Happy Birthday America

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Happy 4th of July!  Or, as my son likes to put it : Happy Birthday to America!

He picked out the picture.

This has always been my favorite holiday because it takes place in my favorite month, during my favorite season.

Not to mention the day honors my favorite place, my home, where I have grown up and lived pretty much my whole life.

What’s great is that the entire country starts celebrating a week in advance.  

And I love celebrating.

Enjoy the fireworks, everyone!

I am done

Shit, it’s been a long week.

I recently completed a 48 hour school workathon, which is the only type of marathon you will ever find me participating in.

I can assure you, it was just as much of a bitch as the real thing.

Seriously, I think I’m applicable for the Guinness Book of World Records or something.

By the time I hit the last submit button, I was almost awash in tears of relief.

I am DONE DONE DONE with school for now.  And I am ready for a vacation.

That’s why The View Through the Window is going to Florida!

Our vacations are usually on the shorter side.  We take four day treks to a city within a few hours drive and get back home in just enough time to say mother eff, tomorrow’s Monday!

But this year we decided that a good vacation is a very important part of life.  Everyone needs to exit the traffic circle of work, school, home, repeat once in a while.

And what can be a better destination than the happiest place on earth?

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After that bitch school workathon, I needed to find a happy place.

I still have my concerns, though.  The drive from Chicago to Florida is around 18 hours long.  Add my kids to it and we might as well hire a donkey cart for our mode of transportation.

We’d probably get there just as fast.

Flying is completely out of the question.  I swore I would never board an airplane with my boys again after my last plane ride, one of the many highlights of which was my very concerned son, a first time flier, asking things like why there were so many cops at the airport, was something wrong with the plane, would it crash and would we all die?

Loud and clear enough for everyone on board to hear.  He apparently inherited my flying apprehensions.

This was me.

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Everyone knows you don’t say crash when you’re on a plane, especially if you’re a Muslim.  I couldn’t believe it, but most people just laughed when they heard him voice his concerns.

Me? I almost threw up all over my friendly fellow passenger from the stress, combined with plenty of air sickness.

I’d rather drive to and back from Florida ten times than go through that again.  Any humiliation we experience will be confined to the privacy of our van.

I tried to persuade my husband to postpone the trip until our kids were older, but he was adamant that they were at just the right age to experience the magic that is Disney.

And because he’s paying for everything, I felt I should agree.

And when I did, he was all

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So we are going.  Suitcases have been packed, Florida relatives have been notified, and neighbors have been asked to keep an eye on our place for us until we return.

Wish us luck!  I am sure one hour into the drive I will want to shoot myself, but I believe in living in the moment.  And in miracles.

Last week was also my birthday.  I am now 31 26 years old.

Here are some birthday dinner pictures.

My mom refused to eat the restaurant’s prized steaks because “they bleed when you slice into them”, so she ordered that enormous vegetable tagine instead.

Here comes the best part about birthdays.

It pays to be old.

You were meant to read this

Prayers for the innocent victims of the violence in Sydney and Peshawar and for their loved ones.  Posting one of my favorite poems in their honor and memory.  Poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

It’s been a sad week.  Disturbing images of death and grief have kept me from wanting to do anything but just sit and hate the world.  That doesn’t do anyone any good, especially not me.  Too much sitting negatively affects my slower than the turning rate of a dead gerbil’s spinning wheel metabolism.  I realized I needed to get off my ass and just do something, so I decided to blog, even though I have no idea what to blog about.  If this post make any sense, it’ll have the good fortune of being published.  If not, then why should you care. You don’t even know about it.

Now that you’ve read the last paragraph, you can see what the title is implying.

I’ve attempted to blog three times this week and all three times I fell asleep with the laptop warming my thighs and the light from the screen reflecting off my face.  Once I woke up from a nightmare where I was being fondled by a giant i-pad.  I kid you not.  That shit cray cray.  I think my laptop conned its electronic brethren into sending me a subliminal message.  Do this for me or I’ll tell Apple you’re sleeping with Motorola. 

If it could talk I’m sure my laptop would say either fucking write something or get the eff off of me.  Being upset really messes with your blogging mojo.  I don’t write very well in dramatic.  When I try to, my stories come out sounding less like The Fault in Our Stars and more like the script of a bad episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  That’s not really narrowing it down, though, since they’re all pretty shitty.  Pick one of your choice.  There.  That’s how bad my drama is.

