Let them fly???

Friday, June 28, 2013


I was getting my hair done today and waiting for my pre-mature gray to be covered (This is what my hairdresser calls them so it is an official diagnosis!) A lady next to me told me that her daughter just graduated from the high school that my son attends.  I asked where her daughter is going to college and she went into a rant about how sad that she is that her daughter is moving to the Middle East for school.

She said that her daughter was like her roommate, her partner, her best friend. She is a single mother and her other children are grown and have careers. She is devastated that her last baby is moving.  I asked whether she was happy at all for her daughter and she said "no"! 

While I realize that it will be difficult to see my kids leave the nest, I truly hope that I will be happy that my kids are learning to fly.   Isn't that what parenthood is all about? Don't we have children so that they will go off and be happy? Do some people have children instead of just getting a roommate? Isn't that more expensive and way more work?

I'm at the stage where my mom-friends are starting to get seriously crazy about college planning. Every grade counts? Every extra-curricular activity counts. Getting into a good college is all consuming. I'm trying to enjoy the ride and focus on the fact that even if my kids don't go to Harvard (they aren't), that they will get into some college and that being happy and having a good life, now and in the future, are the most important things. This is quite difficult, but I'm trying. Day by day.

The crazy mom at the hair salon had no problem telling a complete stranger that she was not happy for her child.  Her child may be trying to get as far away as possible from her, hence the school in the middle east!!!

Blogging friends, please remind me of this story in a few short years! 

Tammy Duckworth

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I interrupt my usual blogging about nonsense to mention something that I read today that everyone should know about. I can't believe that this story is not front page news in every newspaper.

Tammy Duckworth is a US Congresswoman from Illinois. She is a veteran of the Iraq war and a double amputee. She was just sworn into Congress this year. I believe that she is the first Asian-American woman to be elected to congress, the first disable woman to be elected to congress and the first member of congress to have been born in Thailand.  She was a US Army helicopter pilot and suffered combat wounds which not only caused her to lose the legs but also damaged her right arm. She  still serves in the Illinois National Guard.  She is married to a fellow officer and fellow Iraq War veteran.  How have I not heard of this amazing woman before? I don't know what her political views are , but seriously, this is one amazing woman.

This week Duckworth was at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee when she reamed out a scumbag named Braulio Castillo.  Castillo owns a company called Strong Castle. Stong Castle won contracts with the IRS worth as much as $500 million.  In acquiring those lucrative contracts, Castillo's company qualified for special status as a "service-disabled veteran-owned small business"  His injury was a twisted ankle during a high school football game at his Military school.  In applying for the special status, Castillo wrote a letter to the government that his foot injury was "due to my service to this great country and I would do it again to protect this great country".

Duckworth, in yelling at him during the hearing stated  "I'm so glad that you would be willing to play football at prep school again to protect this great country"

Duckworth should rule the world! Castillo should go to prison, but sadly, he probably did not violate any laws.   Maybe Duckworth can make a law about this.   Sad.

Goodwill just hit the motherlode...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My little one is not that little anymore. We went for his yearly camp physical and he grew four inches since last June. He is now officially taller than I am (I am 5'8"!) This is certainly bittersweet.

He kept telling me that he had no clothes to wear. His closet was so messy that I couldn't believe this statement, so we decided to attack his closet today. I made him try every single thing on.

I am not lying when I tell you that I loaded up ten white garbage bags into my SUV and hightailed over to the goodwill drive through donation place.  He really has nothing to wear, poor thing. If you are around Target, Old Navy or the mall this week and you see a crazy brunette loading up, that is me.  

I did order him some t-shirts from my favorite site 6dollarshirts.com (i don't get any hook up for mentioning them but I do love their site!)

 Here is the one I'll be looking for in the sleep away camp online photos next month! Isn't this the perfect camp shirt! 

Summer Artsy-fartsy....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The ArtCenter/South Florida is a really cool place on South Beach. It not only is home to resident artists and their studios, it also has art classes. I took one a few years ago and it was really fun.

