Thursday, April 23, 2009

What am I doing?

I'm sitting here, when I'm supposed to be studying, watching Grey's Anatomy. Studying, I might add, so I can an A in one of the classes I need to get into nursing school. If any of you watch Grey's tonight, you'll understand why I sat here and cried instead of studied. If you didn't, I'll recap. Lots of dying. Children. Dying. Very slow, painful deaths.

While I know it is t.v. show, while I know all the people and story lines are pretend, I sat there thinking, "WHAT on earth am I DOING?". Why am I willingly getting myself into this? If you don't already know, once I get an A in this class and then in all my other classes and then get into nursing school (and yes, I'm being flippant on purpose, I know none of that will be easy), I want to work in a NICU or PICU. With devastatingly sick and dying babies and children. What am I thinking!? Seriously. I am freaking out. I am sitting here, paralyzed, not being able to study because I'm thinking I cannot do this. I cannot watch what I just saw on t.v. every day and in real life. I should be spending time with my own children, right? Why am I giving up this special time with them to go do that?

Freaking. Out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I have no recollection but I remember this

...I was just re-reading this blog post from last week and have you already guessed that I have absolutely NO idea what it was that Adam did that irritated me? So that day, when I wrote that blog post and I asked the question, "Was it worth it?" in regards to raising a silly issue when there are so many things to be grateful for, my answer to my own question ran along the lines of, "I don't want it to be worth it because that seems shallow, but I was irritated and focused on making myself feel better so I'll say that it might be worth it."

Well friends, I've changed my mind. I've had the AHA! moment Oprah is always urging us to look for. The answer to that question is pretty much, "No." It wasn't worth it. If I can't even remember what it was (and I have a steel trap of a memory when it comes to details) a week later then it was Clearly.Not.Worth.It.

But now the task becomes how to make that decision, in the moment? How do you know in that moment that next week, you won't care? Well, the truth is, I think I did know, I just chose to ignore it.

And you know the crappy thing about this lesson (you know, other than the fact that I already learned it and it just ignored it?) is that Adam probably doesn't remember what it was that I was griping at him for either. But I bet if I ask him, he'll remember that I griped. I always say, "At some point you forget the message but are still mad at the messenger" (and yes, that is original material, at least to my knowledge). Yep, I sure do say that. Serving myself well, aren't I? Now, if I only I could remember to listen...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The truth about toilet paper.... that both my boys like it.

....and it was toilet paper that made me realize how much they look alike at 15 months! The two black and whites are Eli, the other two (top and bottom) are Ethan. I mean, aside from the almost 4 year age difference and red hair, they are practically TWINS!

....and Eli just today was wearing that white shirt that Ethan has on in the first picture. I'm tellin' ya...twins...

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Tellus Museum

What fun the boys and I had at the Tellus Museum this past week! It's up in Cartersville, which is sort of in the middle of nowhere, so my expectations were pretty low (which may be a partial contributor as to why I was so impressed!). The campus of the museum was beautiful and the layout was perfect for both Ethan and Eli even with their age difference. Lots of space to run around without bumping into stuff (for Eli) and lots of stuff low to the ground to look at and touch (for Ethan).

The planetarium had a show that was playing just in time for when we got there which was geared toward small children. Lots of animation with a bit of history thrown in (for us big kids!). As an added bonus, I had about thirty minutes of uninterrupted snuggle time with Eli that is usually very rare. At the end of the show, the Star Wars theme was playing and I was convinced Ethan was going to pass out from sheer excitement.

"Mommy! How did the "show lady" know that I liked Star Wars!? Did she see my Star Wars shirt and play it just for me!? I think she really did!" So adorable and definitely the highlight of Ethan's day.

When we first arrived at the museum, the ladies fussed and fawned all over Eli's little red hair and Ethan's sweet smile. I was feeling pretty proud of myself as we walked around. Eli was behaving (for the most part) and Ethan was so excited to run from exhibit to exhibit checking things out.

We were in the fossil digging room (looking for our favorite "fossil" which we were allowed to keep.

I was sitting with Eli is this giant sandbox and chatting with Ethan about his fossils when a gentlemen who worked for the museum walked in, complete with his little museum badge, walkie talkie and ear piece. I didn't pay much attention to him until he walked over, pointed at me and said, "Ma'am. I need to talk to you," in his thick, Matlock-like accent.