And please don’t say it.  Don’t.  Believe me, it’s scripted.  All that botox can’t emote on its own.

Sarcastic smart ass is more my dialect.  But there was nothing to be sarcastic or smart ass about within the past week.  There was only sadness.  So I stayed away.

What’s on my mind right now is that a whole group of people will be judged for the actions of the few or the one.  While things have been bad in the past, they’ve never been this bad.  We’ve had to change what we wear.  Alter our plans for the weekend.  Take well lit and more populated roads home at night.  That’s right, folks.  That’s right.  There’s a long, hard road ahead for us Bears fans.

Wait, what?  What did you think I was talking about?

Oh, that.  Pshaw.  I have a cousin in Sydney whose husband is a police officer.  When they visited us a few summers ago, he would go on and on about how everything’s better in Australia, from the food to the weather.  Even the pots and pans.  And we’d get irritated, because while Australia is awesome, you know everything in the US is the bestest.  Including the people.

With the weekend just around the corner, this suck ass week will come to an end, thank god.  This weekend means watching the football game where Jay Interception Cutler will be warming his ass on the bench it’ll be perched on.  Nice to see that he’s working hard for the salary that Chicago will have to, I don’t know, sell the fucking Willis Tower for? 

I don’t want to pick on the guy.  He’s not the only player on the team that sucks ass.  But when you’re being paid one of the highest salaries in the NFL, if not the highest, it’d be nice if you did something other than help the other team win.

Tried to throwback thursday that too was interceptedI’m not a big football fan.  I only got into it because my husband likes it.  I understand precisely half the game and less than that of the terminology, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what it means when you throw the ball and a player from the other team catches it.  You can always count on me to get excited for the local team,  but not this season.  No.  Not this season.  *Shudders*

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Now for some The View Through The Window household news.  That’s the “diamond” my son got me as a present from his school’s holiday gift shop.  He was excited when he handed it to me but said I can always take it back! when I punished him for being naughty later on in the day.  I tried to explain to him that gifts should come from the heart and aren’t conditional, to which he made a quacking duck sort of movement with his right hand and replied blah blah blah.

This is the same child who answered eat more salad when he overheard me asking my husband what my husband would tell me if he could be completely honest.  It’s a measure of how much I love the kid that the remark only got him a time out.  More than being a gift, the fake giant diamond is proof that he has a softer side to him somewhere in his utterly spoiled and sarcastically rude self.  He does love me, I just know it.

Last week we accidentally left the front door to our house wide open on our way out to run some errands around town.  So basically for over an hour our house’s welcome mat stood for my owners are sleep deprived idiots, please come rob them.  When we got back and saw what we had (or hadn’t) done, the accusations went flying even faster than the ones racking up against Bill Cosby.  I blamed my husband, he blamed me, and we both blamed the kids even though we didn’t say it.  Some shit had gone down in the van where they had dropped water on the seats and in the ensuing confusion, I guess we forgot to lock up.

I might have been sleep deprived before, but that night I was a freaking insomniac.  Even with the alarm system on I couldn’t close my eyes for more than a split second.  Behind every corner I thought I saw an axe murderer with a passion for hacking off people’s heads while they slumbered.  Luckily nothing happened, except that the next night I was so tired that I dozed off while putting my son to bed and instead of telling him a bedtime story, I started sleep talking the plot line to While You Were Sleeping

I kid you not.  You can’t make this stuff up.  This shit cray cray.

Poem retrieved from http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/do-not-stand-by-my-grave-and-weep.  Throwback Thursday pic from everywhere you look, because woah, Chicago is pissed.

The good doctors and the bad doctor

Note : Some sensitive material of a medical nature and some swearing involved.

We almost lost my youngest back in 2011, when he was around sixteen months of age.  Most people don’t know anything about it because updating my Facebook status isn’t the first thing on my mind when frantically pacing the hallways of the intensive care unit.  It’s not something I like to talk about anyway, but will in order to make the point I intend to make with this blog post.

For Halloween 2014, my son wanted to be Elsa.  As in the snow queen.  He wanted the boots, the cape, the hairdo, and to be belting out Let it Go instead of trick or treat at the top of his lungs.  He practiced everyday, with my scarf tucked into the back of his shirt as a cape.  This, of course, causes me and my husband some concern.