If you live or are traveling to SoFla this summer, you may be interested in their art camp.Their art camp is for kids ages 6 to 12 and the classes are held on the fabulous Lincoln Road where you can certainly find something to do while they are creating. Go to  www.artcentersf.org for more information. 

All parents know that summer reading is required in most schools. The thought is that it continues the education process if the kids keep reading during the summer. My kids have to read a ton of books this summer. My middle schooler has to read 4 and write reports. He can chose from a list of books so it is not the worst sentence.  My high schooler has to read two books, one of which is Jane Erye.   He has an exam on it when he gets back which leads to a dilemma, does he read it now and forget the details or while he is at sleepaway camp (which he will conveniently forget to do) OR read it the week before school.   I hate summer reading and I love reading for pleasure.  

I digress, the ArtCenter/South Florida feels that art during the summer is important. They back this up by quoting  the National School Boards Association, children who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. Studies show that art helps kids earn higher report card grades because skills developed through art lead to better learning in other areas.

Regardless, art is way more fun than reading Jane Erye, especially if you are a teenage boy.

Why didn't I think of that (first post)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Maybe it's because I've been watching too much Shark Tank lately, but I'm sure that this won't be my "why didn't I think of that" post.

In my inbox today was an email from the website Fab.com.  Look at this cool beach tote.

It is by a company called Quirky.   This tote has a sifting mesh bottom and pockets. When you are ready to leave the beach, just unfasten the flaps and shake it. Supposedly any sand inside will escape. It is really cute too

The price is quite steep at  $90 but I'm pretty sure that you'll see knockoffs for less next summer in Targay, etc.


Mojo Donuts...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

When it is summer vacation and you have a child in humid hot/rainy South Florida with a non-waterproof cast on his leg, you will do anything to keep him entertained and happy so today, Sam (the one with the cast) and I headed out to Pembroke Pines to check out a new Donut Store called Mojo Donuts. 

Mojo Donuts is a gourmet donut shop. Supposedly, they are South Florida's first gourmet donut place.  They are in a non-descript shopping center in an area that we never venture to (it is about 30 minutes from our house).   Was it worth it to drive 30 minutes for donuts? I guess if you ask my weight watcher's leader or my doctor, "of course not". If you ask anyone else, including my teenage kids, "absolutely!"

When we walked in, we saw a counter full of amazing looking donuts. The clerked explained that they are open every day from 6 a.m. until they sell out. They make the donuts fresh each morning. They have different flavors every day.  I can't remember all of the flavors but some of them were
-red velvet
-key lime
-bacon maple
-bacon nutella
-snickers/potato sticks
- fruity pebbles
-raspberry glazed

You get the diabetic-causing picture. I let Sam pick out the flavors.

I tried the potato stick/snickers one. It was worth every calorie (or so I saw until tomorrow when the scale is sure to creep up)

Sam had some of the fruity pebbles and a brownie covered donut. Jake had the bacon nutella one. He said it was great! 

We saved a guava one for Dad who is at work. I'm sure it is good.

Mojo Donuts is located at 7906 Pines Blvd in Pembroke Pines. I don't think that they have a website but here is the link to their facebook page.

I'm very glad that this place is not closer to my house. 

I surrender...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This week, I tried to finish up a freelance law project and list a ton of fab stuff that a friend gave me to sell on eBay.  I had a lot of work to do and wanted to try to get back in the groove after the weeks of Bar Mitzvah chaos.  

First of all I had the cast debacle with my son. 
Then my computer started acting wonky and I spent hours on the phone with applecare getting it back up to speed
Then my iphone started acting wonky and I had to spend hours at the apple store getting it back up to speed.'
Then the flood came...

I realized that sometimes life gets in the way of life and hopefully my groove will return next week.

Oh yes, did I say flood?  We had a flash flood here in Aventura.  In the morning, the weather girl said to expect some light rain during the day due to the tail of tropical storm Andrea which was heading far away. 