Feeling pretty idiotic climbing out of the fossil sandbox and dusting myself off, I'm also slightly irritated that I had to leave Eli and Ethan playing and wondered what why I was being summoned.

I walk over to the museum man and look at him, waiting for him to say something.

He says, "Ma'am. You need to be more careful."

I say, "I'm sorry?". Did I leave my car unlocked? Leave my purse behind at the front desk? Forget my credit card?

He says nothing. Instead, he has his hand in a fist and turns it over and opens it up to reveal what is in the palm of his hand. He stares at me and nods slightly and I realize he wants me to look at whatever it is sitting in the palm of his hand.

I peer into his hand and see a piece of red lint, a part of a gum wrapper and five Cheerios, as well as some other pieces of dirt and little rocks.

I'm perplexed until I remember the handful of Cheerios I gave to Eli.

"You need to be more careful," he says, this time a little more forcefully.

"I'm...uh...I'm so sorry. Really. I didn't even realize..."

"I walked all over the WHOLE gallery and picked ALL of these up after you," he says. (Really, I thought? All FIVE of them? What a feat.) Now, I'm not a litterer and I try VERY hard to pick up after myself and make sure my children do too...but we're in a museum geared toward children for Pete's sake. A Cheerio here and there isn't going to hurt anyone.

"I'm really, really sorry," feeling like I was suddenly 5 years old and just got caught drawing on the walls.

He stares at me, closes his fist around the Cheerios, lint and dirt pieces and very slowly backs out of the room, his eye on me the whole time as if I might just drop one more Cheerio on the floor and then he'll really have me.

I should add that this guy really spent some time tracking me down. The fossil digging room is down a hall off of all the galleries and almost looks like it is in the section where the administrative offices are located. I wondered how many people where looking for us. I felt so criminal. I considered dropping Cheerios in a line Hansel & Gretel style throughout the rest of the museum leading to little post-its that said, "Ha ha! Can't find us!" and "Keep looking, you're getting warm!", but I didn't want to get banned for life from the museum because other than the Cheerio cop, it really was a pretty cool place.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feeling awfully grateful

Today, I spent the day at the Children's Museum with both boys. It was the first time I've really been out and about with Eli since he's been toddling all around so it was great fun to see him actually "play". He has started "playing' quite a bit lately (as opposed to just inspecting whatever toy someone happens to hand to him). One of his favorite playthings is the remote control. We have four identical remote controls in the house. Only two work (one for the living room and one for the bedroom). I have "given" Eli the two that don't work. But wouldn't you know it...he's not interested in the ones that don't work. How does he even know they don't work!? I even left the batteries in so the little red light would come one when he pressed a button...but still, he's only interested in the actual working ones. Humph. Picky little child. Wonder where he gets that from.

So this morning, he was in the living room and had a hold of the bedroom tv's working remote and I sat watching him for a bit and saw that he was Seriously. The kid isn't even 15 months old yet and he's already figured out what to do with the darn thing. Frightening. I've got to watch that one. Closely.

Our trip to the museum was such fun, though I spent most of the time chasing after Eli and then searching for Ethan and panicking slightly until I found him (which was usually in the exact same spot that he was in when I turned to chase after Eli). Except for one time. He was RIGHT in front of me. I reached over to grab Eli away from getting his eye poked out by a toddler wielding some PVC piping and turned to talk to Ethan and POOF! Gonzo. Crap. I turned around and couldn't see him immediately. I’m calm. Got up and walked over to where I thought he must've gone. Not there. Still calm, but crap. Went over to Ethan's favorite truck. Definitely not there. FREAKING CRAP! So I dart around trying to keep calm but can hear my voice rising an octave as I'm calling Ethan's name and getting more and more anxious. I try to calculate if it will be a better idea for me to run up to the front of the museum and let them know he was lost or if my time would be better spent trying to actually find him. And then I wonder exactly how I will break the news to Adam that I've lost Ethan. And then I look up and there he is. I think this whole episode lasted maybe one whole minute but it really felt like one whole hour.

I am filled with instant relief and then run over to Ethan. I am so relieved to see him that I immediately begin to scold him (what is it about relief that makes it instantly turn to anger???). He looks like he might cry and I grab him and hug him super tight, so tight that Eli starts to screech because I've squeezed him too tight in the process of squeezing Ethan. (I'm finally catching on to the demands of being a mother of two.) And something tells me I ought to relay this story to Adam before he reads it for himself. Sometimes he surprises me and actually reads my blog.

