My question is “how can you be in one if you can’t even spell it?”
I happen to be friends with my daughter on Skype. I don’t allow her to have a cell phone at the very young age of 10. However, she does have an iPod Touch that she saved up for and bought herself. She has Skype on it and uses it primarily to communicate with her grandmother and grandfather who live hours away. I like being able to text her at swim meets and when she’s at a friend’s house. I am constantly monitoring her communication on Skype, and I often don’t like what I see from some of her “friends.”
Yesterday, she had a friend telling her to change her status to reflect that she is also in a “relashinship.” She happens to have a boy who is a friend that she hangs out with a lot at school. Sometimes he calls her. I monitor those calls too. Mostly, they talk about cannibalism, funny movies they’ve seen and other random, harmless stuff. They don’t talk about their feelings. There’s no “I love you” or not drama. They are just two kids who get along really well and have a lot in common. They remind me a lot of me and my best guy friend in school.They frequently sit together at lunch or talk at recess. They are friends and it is a completely innocent friendship. I see quite the opposite with some other girls who are her age.
The truth of the matter is that many girls her age like boys; my daughter likes to swim. Swim Girl spends at least five days a week in the pool which amounts to about eight hours minimum each week (not including meets). She practices “up” with the older age groups and she more than holds her own. A couple weeks ago, she heard a couple girls talking about her in the locker room after practice. They were talking about how hard she works and how much she deserves the successes she has had. She has found a really great group of girls at her swim club, a group that supports her accomplishments. At this past weekend’s meet, one of the 13 year old girls came up to her after her 50 free race and gave her a high five. This 13-year old then turned to me and said, “She had an amazing race! She is only like two seconds off of my time and I’m 13! That was awesome!” I only wish she had more girls like that at school.
There are a few of them. One girl swims with her at her club and is quite good herself. The two times in recent weeks when Swim Girl has been attacked by the very jealous “You’re mean” girl, this friend has stuck up for her. They do exist; I have to keep telling myself that, because otherwise I would want to rip her out of school and just home-school her. I know you can’t protect your kid from nasty people. The truth is they exist and they’re everywhere. At some point, she’s going to have to learn how to deal with them; she actually did a pretty good job of it yesterday. I just wish she had a little more time to be a kid before her dad and I had to start having “insult class” with her at home, to teach her how to hold her own when girls are nasty. I wish I had a little more time before I had to be lying in bed at night thinking about how to insulate her from this crap.
While many parents dread the day when their daughter moves on to middle school, I can’t wait. Diluting the nastiness is exactly what needs to happen; and I’m hoping that she will expand on the few good friends she has at school now and form a solid group that insulates her from all the drama. When my daughter hears about someone else doing well with swimming, she congratulates them and she truly means it. She shakes hands with the girls who beat her at swim meets and the ones she beats too. I have raised a good little athlete, but I have also raised a good sport. Shame on the parents who haven’t.
Last night, I decided I would check out the new show “Are you there, Chelsea?” It comes on right after “Whitney,” one of my new favorites. As I watched it, I was thinking that the humor was really dull and the subject matter not all that great either. However, I’ve thought this about other new comedies and then fell in love with them. Take “Whitney” for example. I didn’t really care for the first episode; but if you haven’t watched the episode where she goes all “Uh-huh, you know what it is. . . ” on her boyfriend on the basketball court, you haven’t lived.
I decided I would keep “Are You There, Chelsea?” on and keep an open mind. Then, one of the characters began talking about how her mother got diabetes after eating some cupcakes. She then made a joke about how she ran off with her diabetes doctor and it all worked out ok because he was able to catch it early, before she “lost her feet.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard comedies make “jokes” like this about diabetes. But it’s been a while since I’ve heard one this blatant and stupid. When you have a Type 1 Diabetic mother who has had the disease for over 30 years, it’s no laughing matter. In fact, I can’t think of a single person on the planet who thinks that having to get your feet amputated is funny. It’s not.
What also drives me insane is that these so-called witty comedies perpetuate the myth that sugar causes diabetes. It doesn’t. Diabetes is an aut0-immune disease that attacks the t-cells that make insulin. Sugar has nothing to do with it.
My Mom has adult-onset Juvenile diabetes. She got gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with my sister. It never went away. She is constantly attached to an insulin pump and a sensor that beeps when her blood sugar starts to drop or rise. She hasn’t slept through the night in years because of her sensor. She has had blood sugars so low that she has woken up to find herself in the hospital, or unaware of what she was doing. One time I came home from school to find my Mom unconscious due to a low blood sugar. It is a serious disease and is no laughing matter.
I had just a small taste of what my Mom’s everyday life is like when I was pregnant with Sassy and had gestational diabetes. I have never been more miserable. It gave me a whole new respect for my Mom and what she deals with every day. It gave me an entirely new appreciation for how much diabetes is a constant part of your life when you have it. Your fingers start to hurt from all the pricks. You have to think about everything you eat and drink all the time. There is no escaping it, not even for a minute; which makes me wonder even more why comedic writers find diabetes so very funny. It’s not funny at all, and perhaps they should find better writers for these shows if all they can come up with is tired “humor” about maladies that affect people’s everyday lives.
This is one show I won’t be giving a second chance.