Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Law & Order F.V.U. (Fish Victims Unit)

Holy Cat Chow! We have an unexplained death to solve and it happened right in our kitchen! The victim: Blackie - a four day old fish found mysteriously floating at the top of his fish bowl. The perp: Rudy, a Maine Coon who was caught red-handed stalking said fish while I was busy making school lunches and searching for cereal that agreed with the two finicky fish owners watching Sponge Bob in the den a few yards away.
At the time the iPhone picture was snapped, Blackie was still quite vibrant, zipping around the bottom of the bowl, on the lookout for his morning fish flakes. But by the time I left the house and returned later that afternoon, Blackie wound up a corpse or is it forpse and my son raced out the front door holding his beloved friend in a napkin to show me the evidence that his fish had in fact bit the dust.
Before I had a chance to investigate, Dylan decided to give Blackie a burial at sea - flushing his lifeless body away to his final resting place - somewhere amidst the sewer system of Southern Westchester. As I searched the house to find my cat, I was surprised to find that I was named the prime suspect in the crime.
It seems that the night before Blackie's demise, I decided to change the water in the fish bowl because it was quite cloudy and downright gross. I grabbed the net, swooped the two fish out of the bowl, deposited them in a lovely vase filled with room temperature water and then rinsed out their domicile, filled it back up with water and plopped them back inside.
According to the lead investigator on the case, my husband - it seems as if my tinkering with the water could have shocked poor Blackie into his premature death. But does that make me guilty of fish-icide or was it just fish-slaughter? Either way, my son lost a new friend, my cat is on the prowl for Goldie, the lonely fish that is now hidden away in the bathroom and I'm afraid to change the water for fear of being blamed for another unfortunate case of aquacide.
Who knew that taking care of fish was so tough? It's a good thing we didn't buy a dog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Thanks to Valerie Bertinelli, I started a new diet today. Jenny Craig. I had my fill of Weight Watchers, Zone Chefs and LA Weight Loss and when my surprisingly snug fall clothes revealed that I sacked on some extra LB's this summer, I decided to join Valerie in a race to shed some excess weight. I only have to lose 15-20 pounds so I'm not in Kirstie Alley territory but I figured if my favorite "One Day At a Time" gal can do it, then so can I.
My friend raved about the food so I ordered my Jenny meals at home selections, unpacked all the food packed in dry ice and took a look at the dishes I was going to be savoring these next few weeks. Tonight I sampled their chicken with fetuccini and a double chocolate cake. I have to say - while the entree was pretty good, the dessert was not as good as my Weight Watchers chocolate brownie sundae, but then again, I haven't lost an ounce on Weight Watchers in two years so Jenny - it's all up to you to help me to fit into my size 4's again!
I'm not going to go on and on about how my kids have pretty much served as saboteurs for my bad eating habits, but the other problem I've faced has been not having time to cook healthy meals, going out to dinner way too much, enjoying great wine and a few martinis now and then - and it all adds up to one thing. Thunder thighs. Okay two things - and a bubble butt.
So day one is complete and I'm sure when I hop on the scale tomorrow I probably won't lose anything just yet, but hopefully by the time I head into Thanksgiving I'll be at my goal weight and ready to dive into some sweet potato pie with marshmallows. I know - old habits die hard. So here's to a new beginning - me, Jenny and Valerie are going to be best buds - check back with me next week and I'll let you know if I dropped some weight. And if I don't lose anything, there's always South Beach.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Bracelet