But finding the "missing" Ethan is not why I am feeling grateful tonight. (Of course I'm glad he wasn't lost but I made the story of how he was lost sound much more dramatic than it really was). No. Tonight I am grateful for just being able to sit here and watch tv. And have a snack. And just be normal. Just be.

I was studying for my class catching up on my recorded Oprah episodes (Another topic for another day...reasons why I hate to love Oprah. Yes, that's right. Hate to love. Not love to hate. But another day...) Michael J. Fox was on and he was talking about living his life with Parkinsons. I was going to write his "struggle" with Parkinsons, but he doesn't seem to treat his diagnosis as a struggle . He talked about living his life in the moment. And being grateful for what he has today. And there were clips of him setting next to his wife on the couch while they were being interviewed at their home and she looked so....happy.

Watching them together, talking about his health, made me think back to Adam's heart surgery. Which I try not to think about anymore (but am entirely unsuccessful at). But really, it's over. What more can I say about it, think about it, blah, blah, blah. Really, it wasn't the worst thing that could've happened. I know that. I knew that then. He wasn't diagnosed with a terminal and incurable illness. But yes, there were times where I (and I know Adam, too) wondered if I'd be bringing up the boys alone. Nights leading up to the surgery that I laid in bed while my three-year-old slept upstairs and my unborn baby tumbled around in my tummy while I stared at the ceiling wondering if I'd be able to get a job at my old company if I had to go back to work to support myself and our boys. Wondering how I would manage a newborn's nightly feedings with no help. Wondering if I could be happy again if "something bad happened". Wondering who would be in the delivery room with me if Adam couldn't be.

I'm not trying to be dramatic. I’m really not. I never spoke any of these thoughts out loud. But the reality was that his surgery, though thoroughly common...well, was open heart surgery. And they had to use a machine to pump his heart while they sliced up arteries and sewed them back together (I'm sure I'm simplifying the procedure just a bit here). And then they had to make sure that the bypass actually worked. The surgeon would have to take a step back from the operating table and watch as Adam's heart pumped blood through the new passageway he created to make sure that the graft could hold it's own from the force of the blood pumping through it. And what if the graft blew? So while my thoughts might've been a wee bit dramatic, I also knew there was the possibility (however slight) that they could be my reality.

While in the ICU waiting room during the first few days of Adam's surgery and initial recovery, I saw surgeons give so many people devastating news about their loved ones. I was so fully aware that I could've just as easily been the one getting pulled into the family conference room and having the door closed behind me. Each time I left the hospital, I said a prayer of thanks for letting me leave without hearing bad news. I felt like I just slipped by, unnoticed and undetected through some stroke of dumb luck. And I still feel that way. I just feel so lucky. Because I so very easily could’ve been so unlucky.

But we were lucky. And believe me, I get it. While that was a really, really shitty time for us (and especially for Adam), it wasn't horrific. Once the surgery was deemed a success, we knew Adam would get better. He would get better. And that is what I am feeling grateful for tonight. I am grateful that we don't have daily struggles. That there aren't weekly trips to the doctor, periods of panic, despair, grief. Life has gone on for us. And I'm grateful.

Does that mean that Adam is "cured"? Sort of. Sort of not. I know he likes to think so. And so do I. But the truth is, there is no cure for heart disease (and yes, Adam is considered to have heart disease.) But these are two words we do not speak in our home. We do not speak them. Because it sounds worse to us than it really is and usually, the idea of having a husband with heart disease is pretty insignificant. I'm not being flippant or calloused here, even though it may sound that way. But, he takes his meds, goes for his biannual checks with his cardiologist, eats carefully, exercises almost daily. I believe most of his future, health-wise, lies in his own hands. And I know he believes that too based on the passion and seriousness with which he has embraced his new, healthy lifestyle. Not to say that we were unhealthy before, but we are pretty choosy about what we will and will not put into our bodies (Adam, admittedly, is definitely more careful than I am, but I try my best to follow his good example. I give in to a nasty fast food craving every once in a while and will indulge in some Doritos or a milk shake, but not Adam). Brown rice, grilled veggies and chicken is a typical dinner in our house while breakfast is usually some sort of low fat cereal or cereal bar with skim milk and orange juice (and coffee with fat free creamer for me). Don't get me wrong...we're not exactly the poster family for a heart healthy lifestyle but we do pretty darn well. We eat the occasional pizza and perhaps some red meat once every month or two. And get Chinese food delivered. And I hit a fast food place with the kids once a week after Ethan's Tae Kwon Do class. But mostly, we are pretty careful.

