Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mom and Apple Pi(e)

March 14th. My mother died on this day in 1992. Today, March 14, 2013, I learned about Pi Day ( and am happy to know there is something else going on in the world (much like St. Patrick's Day and my mother's funeral sharing the same date...and on that note, I'm sure my mom was proud of me today having my first Irish car bomb during work hours ~ well, pseudo-Irish car bomb because the bimbo bartender at the scary neighborhood bar a few doors down from my office didn't know what we were talking about and didn't have the necessary ingredients as listed on the Google search my resourceful friend did...we enjoyed them nonetheless... I was annoyed at first by this National Pi Day because who made this crap up? I mean, if the math teacher wants to engage my son in learning, then bring in your own damn pie, don't ask kids to bring in round food. (To be fair, the assignment was to bring in something round, and my husband made the cupcakes...he is, as I always say, a better mother than I am. If I had been awake last night for this craziness, I would have suggested going to the garage for a hula hoop and calling it a day.) I mean, I learned about pi at some point and retained it well enough to recall it had something to do with 3.14 (never dreaming that anyone would have made March 14th related to pi) and no one ever made a party in my math class, honors or not. I was relieved to learn that National Pi Day was only recently invented, as in within my seventh-grader's lifetime. Still, I think it's ridiculous for kids to be bringing in pizzas and pies and cupcakes and round brownies and G-d knows what else (and eating it!) to school. But I never claimed to be the fun parent. So, Happy National Pi Day, and thank you Pi people for lightening up what is always a difficult day for me. To infinity and beyond! as Buzz would say...oh, wait, does pi have anything to do with infinity? Maybe I better go check out their website...math was never my best subject, and the website does look very cool : )

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I have utterly failed this daily blogging challenge. I failed to even post an update as I promised in my last post (pediatric cardiologist visit successful, clear EKG or EEG ~ still can't keep straight which ~ and my son's chest pain resolved with consistent dosing of ibuprofen, so I am feeling slightly better, yet still dissatisfied with how vague all of this medical stuff feels to the layperson/average mom/expert worrier). How does anyone post daily? I work full time; my office is two miles from home, and the employers are fairly flexible with family obligations....but I do have this full-time job. Then there is the parenting thing. And the community thing (home late tonight from a Board of Education meeting). And the wife thing and the woman thing. Too many things (and not the fun kind like Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss days... ) And then there is March. My least favorite month of the year. You see, today is technically March 13, since I am up past midnight (damn that lost hour anyway, ) March 13 is the date on which I last spoke to my mother (it was a Friday the 13th, but I am not superstitious about the day since my husband was born on a Friday the 13th, and accordingly, our family considers it good luck). She died on March 14, 1992. The loss is never-ending and always-changing. And now, since my father died on October 31, 2012, I am an orphan. I am still processing that, and might be for the rest of my life. In the meantime, I have two children of my own to parent and guide through life. (There's a risk for you!) No one tells you that parenting is a risk. But I suppose simply being alive is a risk. After all, a quick definition of "risk" is "the possibility that something unpleasant or dangerous might happen," and doesn't that define life? love? I am thinking of all the cliches involving risk, thinking about the strategy board game of that name, realizing what a fabulous topic RISK is, and how these NaBloPoMo people really know what they're doing. Now if I could only hold up my end of the bargain!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


So I already messed up and failed to post yesterday. To redeem myself, I am posting this short bit now, and promise to post again tonight after I get through this day. I thought it might be the Ides of March, but Wikipedia says that's the 15th. Then, for a moment, I got excited and thought it was Cinco de Mayo .... until I realized that's May. This is how my head has been working lately: not very well. I am just on overload, and even though I remind myself constantly that most people would be very happy to have my "problems," it does not alleviate my panicked feeling of being overwhelmed. The stress is making a simple kink in my neck feel like a pinched nerve, and I have some understanding now of how people get addicted to painkillers because if I had any to take, I would. If I had alcohol in the house, I would drink that, too. It's been a rough couple of weeks. And I feel guilty for writing that because I am blessed and have nothing to complain about. Yet, I am wound so tightly right now I feel like I might explode all over my living room. I have prescribed medication for anxiety that I am too anxious to take. I wish I could crawl out of my own skin right now and get away from myself. Instead, I will pour another cup of coffee (perhaps I need to switch to decaf) and take a deep breath and get going....11am appointment with pediatric cardiologist today. My son is still having that pain, and even though every health care professional I know tells me it is not heart related, he is due for a follow-up visit from the work-up he had last summer, so I will go for the follow-up because it comforts me to feel like I am doing something. And isn't that illusion most of what parenting is about? If I take some action, I can protect my family. If we arm school principals, another Sandy Hook will not occur. It's all so laughably false. But I get it. And I do it too. We have to, I think, to get through the days. Not that they are so bad for all of us, but it is a challenge, and we do what we can. That's all we can do.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Even though today is March 1st, and I should be focused on lions and lambs perhaps, my thoughts are with hearts, which might be considered more February in nature (well, it was just yesterday!). Of course, February 14th is heart-related in a Hallmark way. And the American Heart Association went with this theme apparently when launching the Go Red For Women campaign and making National Wear Red Day on the first Friday in February each year (see to increase awareness about heart disease as it affects women (also a topic of one of my favorite articles that I wrote in my magazine days). But this week my 12-year-old son experienced chest pain while at school, and that got me to thinking about his heart...and the saying about your heart walking around outside your body once you have a child. Thankfully, it seems that the pain is not heart-related after all, but that hasn't helped mine feel too much better yet. I certainly don't want my son in pain. It's scary and frustrating. Being told by trusted doctors and nurses that it is most likely some inflammation that should not be cause for alarm, I am cautiously grateful...and enormously cognizant of how many parents get worse news, and my heart aches for them. I try to focus on the dance at my daughter's elementary school this evening; it was the Valentine's Dance rescheduled, so there were lots of hearts and red and pink. Lots of happy kids dancing and eating cupcakes (not fans of my blog, I suppose). Lots of weary parents wishing for some alcoholic beverage to make the time more bearable. Yes, I tell myself, think about conversation hearts and the sticky, sweet version of Happy Hearts Day. But my thoughts keep returning to the fragility of hearts, and to heart disease, heart attacks, heartbreak... Ultimately, as a parent, you want to protect your kids, yet life seems to continually remind us that you have no control, really, in doing that. I suppose the best we can do is try to teach our children how to keep their hearts every sense, by making healthy choices about food, people, their community, the environment. A daunting task. Not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March On