If you’re wondering why, you obviously haven’t been through the hellish rites of passage known as elementary and high school or you’ve stoned yourself enough to have forgotten.  I can just picture the scenario where some smart ass, ignorant fuck of a child, with parents who share similar attributes, introduces the word fag to my sweet little boy.  And this will start the cycle of self doubt and insecurity in him, he who just wants to sing Let it Go and be Elsa the snow queen for Halloween, darn it.

While he walks around the house clutching his Thomas and Friends trains to his chest , I wonder what will become of my baby.  That’s what he is, after all.  My youngest and most likely my last.  It’s something I wondered around three years ago, too, when he lay in my arms, only half conscious, while we drove him to the local hospital’s emergency room from his pediatrician’s office.  He had fallen in and out of consciousness that day, pooped a diaper full of blood, and had spent the whole week clinging to me, not wanting anyone else and not willing to let go.  I felt like a mother kangaroo.  It had gotten so bad that at one point, I walked out of the house as soon as my husband walked in after work.  I told him I was going out and to not call me.  I drove to the nearest park, turned the car off, and cried.

Two doctor visits with the same doctor at our son’s pediatricians office earlier on in the week had resulted in a diagnosis of allergies.  Twice.  But the third time we took him in, right before being sent to the emergency room, a different doctor took one look at him, saw the potential for a lawsuit due to her colleague’s inability to recognize a child near death when she saw one, and sent us on our way to the local hospital, where they hypothesized about what exactly could be wrong with my son until a test for his hemoglobin levels returned at a level of 2.2.  Normal for a child his age is around 14.

A blood transfusion and an ambulance to shift us to the larger Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago were ordered.  They loaded my son into the ambulance with the blood transfusion and an oxygen machine going side by side.  The nice paramedic tried not to make it obvious that he had to keep adjusting the oxygen levels because my son was having difficulty breathing.  We arrived at the emergency room of Children’s Memorial.  Surgeons, nurses, emergency room doctors, and the nice paramedic all crowded around us.  I’ll never forget the feeling of being cared about that I got from that crowd.  It was in stark contrast to the vibe I got earlier at the other hospital.  One smiling, calm face after another introduced his or her self to us and asked that we tell them exactly what was going on, in detail.  Their demeanor made me think that med school must have taught a course on keeping your shit together in the face of doctor doctor please please please fix my kid.

My son was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, caused by too much milk in his diet, which we were giving him too much of because he had been refusing his food while sick.  Have you ever heard of death by cow boob juice?  Me neither.  Apparently the dumb fuck of a pediatrician who diagnosed him with allergies couldn’t connect the dots when I had told her he had been on just milk for days and that he had swelling all over his body.  Swelling is a classic symptom of iron deficiency anemia.  I’m guessing she pulled the degree from Rush out of her ass.

After spending three days and two nights in the hospital, one of which was in the ICU, we got to take our son home, which isn’t something every parent gets to experience when leaving a children’s hospital.  I realize we were the lucky ones.  I will forever be grateful to the doctors and nurses at Children’s Memorial.  How they manage to keep their smiles and their sanity intact with the kind of work they do is a mystery to me.  I know I would’ve gone bat shit manic depressive a long time ago.

It’s been over three years since then and the road to raising two young boys has been only slightly bumpy.  Until this one big bump of my son sometimes wanting to be a girl.  Eighty percent of the time he’s fine with being a boy, watching Thomas and attempting to beat up his big brother.  Then there are those moments when he wants me to buy him a purse with his favorite princess character on it.  Confused much?

I’ve thought about it, and really, the only thing I’ve wanted from my sons ever since they were born is for them to stick my husband and I in the same old folks’ home when we get to the diapering and spoon feeding part of old age, so that we can crap our pants at the same time, eventually croak together, and I can graduate from the school of life with full nagging honors.  Oh, yeah, and for them to be happy.  Super happy.  When you’re a parent, all that matters to you is that your child exists.  Parenting is a one way street.  You give and don’t expect anything in return, although there’s a very good chance you’ll get a lot back. I don’t see how it’s possible to add fine print to the contract that was to love my kids forever.

So no, I don’t care if my son wants to be a queen, either now or twenty years from now.  I don’t care who my boys marry or don’t marry or if they go live with cows on some ranch in Montana.  I just hope that once in a while they’ll leave their bovine pasture and come see us, especially when my husband’s telling the nurses he’s fine with being donated to science as long as it gets him away from me.