I have to say, that for the most part, I don't think of Adam in terms of being sick (because he’s really not), rather I think in terms of keeping Adam healthy. I've told Adam on a few occasions that I spend almost all of my time thinking of him when I'm at the grocery store that food shopping has become an act of love...I'm always reading labels, checking the fat and cholesterol content, trying to plan healthy meals. In our house, I've told Adam, unless I inform him otherwise, everything I buy is Adam-friendly, meaning it is low-fat, low-cholesterol and low(ish)-sodium. I feel good doing this for my husband. And really, he feels he's doing this for me and our boys. Which is another thing I am grateful for. I am grateful that he loves me enough to want to be around for me 30, 40, 50+ years from now. I love that about him. He wants to take care of himself for me (and for the boys, of course!). It speaks volumes to me. It shows respect and commitment. Maturity and diligence.

Day to day, other than the healthy lifestyle I try to help Adam live, life is as usual around here. Every so often, though, I am reminded that he isn't "cured". We were on a ski vacation in Utah a few weeks ago and as we were getting ready to head out on our first day on the mountain, he asked me where his keys were. For the car that we left in Atlanta. "What do you need the keys...?" And trailed off as I realized. He has a little case on his key chain that has a nitroglycerin pill that he is to take if he feels funky. And by funky I mean if he feels like he's having a heart attack. "Check your carry-on bag," I said and then tried to quickly leave the room before he could see that my eyes had filled with tears. "Shit," I thought, "I almost forgot." And then I turned and went back in our room and said, "I'm sorry you have to think about that. Does that make you sad?". "Yes," he said. "Me too," I said. And that was that. Off to the mountain we went.

Our second day of skiing, we were all heading down one trail and a few of us veered off and onto a different trail that met up at the same spot. Adam went one way with one group and I went the other way. The group I was with was sitting at the bottom of the hill. For a while. A long while. And as time went on and there was no sign of the other group, we all thought it was a little strange. "Maybe one of them fell," someone said. And the longer we waited, the knot in my stomach got tighter and tighter. Did Adam remember his keychain that day? Would he be able to get to it in time if he needed it? I didn't say anything but I almost cried when I saw Adam skiing down the mountain totally fine. As I figured he likely would be fine. But still, those thoughts do creep into my mind every now and again, usually when I'm not expecting it.

But, I am grateful. I am grateful because this is manageable. Maintainable. Easy, in fact. And I do not take "easy" lightly. I LOVE that life is easy right now. I think about it every day. I am grateful for an easy life every single day. Does that mean that I don't get stressed, overwhelmed, bogged down, negative, and well, I'll say it, downright bitchy? Heck no. In fact, I may have even been a teensy weensy bit bitchy tonight. Over something small, but irritating (not unkind, not earth-shattering, just annoying). And my first thought was to discuss it. And then I thought "Who cares? I'm just glad to have a husband around that irritates me!" In the end, I did bring it up and was met with a gracious apology...but there was still that nagging thought in my head that said, "Was that worth it? What if this was the last day you had together? Would that be what you said?". Probably not. So was it worth it? I don't know. I absolutely felt better after hearing his sincere apology...but could I have lived without complaining? Probably. Will I keep complaining. Eh. Probably. So no, I haven't learned my lesson. But in a way, I'm kind of glad. Because the fact that I have time to spend bemoaning the little things means that there are no BIG things. And for that, I am grateful. Ever so grateful.

p.s. I am also grateful for italics. I really like to use italics.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's a birthday party like in heaven?

Tuesday night, Adam and the boys and I went to dinner at my dear friend Amanda's house. April 7th would've been her son Gavin's first birthday and "the girls" and I really wanted to be with Amanda on this sad yet special day. It was important to Amanda that this day, the day of her third son's birth, the first day of his short, yet ever so important life, not be a day of mourning. Julie and Christy spent the morning cooking and prepping. It felt sad, yet going through the motions of preparing for a party seemed...necessary and comforting even. Perhaps it was doing something that seemed necessary, perhaps the fact that Gavin was on everyone's mind was what brought comfort, that it was evident that it is still possible to maintain a connection with him.