The weather people in Miami are gorgeous but not very good at their jobs. I don't know why I even watch.  It started to rain. And rain. And rain. 

Our little city got 15" in one afternoon.  My place is usually fine in the rain but this was heavy and fast.  The entrance to my house is up three steps but I have a very large sunken living room which is on ground level.  During the 15 years that I have lived here, we have been through hurricanes and tropical storms, water has only seeped in under the sliding glass doors once. That was during a freak flash flood about five years ago during December. A little water leaked in, we sucked it up with a wet vac and forgot about it.

Yesterday I noticed a little water coming in around 2 p.m. I put down towels and some water absorbing things that look like giant sausages. By 3 p.m. more towels. By 4 p.m.  I was out of towels and I felt defeated, the water just started coming in. Luckily, most of my house is two feet higher than the living room.  I told my husband to leave work (He just started with a new company a week ago. I've already called once with a child headed to the emergency room and now with a flood! His new office must think we are a dramatic family!!!)  

It is a good thing that he left when he did. As it was, it took four times longer than usual. The closer he got to the house, the more cars were stalled out in the road. It took 45 minutes to go the last mile to my house! During the point that I wanted to take a shower but had no dry towels! I was glad that my living room had not been re-decorated lately and that I was not attached to anything in it other than photographs which had been moved to higher ground. Facebook friends from the area reported really long commutes as it got later. The rain finally let up and the water was sucked up. No permanent damage.

Here are the towels outside waiting to be washed. It may be time for new towels.

Here is the little lake in my front yard. Usually it looks so pretty. Floods are messy

I highly recommend that you own a canister style wet vac. We would never have been able to get a company to come out yesterday, everyone was flooded!!!

Summer is here....

Friday, June 7, 2013

As a mother of two boys who completed 9th and 7th grade yesterday, who hosted a Bar Mitzvah in the Bahamas two weeks ago, whose husband, after much deep consideration, just made a major career change , who now has to pack 4 camp trunks for sleep
away camp, who decided to undertake some freelance lawyer work which is more time-consumng than ever, who has been to 1 ER and two orthopedist offices in the past week, and is peri-menopausal,  I AM EXHAUSTED.

Usually when Summer Break arrives, I am enthusiastic. I am usually dancing in the carpool line. Not this year but I have resolved to fake it until it arrives.  In the words of one of my BFF, "respect the lull".  No homework. No 6:15 a.m. school bus to make.  No less nagging , bitching and yelling. 

Furthermore, soon the beasts will be heading off to the mountains for a month of good clean fun. This means, maybe 2 Publix Supermarket trips (the whole month!!!!) , way less laundry, way less driving and no nagging, bitching or yelling! Woo Hoo. Just typing that made me feel a little more summery.

Casting call...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

If you recall, my son fell in PE on Friday. We went to the Emergency Room. Being the experienced mother of boys, on the way to the Emergency Room, I called the pediatric orthopedist. There is only one pediatric orthopedist group around here and they are busy, busy, busy. Even with a broken bone, there is often a three day wait to see them!!

Anyway, I made the appointment for the orthopedist for the first available date, Tuesday (this was Friday at 4:30 p.m.!)  The location that they could see us was in their least convenient office, about 1 hour away.  I had hoped that I would cancel the appointment but even with the sprain diagnosis, he was still in quite a bit of pain on Sunday and his doctor-relatives insisted that I keep the appointment. They were certain it was broken 

We drove to the everglades (or right next to it), during rush hour on Tuesday. The orthopedic surgeon was very nice. He confirmed the diagnosis of a sprain but explained that if we casted it for two weeks, it would heal much faster than on it's own. Given that sleep away camp is next month,  it is the end of school and he has no major plans for the next few weeks, we said, "Okay, cast that foot!".  A few minutes later, he was sporting a green hulk-like cast. About fifty bucks later at the pharmacy downstairs from the doctor's office, we were loaded up with a shoe for the cast, as well as a special shower bag so he can bathe without ruining the thing.