I cannot believe that my last post was two years ago. Wow. Two years. I have been back at law for two years, too. And the second year went way too fast for my liking. In my head (where so much goes on), I had given returning to law a year. I knew within weeks that it wasn't right for me. The 10-year hiatus had not changed anything. Well, it had changed everything, but nothing about my satisfaction level with practicing law. And the year came and went. And now it has been two. So, I am taking a risk. I am committing to NaBloPoMo, and the theme for March is RISK. Check it out at Happy daily posting everyone! NaBloPoMo March 2013

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Monday

1. Why is the phrase "salad days" about good times? Salad sucks.

2. When will the depressing recycling of the '80s stop making me feel so old? Neon is on trend, and I am wishing I had saved some of my stuff to share with my 7-year-old daughter. Lord knows I save a lot of things, and none of the other 25+ year old crap I have in my closets is of any use.

And how do today's music stars know anything about the '80s, anyway? Who writes their stuff? Bowling for Soup and "1985," Keri Hilson and "Pretty Girl Rock" (although I don't know if Keri's lyrics intentionally reference two late-'80s ad campaigns (she was only born in 1982 I think), but how can it be that much of a coincidence that she says her name is Keri and she's so very (hello, Keri lotion ad) and then implores the listener not to hate her because she's beautiful (Pantene)

3. Does G-d text? Maybe soon, if the iPhone app for confession is any indication

Guess I really need to update my ancient flip phone so I can finally learn to text and navigate the world of apps, especially if we cave to my 10-year-old's renewed pleas for a phone of his own (the double-digit birthday battle for an iPod Touch, which he won for G-d's sake!, apparently has no benefit to us in delaying his supposed need for a phone now). Not that we're Roman Catholic and need the confession app, but perhaps I could inform my 10-going-on-19-year-old that he really shouldn't ride in the front seat, and for that matter, should get his ass back in a booster!

4. Are people really complaining about rain on the first full day of spring? Are memories that short? The tragedy in Japan happened less than two weeks ago. Maybe our flooded neighbors in Jersey have some justification to lament rainfall, but perspective is really in order, people.

5. March Madness. Why is March such a crazy freakin month anyway? Named for the Roman God of War, known for schizo weather and home to the Ides of March, this month is mostly associated with loss for me (virginity, my mother ... just going chronologically, not necessarily in order of importance)

Now, I have the weird conflict between March 17 as the anniversary of my mother's funeral and the recently-learned fact that my birth mother was/is Irish, and the 17th, of course, is St. Patrick's Day. Somber or celebratory? Only I could have issues with a day uniformly regarded as a happy excuse to party! Either way, I guess I'm good to go for a drink!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Emotional Eating Day

I hate Valentine's Day. Maybe I am still bitter from all the years of spending it alone. Not alone, actually. Always with some comfort food. To me, Valentine's Day is really all about eating. In fact, one of the foremost thoughts associated with February 14 is Chili's (the chain Mexican restaurant). My best friend from college, my roommate at the time, joined me at Chili's for anti-Valentine food therapy. We would savor some decadent dessert, a pie of some sort as I recall, that involved Snickers(R) and Oreos(R), maybe an Oreo crust with Snickers ice cream filling, topped with hot fudge and caramel sauce? Who can remember the details? The point is that we would not share a slice; we each had our own. Drowning our sorrows in dessert.
That tradition continued for me, sharing the day dedicated to love with my favorite junk foods. The abundance of chocolate made it only too easy to wallow in my misery while ingesting appalling amounts of sweets.
Even when I finally had a valentine (the man I married), I still focused on food. At what fabulous restaurant would we eat? I sat at home for too many years with pints of ice cream and boxes of chocolates. Now that I had a bona fide date, I was all about the fancy meal. I wanted every occasion to be celebrated with a $200 dinner.
I did get over that eventually, but the connection between Cupid and food persists. Now it mostly involves my children. Last night, I made dozens of sugar cookies from scratch for my daughter's class and washed and cut three pounds of strawberries for my son's class. Then, for good measure, I made a cake mix for our family to share for dessert tonight.
I guess I have always been an emotional eater. And on a day when we are force fed an emotion that we may or may not be experiencing, it always helps to wash it down with something indulgently yummy.