When we arrived it was horribly and painfully obvious that the balloons and the decorations and the obligatory "smash cake" were all missing. And for a few awful moments I thought we'd made a mistake in pushing our way in her home and making her feel like she should throw a party. But those moments moved into a rhythm that allowed for a sort of comforting awkwardness. We let the kids run around, we made polite conversation, we ate. We didn't speak about Gavin but not because we didn't know what to say, but I think because we all had too much to say.

Sweet little Gavin...his blond, silken hair, skin that seemed to stay creamy even during his sickness...his tiny little body and tiny little clothes that he never had a chance to grow into...blankets and baby gifts that have long been packed away...a little, yet significant, life that didn't last nearly long enough...all of the what-ifs, the hopes and dreams that his family had for him...these were all the things that were on everyone's mind. And what I realized as I sat looking arou d the dining room table, was that sweet Gavin brought all of these people together...together in love and compassion and hope. And that those things haven't waned with his death, haven't waned with time...we will always have memories, be they bittersweet, and Gavin will always continue to be a tie that binds us.

Monday, April 6, 2009

a fruitful search

I have been on a search for "modern" Jewish rock songs. Two very dear friends of mine listen to Christian rock constantly and I always love to listen with them. The songs are uplifting, are meaningful, are lovely and pure. I've been to services at their church and their services are filled with beautiful voices singing praise to G-d but with very a contemporary twist. Though music is not a big part of our Jewish service (we sing, well, chant, but there is no "music" per se) and though I love the music of my dear friends, I do get a bit flustered where the songs get to the part where they ask for Jesus to save them and thank him for walking with them and looking over them. I have a hard time reconciling that but I'm open-minded enough that I can take what I need from the message....but it just isn't the same. My search for contemporary Jewish music (in English, though I love hearing Hebrew) had been very frustrating to the point where I gave up and just programmed the Fish into my radio. But that wasn't working for me either.

Until last night. When I stumbled upon the music of Rick Recht. Think David Crowder meets the sweet but tiny bit rebellious Jewish boy next door and there you have it. I am over the moon about this find. I've also stumbled upon a few others, but he is my favorite by far. By far.

Interestingly, but not unexpectedly, there are many Jewish opinions on the concept of "modern" or "contemporary" Jewish songs and I think that exploring them and sharing them will be an interesting exercise and one I plan to partake in, but for now, I'm going to listen to my new friend, Rick Recht and relax a bit knit. I'm wild and crazy you know.


Adam and I are going to the MASTERS!!!! On SUNDAY!!!!!!I LOVE watching golf on tv (hate to play, but love to watch!) and going to the Masters has been a dream of mine for many years. I can't believe we have tickets! I can't believe we're going to go! I'm beyond excited!!!

Oh...and I also have this lovely new blog design. Also pretty exciting.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I've lost the Mother of the Year award. Again.

Seriously. It never fails. I am completely and one hundred percent absolutely inept at remembering to send anything along to school that is required of Ethan that is out of the ordinary. If it goes beyond his lunch, his jacket, his weekly show-and-tell item and his weekly "homework" item, you may as well forget it. Oh wait. I do forget it.

Let's take Pajama Day for instance. I saw it listed on his class calendar that he brings home from school every month. I put it in my calendar in my iPhone. I wrote a reminder note which I hung on the bulletin board next to the back door. Off we go, on Pajama Day, Ethan in jeans and I'm sure some sort of Star Wars t-shirt. I get to school, walk him in and see his teacher dressed in jammies and immediately think, "Oh crap." I realize that Ethan notices that Ms. Susan is in her jammies at the same time I do because he looks up at me with the saddest and most forlorn face I've ever seen.

Suddenly Ethan's eyes fill with tears. Ms. Susan sees that there is a bit of a commotion and comes over to us. "What's happened?". I explain how I am the world's worst mother and also a complete idiot and have forgotten all about Pajama Day. "Don't worry," she says. "Ethan D.'s mom went back home for pajamas and Lindsay O.'s mom went to Target. And you're not the worst mother." But pretty darn close.

Normally, running to Target would've been a fine solution except that I had to have Eli at the doctor in 30 minutes which was about 20 minutes away from Ethan's school. I frantically do the math in my head and realize that there is absolutely no way I can get from school, to Target, back to school and then to the doctor's office in 30 minutes. No way. I think about Eli with his mild fever and realize that I really can't cancel his appointment. And I look at Ethan with tiny tears rolling down his cheeks and think I must cancel Eli's appointment. This little tennis match between my first born's needs and my baby's needs continues back and forth in my mind for about a full two minutes.