I would have written earlier this week about my kids' first day back to school but I managed to get myself involved in so many projects with my new company, that my musings about daily life weren't that funny this week. In fact, on my son's very first day of kindergarten, he shocked both my husband and I when he was the only kid in the class to start bawling when we both attempted to leave the classroom.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your five year old wail when you attempt to drop him off at a new school. All I kept thinking was he's never going to let me leave - I will never be able to go to work again. I'm going to be parked outside of the classroom until the leaves start changing. I don't know what happened that he's gotten so attached to me, but every single morning he asks the same question. "Mommy, are you going to work today?" For the last five years, I've had to tell him, yes, I'm going to work today. But now, I'm the owner of my own business and work is wherever I want it to be - at home, in Manhattan - even in Los Angeles if I wanted to hop on a plane. But yet, as my son gets more and more stressed when I tell him I'm heading to the city for work, I'm starting to realize that no matter what I do, I need to be there to take him to school, or be home when he walks in the door.
I'm not saying I'm packing it in for SAHM status - I am a worker at heart - but I do want to be there for him and my daughter. I even contemplated volunteering to be a class mother and then thought better of it since I pretty much stink in that area - who the heck wants to get up at 6am to call everyone on a snow day or bake all the cupcakes to sell at an election day bake sale. What I do know is that when a kid is five, they remember everything. I remember when I got left at afterschool by accident when I was his age and I vowed never to do that either of them - no kid gets left behind - except of course when you think they're supposed to be in school for a full day but it's really only a half day, but I digress...
Getting back to kindergarten - while my son held on to my arm for dear life that first day, the little boy next to him broke the ice with some sage advice. He looked straight at my left wrist and said, "Why don't you leave something special with him like your bracelet and then he'll know you have to come back for him?" A very wise thought, except I wasn't about about to slip off my 10th anniversary gift as collatoral just so my son would stop his crying jag. So instead of parting with my tennis bracelet, I fished in my purse and handed him the sherrif's badge we picked out at Rocking Horse ranch last week when he begged me to get him a pair of handcuffs. He still kept crying but eventually, after we gave him the slip, he finally stopped and picked up a marker to draw a picture of himself missing his mommy and daddy.
Thankfully for me, day two was a complete cinch. He marched right in, gave me a kiss and off he went to sit with his new friends. And me - I raced off to catch the 8:48am train, missed my morning coffee, but caught up with my closest gal pals on Metronorth. And then, I raced home early to see how his day went. And thankfully, he had a wonderful time. So while I adjust to starting a new business and Dylan adjusts to being a kindergartener, something tells me that while both of us may have bumps along the way, everything is going to turn out just fine.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Case of the Missing School Supplies List

Here's a terrible start of school confession - I am a pack rat. When I receive mail, I stick it in a pile on a bookshelf in my den and then fish through it to find important things, like overdue bills, property taxes, checks, 20% off coupons from Lord & Taylor and the letters containing the names of my kids' new teachers. I also store things in that pile like the mandatory school supply list of items that I need to purchase for my son for his very first day of kindergarten. My daughter is already taken care of because I forked over a check back in June guaranteeing all of her supplies would be purchased and delivered to us before school starts - it hasn't arrived yet - but I'm not getting nervous...yet.
My son's situation is a different story entirely. I remember seeing that supply list numerous times and then, without warning, it just went missing. Someone (probably my husband but I'm not pointing fingers), in a fit to keep me organized - trust me there is organization in my monster pile - decided to do a little house cleaning, and now I can't find the most important piece of paper I'm going to need to keep me (and my son) from appearing as if we are total screw-ups for not following the rules.
I keep trying to trigger in my mind what the list said to bring that first day - paper towels, giant box of crayons, fisker scissors, washable markers, glue, apple juice, four peaches, aluminum foil...wait that's my shopping list. I even went to our school website and while I found all the school supply lists from Grade 1-Grade 5, the Kindergarten list was nowhere to be found. I guess I could either go on another school website that lists the supplies for their kindergarteners and buy all the supplies from that one instead. Or, I could always call one of the other moms in the class and admit that I've already failed miserably in the school preparedness category but why should I already admit that I'm completely disorganized on day one and risk being labeled a bad mom before we've even set foot in the door?
When my daughter was a kindergartener, I was so good - purchased the supplies at least a week in advance and had a closet full of adorable outfits for her to wear for the school year. But by the time baby number two came along, my procrastination gene kicked into high gear and I'd wait until the last minute to get both kids whatever they needed to get them prepared for school, extra curricular activities and birthday parties. But the one thing I never did, was lose lists. That is, until now.
I've pretty much scoured the entire house and I'm officially about to give up. The list is gone and I'm going to have to admit defeat. I will have to either have to ask his teacher for the list or I'll call a cool parent who can relate to my lack of organization skills who may be willing to share their copy of the supply list so that I don't look like a total fool when we walk in hand in hand into his classroom as he sports his brand new "Hello My Name is Trouble" shirt from Tar-jay.
And what about my third grader who is supposed to be receiving a delivery of school supplies that hasn't even arrived yet? I'm hoping that package will miraculously appear too, and if not, it looks like I'm going to be spending my Labor Day, cruising the aisles of Office Depot buying out the entire school supply section - hey, we may wind up with double the supplies if her mystery package ever arrives - but I'm sure if I put away in a safe place, they can use it for next year too. That is, if no one else in the house decides to move it to an undisclosed location.

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