At 8p.m. that night, he was hanging out on my bed watching tv and I noticed that he was moving his foot up and down, as if there was a hinge on the ankle part of the cast. It was totally cracked. I wanted to cry.  

So Wednesday a.m., we loaded up again and went the closer location of the orthopedist without an appointment and marched in right when they opened. "We've got a defective cast here!".  A nice cast expert named Gino with four teenaged daughters was disgusted by the lame-o job the other nurse did the day before. Nurse Gino took his time and made a really strong cast with extra padding. He promised that it won't crack. We decided that green was bad luck and went with navy blue this time.

Seriously, this was all for a sprained ankle.  When people ask me why I don't practice law anymore, I will have to direct them to this post. How on earth would any working mother, much less a trial attorney be able to deal with this just for a sprained ankle? Does she call the judge and say "Send the jury home, we got a bad cast"? Does she just duct tape it and hope for the best? Thank goodness I work out of my house and could deal with this time consuming mini-drama without causing anyone to be held in contempt of court or something bad like that..  

 The patient is doing fine now. He hates the cast and can't wait for it to come off. It is also rainy season here in SoFla and he is going to yell at me in a minute when I suggest that he put a garbage bag over it to walk into school this morning. If that thing gets soaked and I have to go back to get another cast, I'm picking the color (hot pink?) 

When you see something, should you really say something???

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A few nights ago, I met up with my friend at Starbucks for a quick latte. It was around dinner time and not very crowded. We got our drinks and walked outside to the large outdoor patio. Starbucks recently announced a smoking ban on their patios but people were puffing away.  We walked around trying to find a table away from the smokers and noticed an empty table with a large briefcase in one of the chairs.

My friend, who is kind of loud to begin with, started asking in a loud voice "Does this briefcase belong to anyone?" Having worked inside an airport for several years, had she not asked, I would have. The rule that we both have learned is "when you see something, say something". She asked several times before a guy sitting at the next table said "It's mine lady. Geez, we are not in Israel" He was so obnoxious about it. She asked him to move the briefcase to his own table and he did but he gave us dirty looks while we drank our lattes and gossiped away.

Was my friend wrong? After Boston, I think that she was totally right. I don't think that the people in Boston who were next to the backpack  had time to ask about it,  but what if we hadn't said anything about the starbucks briefcase and our six children were motherless the next day?  Is it wrong to think that someone might want to blow up a Miami Starbucks?

Would you have said something? I'd love opinions.

Back to the usual chaos!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I guess that all of that Bar Mitzvah planning made everything else take a backseat. This week was spent catching up on everything that I slacked off on before the trip and a few naps.

In addition to the usual stuff, we were busy switching careers (my husband), studying for end of the year exams (the kids) and saying goodbye to a good friend who is moving away next week (me).

Oh yes, I forget to mention the visit last night to the ER. My youngest Sam landed on his foot in a funny way during PE. He got in the car (about three hours after the jump) and complained that his foot hurt, he took off his shoe and I almost crashed the car when I saw a huge egg  bump on the side of his foot.  Luck for us his Uncle, who is a physician, was in the neighborhood and made an emergency house call to check it out. When he winced and looked concerned after his exam, I was worried. He thought that it was broken and might need surgery.  I grabbed a tote bag and packed sweatshirts,  reading material and an Ipad (can you tell that I know the drill?)  We rushed to the ER.  

The Children's Hospital is a great one and it is about 10 miles away. Unfortunately it was rush hour and it took about 45 minutes to actually get there. I counted my blessings that he was not crying or barfing.  Once at the ER, we were quickly seen. There were a couple of Xrays (with a portable xray machine) and he was diagnosed with a sprain!!! It was the best news that I had heard all week!  We were back in the car on the way to McDonalds for a post-ER tradition, the McFlurry, within an hour of our arrival.

Woo Hoo!  Bring on summer!

I hope that your week was more boring than mine. 

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