I finally realize I've got to manage both Target and the doctor. I have no idea how I'm going to do it, but I promise Ethan, "I'll be back in twenty minutes with pajamas." After a quick kiss, I race down the hall, hop in the car and dial my doctor's office. The receptionist must sense my panic because she is so sweet and kind and tells me to "just get there as soon as I can". I race through the parking lot to Target. On one of the freaking coldest and windiest days of the year, I might add. Windy and bitter enough to make Eli bury his snot-covered face into my shoulder. I find three pairs of pajamas and can't decide which Ethan will like better so I buy them both in a effort to refrain from further disappointing him.

Five minutes and $60 later, I race back to school, practically throw the bag of three new pairs of pajamas at Ethan's teacher and race out the door and drive like mad to the doctor's office. I am later than I anticipated and call the receptionist. She's kind and gentle but does explain that I've missed my appointment so we'll have to be worked in. No problem. I understand the necessity of "working things in". That's pretty much how I run my life.

So fast forward to today. One would think I would've learned my lesson from January's debacle. One would think.

We arrive at school after waking up late (story of my life) and I see the director of Ethan's school dressed up as an Egyptian. And there's that familiar sick feeling in my stomach. DAMMIT! Ethan's Seder! I have once again forgotten to bring a costume, this time a costume that portrays a character in the Passover story. I decide that no, Ethan will survive without a costume and leave him in his t-shirt and jeans to fend for himself.

I get in my car and drive about 500 feet before my stomach starts to cramp and tears sting my eyes. Sheepishly, I call his classroom. "Um. This is Jen Slipakoff. The world's worst mother and also a complete idiot. I've forgotten Ethan's costume...." or a similar, sadly familiar refrain. "Does he want me to bring him one?" That last part pops out of my mouth before I have a chance to think it through. WHERE am I going to find a Moses costume at 10:30 on a Thursday morning in East Cobb!? Why did I say that!?

Please say no, Ethan, please say no, Ethan.

"Well there are lots of kids without a costume," says a kindly Ms. Denise.

YES!! Not only am I not the only one who forgot but I also don't have to pull a Moses costume out of thin air! Sweet.

"But Ethan said that he would like a costume."


Oooookaaaaaay. Now what? And here's where the plot thickens. Not only do I have no idea where to start, but I'm in my pajamas. And so is Eli. And he has no shoes on. Or socks.

I see Big Lots looming ahead like the Promised Land and pull into the parking lot. I call my mother and lament to her and ask her to go online and find some pictures so I can have some inspiration. And I say a little prayer that G-d will help me pull this costume together so that Ethan, who has an extremely critical eye and very discerning taste where costumes are concerned, won't be disappointed.

I see some plastic lady bugs. Aha! That's it! A ten plagues costume! The lady bugs can be lice, I think happily! I see a plastic frog. Two out of ten! This is going great! If I can find some cotton balls then I have hail...and if I can find a black marker I can draw cow spots....and some red lipstick can be blood....and then I hit a wall. No, I don't think I can find a representative object for each of the ten plagues in Big Lots. Plus I will need to construct the costume and don't think I want to set up shop in the back of my SUV glueing and attaching things to who-knows-what. Plan B. I find a Snow White crown that might work if I rip out the Snow White picture, but I'm not sure anyone involved in the Passover story wore a crown....I think in my panic I mixed that up with Purim.

Damn. Damn. DAMN.

And then, the land of milk and honey beckons and I fix my eyes upon a brown towel. The perfect Moses-like cloak! And then I spot a man's white undershirt. I grab it and add it to my brown towel. And then I'm off to the races. I quickly dart through the aisles and find a skein of yarn, a pair of flip flops and a green plastic beaded necklace, which really looks nothing like anything a biblical character would wear, but I decide I MUST add it to my purchases.

I am brimming with excitement and when I arrive at school, I have Ethan sent out to the parking lot so I don't have to bring my trashy baby with no shoes and too-big-pajamas into school (who, by the way, was eating a Dunkin' Donuts munchkin for breakfast).

The costume looked even better than I imagined and Ethan and I wore both glowing with, because I freaking pulled it off and him because he looked like a rockin' Seder attendee.

Ta-daaaa! So in seven minutes, $20, a brown towel, a man's t-shirt, a skein of yarn, a pair of flip-flops and a necklace that really does seem to make the outfit, here we have ourselves a perfect little prophet!